LTE Watch: Sequans to IPO?

Sequans Communications , AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and Detroit -- yes, Detroit -- are making the news in our roundup of what's happening in the world of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

  • Paris-based chipmaker Sequans is said to be planning an IPO in New York, according to Reuters. Sources told the wire service the company would be looking to make around $80 million from the float.

    Sequans' main startup rival in the WiMax chip market, Beceem Communications Inc. , had been planning to go for a $100 million IPO this year but instead will be bought by Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) for a cool $316 million. Sequans is currently known as a key WiMax chip supplier, but LR Mobile learned at the 4G World show last month that the company plans to introduce a chip that supports both WiMax and LTE in 2011. (See 4G World: Sprint Ready to Play 'Leapfrog'.)

  • When you think of Detroit you might think of Motown, the motor industry, maybe even KISS, but you probably don't think LTE. One of the unemployment capitals of the US, however, is also a hotbed of LTE deployments.

    MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) has already switched on its network in the city. Verizon Wireless says it is working out some interference kinks in its LTE network in Detroit but the network should launch shortly after its initial 38 cities.

    And, as we can see from this Aircom International Ltd. job ad, LTE is a big task in Detroit, with 3,500 sites needed to support the technology for one of the network operators in the metro area. Aircom doesn't say whether its "end customer" is MetroPCS or Verizon, but it supports both operators with their deployments.

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is planning to introduce voice over LTE in 2013, which could mean it will be at the forefront of doing VoIP using the proto-4G technology, rather than relying on calls falling back on legacy networks. According to Urgent Communications, AT&T is pioneering technology that could eventually allow public safety networks to switch from land mobile radio (LMR) systems to LTE, freeing up more spectrum for such applications.

  • Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, will have LTE deployed across Charleston, W.V., by the middle of next year and in towns like Morgantown, Fairmont, and Martinsburg, which never even had 3G, among other cities in the state in 2013, according to PC World. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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