Rumor Mill: Did AT&T pick Ericsson, Alca-Lu, Huawei for LTE trial?

A report from UBS equity research indicates AT&T has short-listed Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei for its trial of LTE technology. UBS says it believes AT&T could ultimately select two of those three vendors for its actual LTE deployment.

However, an AT&T spokeswoman told FierceWireless the company would not comment on any speculation about its LTE vendors.  AT&T is expected to upgrade to HSPA+ later this year and trial LTE in 2010, with LTE deployment scheduled for 2011.

Of the three vendors short-listed in the UBS report, Huawei is the most surprising.  If AT&T selected the Chinese vendor, it would be a major coup for the firm, which has been trying to secure a foothold in the North American market.  Huawei's emergence is also a big threat to traditional vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, which have been battling pricing pressure from Huawei and other Chinese vendors. 

Both Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson scored coveted LTE infrastructure contracts with Verizon. Those deals were announced at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona earlier this year.

Noticeably absent from UBS' list is Nortel Networks. Once again, it appears as if the uncertainty surrounding the company's future has caused potential customers to look elsewhere for business.

Related articles:
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Nortel watches as Ericsson capitalizes on CDMA-to-LTE conversion
AT&T invests in HSPA upgrades ahead of LTE
AT&T reiterates: LTE a long way off