It has been a long wait for another commercial LTE launch after last year's TeliaSonera launch. TeliaSonera was the first operator in the world to launch commercial 4G LTE services to customers in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Oslo, Norway, in 2009.
USA has still to come up with its first. Many operators have already involved in LTE trials, Verizon Wireless is expected to have first commercial launch.
Let’s have a look at current state of LTE in USA market.
AT&T - Trials 2010/ Launch 2011
AT&T’s has planned field trials of LTE technology later this year, with commercial deployment scheduled to begin in 2011.
AT&T has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as equipment suppliers for the planned deployment of its higher-speed LTE mobile broadband network.
CommNet Wireless - Trial Q2 2010 / Launch 2011
CommNet Wireless plans to build LTE network spanning parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. CommNet Wireless has contracted with ZTE to deploy a test LTE network
Cox Communications - Potential Launch Q4 2010
Cox has announced the LTE trials running on equipments from Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei in January. COX Communications has deployed the CDMA LTE multi-mode trial using Huawei' s SingleRAN@Broad solution. Cox's LTE trials showed peak speeds of around 25 Mbps with 2x2 MIMO technology over a 2x5 MHz channel.
MetroPCS - Launch Q3/Q4 2010
MetroPCS is on track for LTE launch later this year. MetroPCS plans to initially deploy a commercial LTE network in various metropolitan markets, including the Las Vegas metropolitan area with Samsung Mobile LTE network products. The Samsung SCH-r900 will be one of the first commercially available LTE-enabled, multi-mode, CDMA, 4G handsets. MetroPCS has contracted Ericsson as the infrastructure vendor for its upcoming LTE network.
T-Mobile - Commitment to LTE
Unlike its competitors, T-Mobile USA does not own spectrum in the 700MHz band that is being used for the country's LTE rollouts and therefore has no LTE migration timeframe in place. T-Mobile USA is considering leasing network capacity from the private equity firm Harbinger Capital to build its 4G wireless network.
Verizon Wireless - Q4 2010
Verizon Wireless will roll out the service in 25 to 30 markets by the end of this year. Verizon Wireless has selected Alcatel-Lucent & Ericsson as providers of the LTE Radio Access Network (RAN). Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) will be provided by Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Starent Networks. Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens will be the primary suppliers for the IMS network.
Verizon Wireless engineers have reported trials showing peak download speeds of 40 to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and peak upload speeds of 20 to 25 Mbps and expects LTE average data rates of 5 to 12 Mbps on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world environments.