Light Reading

MWC 2010: The LTE G8

Michelle Donegan

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 TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN)'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
Adding virtualized local content delivery capabilities to broadband networks would bring content closer to consumers and boost OTT quality.
As OTT video traffic soars, CSPs can use new probing tools to measure and improve their data customers' quality of experience more effectively.
The edge router's days are numbered, argues Scott Sumner.
Don't panic – the platform isn't burning but is evolving quickly through open source, writes OPNFV director Heather Kirksey.
Cisco has once again set the bar and challenged the New IP networking sector by opening its doors and welcoming independent testing, something more vendors should be doing.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.