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Europe's LTE Divide

2:45 PM -- Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) CEO Vittorio Colao made some comments yesterday about Long-Term Evolution (LTE) that revealed how little enthusiasm the operator has for the so-called 4G technology compared to its European rival T-Mobile International AG . The differences show just how Europe's big operators are staking out positions on the 4G front. (See T-Mobile Beefs Up LTE Plans and Vodafone Adjusts to Hard Times .)

“On LTE, we have not yet committed," said Colao. "We’re part of the trial with Verizon Wireless and China Mobile Communications Corp. We look with interest… We will keep looking."

"For the time being, we have HSDPA, and there are several steps we can take," he adds. "We're looking at [HSPA] 14.4 Mbit/s and we're thinking about [HSPA+] 28.8 Mbit/s." (See Vodafone Pumps Up HSPA.)

Those remarks are in stark contrast to the zeal T-Mobile has for LTE, as CTO Joachim Horn told Unstrung recently.

"We'll deploy HSPA as long as there is no hardware replacement necessary," Horn said. "We'll do every other efficiency increase that's software-based. If I need to invest in more hardware, I think it's better to start early [with LTE]. LTE is a more future-oriented technology."

So the mobile broadband battle lines are drawn.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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