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4G/3G/WiFi

Nokia Joins Ericsson in Updating T-Mobile LTE

Longtime T-Mobile partner Nokia Networks will join Ericsson in helping the operator deploy LTE-Advanced infrastructure and services, the Finnish vendor confirmed on Wednesday.

Nokia Networks 's contract extension comes just one week after Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) announced it would also be working with T-Mobile US Inc. on LTE-Advanced, voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and small cells. The two contracts are similar in scope and represent extensions as both have been supporting the carrier since 2012. (See T-Mobile Taps Ericsson for LTE Upgrades and T-Mobile Picks NSN, Ericsson for LTE.)


For more on T-Mobile's network upgrades, peruse our dedicated mobile page here on Light Reading.


Nokia says it will help T-Mobile deploy LTE in the 700MHz and 1900MHz bands, take advantage of carrier aggregation, expand the reach of VoLTE and work on seamless handoff to WiFi. Like Ericsson, it will also work on updating its 2G equipment with RF sharing functionality between GSM and LTE.

T-Mobile has made a big comeback in the last year with its cost-cutting, promotion-heavy "uncarrier" moves, but it still needs work on the network front. While it's the only US operator that can claim nationwide VoLTE, it still has gaps in its coverage, especially in rural areas, that Ericsson and Nokia are helping it to address. (See T-Mobile Turns Up VoLTE-to-WiFi Handoff and T-Mobile: Going Bananas for Low-Band .)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Susan Fourtané 10/2/2014 | 4:14:54 AM
Re: Nokia & Ericsson Sarah,

"The tasks both of these vendors are doing for T-Mobile are nearly identical. I imagine they are split more by geography than function ... "

It might be a case of not putting the eggs in the same basket. Having both Nokia and Ericsson may represent more for T-Mobile than having two vendors doing similar tasks. It's a very interesting decision. 

-Susan
mhui0 10/1/2014 | 10:29:13 PM
Re: Nokia & Ericsson My LG G3 bought from a T-Mobile retail store in SoCal works well with Voice over WiFi, but I am not sure if it is using VoLTE right now. How can you be sure that you are using VoLTE? I can tell from on-screen icons that I'm on Voice over WiFi, so at least that's 100% obvious. Which phone are you using to test VoLTE on T-Mobile?
milan03 10/1/2014 | 9:39:08 PM
Re: Nokia & Ericsson "Take a T-Mobile phone and compare it to a Verizon phone, for example, and you'll realize there is a huge difference ins speed between the two. Verizon is a much better experience."

My experience is actually the opposite in my market of NYC. I fly a lot, don't need the rural experience except once or twice a year. Take a T-Mobile phone and compare it to Verizon phone. For me T-Mobile experience is much, much more compelling:

- less congested LTE, more capacity due to higher cell density and less subscribers, highest possible bitrate VoLTE @23.85kbps, HSPA+42 fallback layer, HSPA+21 fallback layer, VoWiFi with seamless handoff to VoLTE, VoLTE with seamless handoff to 3G/2G Voice using eSRVCC, international unlimited data roaming, gaahhhhhh... did I miss something? :)

But seriously, the list is endless...
danielcawrey 10/1/2014 | 9:14:21 PM
Re: Nokia & Ericsson The gaps in rural coverage aren't the only issue that T-Mobile has. It seems as if the wireless provider is always a step slower than its competition.

Take a T-Mobile phone and compare it to a Verizon phone, for example, and you'll realize there is a huge difference ins speed between the two. Verizon is a much better experience. 
sarahthomas1011 10/1/2014 | 1:40:35 PM
Nokia & Ericsson The tasks both of these vendors are doing for T-Mobile are nearly identical. I imagine they are split more by geography than function, although Ericsson is also the OSS vendor of choice for the uncarrier. 
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