September 29, 2010
By Richard Martin
Diving into the U.S. LTE pool, gear maker Ericsson has built its first LTE network in this country, supplying the 4G equipment for the Dallas-Fort Worth system of prepaid wireless provider MetroPCS. This is MetroPCS second LTE network in the United States; last week it announced the launch of its LTE offering in Las Vegas.
Ericsson touts itself as the primary supplier of infrastructure for MetroPCS and its 4G LTE networks,” but the truth is Samsung beat it to the punch: the Las Vegas LTE network was built using equipment from the Korean vendor. Both networks use a single device: the Samsung Craft smartphone.
The DFW system is based on Ericssons RBS 6000 base station, Evolved Packet Core technology, and the IP-RAN solution, which allows MetroPCS to run both CDMA and LTE traffic over a single connection. The customized rapiddeployment strategy devised by Ericsson, the vendor said, enabled the operator to reuse a significant part of its existing infrastructure.
Thats one of the things that has allowed MetroPCS, a regional service provider, to beat its larger competitors to market with LTE. Verizon is expected to begin rolling out LTE in selected markets later this year, while AT&T does not plan to offer LTE services until next year. Were smaller and more agile,” Ed Chao, senior vice president of corporate engineering and network operations at MetroPCS, told VON/xchange earlier this month, and we dont have as many things in our network to integrate as the big guys.”
Chao described LTE as a bit of an experiment for the provider. I dont think anyone knows right now what the right strategy is. Well be evaluating that as we go on, and if theres a different way to offer better value to our customers, than we will.”
Ericsson built the worlds first operating LTE network, launched in Stockholm last year by TeliaSonera.
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