Vodafone Plans LTE Powwow

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) will hold a high-level meeting with a select group of infrastructure vendors to detail its plans for next-generation mobile broadband standard Long-Term Evolution (LTE) during next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to industry sources.

Light Reading believes the meeting will also be attended by other influential operators, one of which is likely to be Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)

Vodafone's CEO Arun Sarin and Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg told a Goldman Sachs & Co. investor conference in September that they were working on LTE development and planned to use the same technology in their next-generation wireless networks. Verizon later announced more detailed LTE trial plans. (See Verizon, Vodafone Head for LTE and Verizon Goes LTE.)

Recent developments at the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards organization and the results from early lab trials at the LTE/SAE Trial Initiative (LSTI) indicate that the technology is mature enough for operators to start making plans for the next-generation mobile technology. (See LTE Specs on Track, LSTI Touts LTE Speeds, LTE Hits 300 Mbit/s, and 3G LTE: How Far? How Fast?)

A Vodafone spokesman said he could not comment on speculation abut such a meeting.

"Vodafone is exploring future candidates for next-generation wireless networks and this includes LTE and WiMax," says the spokesman. "At present, we anticipate that we have enough capacity for the next five years."

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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