Small cells

CTIA: LTE, Android & Femtos

Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is likely to be the talk of next month's CTIA show in San Diego, with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android operating system and the future of Femtocells also the topic of much chatter.

CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment , which runs October 7-9, is incorporating everything from wireless health care and machine-to-machine (M2M) amongst its themes this year. The hot tech topics on the show floor, however, are likely to center around wireless broadband and handsets, with a side of home base stations. (See Fall Into CTIA.)

The proto-4G technology has been a buzzword at the last couple of CTIA shindigs. Around this show, however, actual major LTE events that are happening in the U.S. and beyond will likely further increase interest in the technology.

Chief among these is Verizon Wireless 's much anticipated launch of two LTE test markets -- Boston and Seattle -- by the end of the year. These markets will then go commercial in 2010. (See MWC 2009: Verizon Picks LTE Vendors.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), meanwhile, has yet to name the suppliers it's using for LTE. Unstrunger Michelle Donegan is already predicting that the names in the frame will be Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). (See AT&T's LTE Suppliers.)

Vendors such as Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) have also been developing early-stage LTE modems. After all, what good is a shiny new network without devices to connect to it?

Google's open-source mobile operating system will once again be in the spotlight at the show, and CTIA VP of operations Rob Mesirow has already said to expect announcements about Android at the fall bash.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) will be one of the loudest voices in the Android choir this time around. The firm is telling potential developers that come to the show that it is "investing in Android to foster the growth of a rich, open ecosystem that will accelerate your market success."

Motorola has put a lot of faith in the Android operating system and is expected to start showing off its first devices based on the OS very soon. They may not be alone: Samsung's first Android phone -- the i7500 Galaxy -- is now available in the U.K., and the vendor is working on others.

3G femtocells
We will also be nosing around for more news on 3G femtocells in the U.S. Regular readers will recall that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has promised that it will deliver a 3G femtocell, developed by Airvana Inc. , before its rivals. AT&T, meanwhile, is expecting to launch its first 3G home base station before the end of the year and is in trials now. (See Sprint: We'll Beat AT&T to 3G Femto and Airvana Wins Major Sprint Femto Deal.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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