& cplSiteName &

MWC 2010: The LTE G8

Michelle Donegan
2/3/2010
50%
50%

Long Term Evolution (LTE) will be every bit as much in the limelight at Mobile World Congress this year as it was in 2009, despite the global recession, lack of LTE spectrum in Europe, the clouds of doubt gathering over LTE network and device availability, and not to mention the 3G network capacity crunch from the surge in mobile data traffic that is commanding the attention of many operators today.

The halls of the Fira de Barcelona will soon echo from the chest-thumping of LTE equipment suppliers as they talk up operator engagements and product differentiators, and -- more importantly -- boast about who has the best tapas and drinks on their stands. (See Vendors Vie for LTE Limelight.)

This year, the LTE suppliers to watch in Barcelona are an elite group of eight -- we'll call them the LTE G8 -- that have early stakes in the LTE game.

The LTE G8 is a veritable in-crowd of mobile broadband suppliers. The group includes the Big Four usual suspects in mobile infrastructure -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and Nokia Networks . (See LTE Base Station Strategies.)

The remaining four vendors in the G8 are the LTE challengers: Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). (See LTE Base Station Challengers.)

As the industry heads for Barcelona, here's a snapshot of how the LTE G8 stands in terms of trial and commercial gigs:



But what a difference a year makes. This time last year, the LTE buzz in Barcelona was all about which companies Verizon Wireless would bless with contracts. Verizon CTO Dick Lynch's announcement in February 2009 catapulted AlcaLu and Ericsson into instant LTE stardom, even though Nokia Siemens and Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR) picked up LTE business at the US operator too. (See MWC 2009: Verizon Picks LTE Vendors.)

In Verizon's joint LTE trial with Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), the operators originally tested equipment from AlcaLu, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens, Motorola, and Nortel Networks Ltd. . And in two of the LTE trial announcements last year, Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) said they would test LTE gear from another set of six vendors: AlcaLu, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens, NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

So, more than a year on from the Verizon/Vodafone trial, it seems NEC and ZTE have replaced Motorola and Nortel in the leading set of trial vendors. (See Telefónica Kicks Off LTE Trials and APAC Operators Commit to LTE.)

It would be a mistake, though, to pay any less attention to Motorola and Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), which have a hand in early LTE developments with operators.

Motorola is supplying LTE radio access gear to KDDI Corp. in Japan, which plans to roll out the proto-4G network in 2012. Moreover, Motorola is heavily involved with its key Chinese customer China Mobile for TD-LTE. (See KDDI Picks Challengers for LTE Deployment, Motorola Passes TD-LTE Test, and Motorola Preps TD-LTE Dongle.)

Meanwhile, Fujitsu is a key LTE supplier to NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), which aims to launch its LTE service in December this year. The vendor is looking to use this early experience in Japan as a springboard to compete in international markets. (See DoCoMo Shells Out on LTE and LTE Device Mock-Up at MWC.)

So, will there be another Verizon moment in Barcelona this year when a major operator announces vendor choices and LTE deployment plans? That looks unlikely at this point, but we like to be surprised.

Given that there are real-live LTE networks up and running in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm thanks to Telia Company 's ahead-of-schedule launch at the end of last year, the LTE buzz this year will likely be less about contract wins and more about LTE network speeds and performance, device availability, network architecture choices, voice support, and the commercial readiness of the equipment.

See you there!

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Column
Spectrum sharing is becoming a bigger issue as the 5G radio specification evolves.
Addressing current and future app demands while laying the foundation for mobile's next big network transition.
Broadcasters can no longer rely on pulling audiences to the TV screen; they need to pursue their audiences on digital, wherever they are.
Why advanced data analytics are the future for streaming video services.
5G could ride the traditional wireless hype cycle, or – quite possibly – break the chain, suggests Nokia's North American CTO.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BT’s Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.