Telefónica: No Need Now for LTE Speed
BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) sees no urgent need to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE) just for faster speeds, according to the operator's global CTO, Enrique Blanco.
In an interview with Light Reading Mobile, Blanco said that in terms of the network speed that's available today on the operator's 3G networks, LTE is not "urgent." But, he added, "in terms of functionality, in about two years, then it's urgent."
He explained what he meant by functionality as that related to video streaming or rich communication suite services. So it's not just LTE's bandwidth speed that's needed, but also its lower network latency, which is something new media-rich services will need to work well.
"It's not only speed, it's doing thing in a different way," Blanco said.
Blanco talked to Light Reading Mobile on the sidelines of the press conference where Telefónica announced that it had deployed 11 LTE ligthRadio metrocells from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) here in Barcelona. So, the operator is already doing something different by testing these new small cells.
Telefónica 's 3G network in Spain supports network speeds up to 42Mbit/s in all cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants. Outside those areas, the networks support speeds up to 21Mbit/s. The fast 3G networks are the main reason why the Spanish operator is in no rush to deploy LTE for speed alone.
In Spain, Telefónica is currently trialing LTE gear from Alcatel-Lucent. (See Euronews: AlcaLu Up for El Gordo in Spain and Telefonica Picks AlcaLu for LTE Pilots.)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile