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

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 5:41:00 PM
re: Telefónica: No Need Now for LTE Speed

It really does not matter what these guys think.  If apple comes up with a 4G product then that is what they will have to provide.  

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:40:54 PM
re: Telefónica: No Need Now for LTE Speed

Your average consumer doesn't even know the difference between a bit and byte let alone that of FauxG and 4G.  Do you really believe that they could tell the difference between the two?  If you say faster LTE speeds, faster compared to what?  You have FauxG speeds matching those of LTE.  LTE does offer lower latency though.  The average consumer, won’t be able to tell though.


Did Verizon Wireless need to get on the LTE bandwagon early?  Yes, EV-DO was not going to cut it anymore, so the only thing they could do was move to LTE.  HSDPA was more than sufficient for AT&T and T-Mobile as well as a lot of other carriers.  LTE brings a big architecture change to the carrier and you have to fallback to 3G for voice calls.  By Telefónica waiting a few years means that VoLTE will be implemented concurrently with their LTE release.  Apple doesn’t dictate what the carriers move to, Apple doesn’t even support higher 3G speeds than what they want.  At every iPhone release, the competitors already offer higher 3G speeds anyway.  Here is what the latest and greatest iPhone offers:

HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps which was the same as its predecessor.  So where was Apple supporting higher speeds?


Wow, three years ago I had a phone that supported 10.2 Mbps.  Current phone is HSDPA, 14.4 Mbps.  The carriers support those speeds, Apple does not.  AT&T and T-Mobile offered the 7.2Mbps two years ago. 


You do realize that an LTE phone would work with 3G, right?  It had to or no voice service, so even if Apple released an LTE iPhone today, it wouldn’t matter if the network supported it or not.  Apple will wait for a larger LTE footprint for 1 reason, they want the sheeple to come back next year for the new model.  If Apple put more than the bare minimum in, well, sheeple might skip an upgrade cycle.  That is bad for business.

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