Moto to Unveil Commercial LTE Device

2:00 PM -- CHICAGO -- Word on the street has it that Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) will unveil the world's first commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) device at the 4G World show in Chicago Tuesday.

The device is a USB stick -- the USB-lte 7110 -- for FDD LTE deployments, and it's ready for commercial distribution right now, though it's unclear what sort of volumes are available or what the wholesale price will be for operators.

Operators are desperate to get their hands on any LTE devices at all. Industry reports suggest that trial devices have been costing operators -- such as Telia Company , which has public LTE networks live and carrying (small volumes of) traffic in Sweden and Norway -- thousands of dollars per unit. (See Road Testing LTE.)

So Moto's news will be most welcome. Except...

The device is ready to rock with Motorola LTE networks (soon to become the property of Nokia Networks ), but has yet to undergo interoperability testing with LTE networks built using infrastructure from other vendors. (See NSN to Buy Moto's Wireless Biz for $1.2B .)

Motorola, one of the "LTE 8," is hoping that having a commercial LTE device will pull in some "end-to-end" LTE deals, like the one it has in Saudi Arabia, but is also prepared to work with operators to help them get the USB devices working with any existing LTE networks. The odds, of course, are stacked for the latter option. (See Zain Saudi Arabia, Moto Sign LTE Deal and MWC 2010: The LTE G8.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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