Smaller operators are getting in on the LTE act in the U.S. with 4G market launches and deals.
C Spire is launching three new markets in Mississippi to add to its 40 cities and towns in the area. The forthcoming markets from the operator formerly known as Cellular South are Laurel, Philadelphia and Vicksburg in Mississippi.
Nokia Siemens Networks, meanwhile, has revealed that it is part of the of the latest wave of LTE deployments from U.S. Cellular.
NSN is providing Radio Access Network (RAN) and management technology for 11 markets deployed late in 2012 covering cities in Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. NSN has previously deployed Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Home Subscriber Services (HSS) technology in nine separate LTE markets for U.S. Cellular.
U.S. Cellular now has more than 30 4G LTE markets deployed. "Currently, 58 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds and 87 percent will have access by the end of 2013," a U.S. Cellular spokeswoman tells Light Reading MobileA 4G snapshot
As you see below, C Spire and U.S. Cellular have a small footprint in 4G LTE compared to the big three carriers. What they are doing, however, is bringing some semblance of 4G speeds to smaller towns and cities in some rural areas in the U.S.
The next major 4G LTE launch to watch for in the U.S. will be in Las Vegas sometime this January, the first 4G LTE market for latecomer T-Mobile USA.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile