Print 12 comment(s) - last by mallums.. on Jun 7 at 11:02 PM

Nokia Siemens conducting 30 LTE network trials

Mobile users who want 4G coverage in the U.S. today have to be in one of the limited areas where Sprint and Clearwire are operating WiMAX networks. Outside of these areas, the best Americans can hope for is 3G speeds and in many rural areas, 3G access and speeds are still spotty at best.

Several 4G equipment providers are fighting for lucrative contracts to build out test LTE networks to fight the WiMAX networks already in place. A few of these firms include stalwart Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei, and ZTE. Nokia Siemens is the old dog in the market and has announced that it has won contracts to build 30 trial networks for commercial providers that are in trials now. Nokia Siemens also reports that it is in talks to provide an additional 15 top-tier operators with LTE trial networks.

Thorsten Robrecht, head of LTE product management for Nokia Siemens, told
Reuters, "It's unbelievable how the momentum is growing; this is what we are seeing with our customers." He continued saying, "There are big customers which I hope to get very soon under contract."

While Nokia Siemens is fighting for the contracts to build future 4G networks, Verizon is announcing that it intends to build 4G networks in rural areas around the country. Verizon plans to offer 4G coverage in areas where it has no towers or backhaul capability by partnering with local companies that own towers and backhaul capability even if the local companies are not wireless providers.

In these instances, Verizon will provide its core LTE equipment and access to its 700MHz spectrum while the local company will provide backhaul and tower access in the rural area. Verizon is reportedly looking for local companies to work with on its plans right now.

In 2010 Verizon intends to launch a 4G network in 25 to 30 markets and cover about 100 million users. By 2012, the number of covered users will increase to about 200 million and by the end of 2013 Verizon will offer 4G coverage to all who have access to the 3G network, amounting to about 90% of the country.

Verizon will use a 10 + 10MHz system for its LTE network. This will allow the company to offer 4G users average data rates of 5-12Mbps download and 2 to 5Mbps in upload. The speeds will be fast enough to support video sharing, surveillance, conferencing, and streaming HD video.

Verizon's plan to implement LTE service in rural areas is particularly important. These same rural users are part of the target group that President Obama wants to provide with broadband access and many see wireless technologies like LTE as the best way to offer blanket coverage.

Verizon also plans to let its existing 3G and 4G networks coexist with backwards compatible devices to ensure better connectivity with fewer dead zones around the country.

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RE: Timing
By wolrah on 6/3/2010 10:34:39 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon hasn't exactly been quiet about their LTE plans, so while I'm sure this announcement is timed based on the Evo's imminent launch it does not seem to be intended to distract customers.

Other than the WiMax support, the Droid Incredible and Evo are pretty much the same phone. Combine that with VZW and Sprint having extensive roaming agreements and you're left with the only real difference between the two networks being Sprint having 4G available now. To me, that means the only people VZ might lose are those who want 4G now and thus those who wouldn't have their position changed by a press release.

RE: Timing
By mcnabney on 6/3/2010 10:45:40 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon and Sprint do not have extensive roaming agreements. I don't know who told you that, but it is complete BS. The only crossover is that both companies may have roaming agreements on the same local/regional CDMA carriers - like US Cellular. Verizon doesn't want competitors gaining any competitive advantage by giving access to their superior network and Sprint doesn't have the money to pay all of those roaming fees. So when you have a Sprint phone and everyone else but you has service please remember that this is how Sprint saves money and offers low prices.

RE: Timing
By omnicronx on 6/3/2010 12:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well actually you are incorrect, they do have roaming agreements, Verizon has just removed almost all sprint towers from their PRL due to the fact that their network covers most of the US, and because the original deal allowed Verizon customers to roam on sprint using thier local minutes (i.e with no roaming charges), Verizon was actually losing money.

That being said, Sprint users can roam on the Verizon network in many places (I think you are limited to 1x though for data/voice), this does not really hurt Verizon, as 1x network roaming does not really affect their business, while they still make money on the roaming charges. It also always defaults to the sprint network if available, and its not a seamless switch (i.e if you are on a sprint tower and your roam to a Verizon tower while in a call, you will be disconnected)

RE: Timing
By omnicronx on 6/3/2010 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 3
and FYI sprint does not pay for the roaming fee's, they are passed onto the user unless it is specifically in your plan (such as mobile to mobile plans).

Also only allowing 1x access is not really a disadvantage of Verizon, they are not giving Sprint users access to their 'superior network', they are giving access to the basics (i.e their 1x network) in exchange for the roaming fees from Sprint.

Sprint gets better coverage, and Verizon gets roaming charges from customers that probably would not have signed on with them in the first place.(due to sprints lower plans)

RE: Timing
By mallums on 6/7/2010 11:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
Roaming agreements for 3G may not work out for 4G coverage, simply because Sprint is a WiMAX network, and Verizon will be LTE. Read the whole article over again. I doubt Verizon will buy WiMAX equipment just to serve Sprint customers.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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