Google at the Start of Moto's LTE Race
There have been some initial delays with Motorola's first LTE tablet, but Heavy Reading senior consultant Berge Ayvazian expects the first 4G gadgets soon. "Motorola Xoom tablet and Droid Bionic smartphone will be Moto's first two LTE devices that will be launched by Verizon Wireless sometime in September," Ayvazian tells LR Mobile in an email. (See Moto Xoom to Go 4G in September? and Moto Ships 250K Xooms But Waits on LTE.) "I think we will see a minimum of five LTE devices available in the U.S. before the end of the year, with Motorola expanding beyond its Verizon relationship," he continues.
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha promised on the company's second-quarter earnings call that the company will introduce three more LTE devices by the close of 2011. These will include at least one more smartphone, another 10-inch tablet and a smaller variant. (See Moto Mobility Promises 5 LTE Devices for 2011 and CES 2011: Verizon Takes 10 With LTE.)
Ayvazian expects that some of these will bring LTE to operators other than Verizon in the U.S. "I expect Motorola to begin offering LTE/HSPA+ hybrid smartphones and tablets to operators like AT&T in Q4 2011 and to expand beyond Verizon to other LTE/CDMA operators like Sprint in 2012," he writes. (See Sprint's $13.5B Jump to LTE With LightSquared and AT&T Building Islands of LTE in 2011.)
Wholesale operators like Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and LightSquared could also offer another avenue of LTE expansion for Motorola and Google. LightSquared is working with Sprint to deploy its 4G, while Clearwire is planning to do a Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) overlay on its WiMax network. (See Clearwire Goes It Alone With Faster 4G.) Both are likely, however, to need to find more funding to bring their plans to completion. (See Clearwire & LightSquared: Stymied by Borrowing Woes?)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile