LTE: Solidity & Uncertainity in 2012

Dan Jones
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

There are plenty of Long Term Evolution (LTE) snippets to catch up on during the holiday break:

  • TmoNews has found a German interview video in which Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) CEO Rene Obermann talks about the need for T-Mobile US Inc. to focus on LTE technology in 2012. "This will be our task going forward and one that we will devote all our energies to," he is quoted as saying.

  • Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), meanwhile, says it will announce more about LTE markets and launches next year and says it is on track to deliver devices by the middle of 2012.

  • There's also a debate about what exactly AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will do with its LTE deployment next year. Some analysts, like George Notter at Jefferies & Company Inc. , expect that Ma Bell will spend big on LTE next year now that the T-Mobile deal has gone belly up. On the contrary, Mike Genovese of MKM Partners claims, AT&T will only extend its 15-city LTE deployment to 30 major markets in the first half of 2012. Read up on that here.

    Here's how I see it: 2012 is going to be a story of spectrum haves and have-nots, with the bandwidth-bereft having to come up with partnerships or clever ways to reuse spectrum (multi-mode, microcells and more) to fill in their gaps. For instance, where will Deutsche Telekom find the spectrum for an LTE network for T-Mobile, and how many billions may it need to spend?

    LightSquared could be a wild card for Sprint and others in these efforts. The venture, however, is still banging on doors trying to get its LTE deployment underway. I'm not holding my breath on that launch.

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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