LTE Watch: Operator Commitments Double

The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) says that operator commitments to Long Term Evolution (LTE) have doubled, as we round up the week's news about the mobile broadband technology.

  • The GSA trade body said this week that there are now 64 operators across 31 countries committed to LTE, compared to 31 network commitments the same time a year ago. The GSA expects up to 22 LTE networks to be in operation by the end of 2010, with 39 live by the end of 2012, Total Telecom notes.

    "A total of 88 operators in 42 countries have now committed to deploy LTE systems or are engaged in trials or other planning and preparatory activities," Alan Hadden, president of the GSA, said in a release on its new report.

  • Trying to build on that momentum, next-generation chip designer Beceem Communications Inc. this week filed for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO), according to the AP. Beceem makes both LTE and WiMax chips for smartphones and other devices. In fact, Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) CEO Bill Morrow recently referenced Beceem as a company that will enable both LTE and WiMax with its initial dual-mode products. (See CTIA 2010: Hesse – LTE Will Be Bigger But We Are First.)

  • Commnet Wireless has won the deal to build an LTE network for areas of the Navajo Nation in the US. (See DragonWave Pilots LTE Backhaul.)

  • Shock! Horror! An LTE iPhone will not be coming to the Verizon Wireless network this year, Reuters reports. LR Mobile has consistently suggested that 2012 is a much more likely date for any LTE iPhone, but evidently the tech world at large just can't wait that long. (See The Hilarity of LTE iPhone Rumors.)

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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