Communications giant AT&T has tapped Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) and Ericsson as equipment suppliers for the deployment of its high-speed LTE mobile broadband network planned for later this year.
Company officials said Wednesday that the selection of the two suppliers paves the way for AT&T’s 2010 field trials of LTE technology, with commercial deployment scheduled to begin in 2011. AT&T’s LTE rollout schedule aligns with industry expectations for development of LTE technology and widespread availability of equipment and compatible LTE mobile devices, company officials commented. Alcatel-Lucent officials could not be reached for immediate comment on Wednesday.
All 3G equipment delivered to AT&T by the suppliers will be “easily convertible to LTE,” and as a result, help AT&T to upgrade existing equipment and software instead of installing completely new equipment in many cases as it deploys the next-generation technology, TMCnet reported.
GigaOM reported on Feb. 10 that AT&T is “playing catch-up” with Verizon, which plans to offer LTE to areas comprising a total of 100 million people before the end of 2010 and everywhere it has 3G by the end of 2013.
Young wireless users are playing a key role in the evolution to next-generation networks, by transforming the way voice and data services are accessed and used for both business and consumer applications.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent white paperpredicted that over the next five years, the “millennial” market segment, aged 11 to 33, will have a “profound effect” on wireless services. Simple mobile data services are currently growing at annual rates over 40 percent. While still needed, voice services have been trumped by text messaging, IM, video and social networks like the dominant site Facebook (News - Alert).
John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Operations, said that the selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson is an important step forward in its ongoing mobile broadband strategy, which is focused on delivering a combination of speed, performance and available devices for customers at every level of technology deployment.
Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE solution has been selected by operators for trials around the globe.
As TMCnet reported last month, Alcatel-Lucent provided an end-to-end LTE solution for Cox (News - Alert) including base stations, evolved packet core, IP multimedia subsystem and a wide array of professional services.
And in December 2009, Alcatel-Lucent announced that French fixed and mobile operator Bouygues Telecom has selected the company’s LTE equipment for a trial of mobile broadband services. Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's (News - Alert) print publications, including "Internet Telephony", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone (News - Alert) e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison