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2009 Top Ten: Wireless Stories

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/30/2009

A main course of Long Term Evolution (LTE) with a femtocell topping and a side of WiMax? It must be the top Unstrung stories of 2010. [Ed. note: Or a very heavy hype, low-fiber diet.]

1. AT&T on Track for Femto Launch
Unstrung readers have really got femto fever. The most-read story of 2009 was an update on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s plans for a national 3G femtocell launch by the end of this year. (See Look for AT&T's Femto 'Soft Launch' Soon, Cisco Femto Spotted at AT&T, and Sprint: We'll Beat AT&T to 3G Femto.)

2. MWC 2009: Verizon Picks LTE Vendors
If this wasn’t the biggest wireless equipment supply news of the year, it was certainly the most eagerly anticipated. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR), and Nokia Networks all landed positions in the first phase of Verizon Wireless 's ambitious LTE network rollout. Verizon CTO Dick Lynch sat down with Unstrung's own Dan Jones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February and explained the operator's vendor choices.

3. Server Glitch Crashes T-Mobile Network
A national network outage at T-Mobile International AG in Germany captured our readers' attention as one of the year's most-read stories, and Unstrung got the skinny on what went wrong.

4. Verizon to Have 3 Android Devices by Early 2010
Unstrung got the inside scoop on Verizon's plans for new Android devices. The possibility of an "open access" device being amongst the trio got people interested in this news nugget from the Fall CTIA show.

5. Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B
The biggest mobile acquisition story of the year? Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s buyout of Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR) certainly brings it one step closer to being a full-service mobile infrastructure in a world where wireless is going IP.

6. WiMax & LTE Meet the Real World
Our attempt to bring some perspective to the world of damned lies and statistics that is mobile data download speeds. Want to understand how fast new 3G and forthcoming networks often called "4G" really are? This is a must-read. 7. Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?
Part of our ongoing effort to track the spread of mobile WiMax in the U.S., this article looks at how quickly Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) was deploying broadband services on the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) network in 2009.

8. Nortel Wireless Winner: It's Ericsson!
Readers over at our sister publication, Light Reading were all about the long-running Nortel Networks Ltd. sell-off drama this year. Unstrung readers were a little more choosy but Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s buyout of the Canadian's wireless unit still caught your attention. (See 2009 Top Ten: Nortel Stories.)

9. T-Mobile: Voice Discord Threatens LTE
As the actual deployment dates for Long-Term Evolution networks draw closer, how to deploy voice services over the technology has become a much more vexing issue.

10. LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks
Voice services, however, likely won't be prevalent on LTE until people can get phones that support LTE VoIP (or a fall-back alternative). This article indicated that smartphones aren't likely to be widely available for LTE networks in 2010.

— The Staff, Unstrung

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