Ericsson announced around midnight, kicking off CTIA Wireless, that they have been selected to be the primary hardware vendor for T-Mobile USA’s upcoming LTE network.
T-Mobile USA, in a joint press release, confirmed that they are expediting their LTE network deployment plans, with a goal to offer LTE services next year. Previous LTE launch dates from T-Mobile have stretched into 2014, with the carrier claiming that LTE is not necessary due to their advanced HSPA+ rollout. T-Mobile has claimed in the past, using HSPA+ as a “4G” technology, the largest 4G coverage in the nation.
That claim hasn’t worked to well for the embattled carrier, especially in the wake of the failed merger with AT&T. Now, T-Mobile clearly is positioning to stay competitive alongside the other three national carriers. Sprint recently launched its LTE network, and has expedited LTE rollout via their Network Vision hardware.
Press release from Ericsson follows with additional information:
Ericsson selected by T-Mobile USA for LTE and network transformation
- T-Mobile USA first North American contract for Ericsson’s Antenna Integrated Radio (AIR) solution
- Ericsson to deploy LTE in key T-Mobile USA markets with Release 10 capable hardware
- Ericsson to transform GSM, WCDMA and HSPA+ sites and to perform consulting and system integration and rollout services
Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) today announced it has been selected by T-Mobile USA to support the company’s USD4 billion network transformation, which includes preparatory work for the launch of LTE in 2013.
T-Mobile USA will be the first carrier in North America to deploy Ericsson’s AIR technology, enabling the carrier to improve existing coverage and quickly launch LTE. T-Mobile USA selected the AIR solution due to the enhanced radio performance and ease of deployment. Ericsson will install the radio, tower and switch room equipment, as well as provide consulting and systems integration and rollout services. Ericsson will also provide turnkey services in the areas of installation, commissioning, integration and migration.
“T-Mobile continues to be at the forefront of 4G innovation and we’re excited to continue our long-standing partnership with Ericsson as we modernize our network and deploy LTE in 2013,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. “By partnering with Ericsson, T-Mobile expects to be the first carrier in the nation to deploy the company’s Antenna Integrated Radio technology, enabling accelerated deployment and reduced site loading.”
This new deal continues Ericsson’s long-standing relationship with T-Mobile USA. In 2006, Ericsson expanded its existing network contract with T-Mobile USA to include a nationwide 3G network. In 2010, Ericsson further enhanced T-Mobile USA’s network with the deployment of HSPA+ 21 technology, and again in 2011 with HSPA+ 42 technology.
“This contract marks a significant milestone for Ericsson in North America and further establishes our network leadership in the region,” said Angel Ruiz, head of Ericsson’s North American operations. “We are excited that our commitment to continued innovation in technology, services and design will further enhance T-Mobile USA’s network and extend our long-standing relationship with the carrier.”
Ericsson’s AIR solution is designed to blend into the environment and closely resemble a traditional antenna although it has built-in active radio units. The benefits include simplified site acquisition and reduction of energy consumption by up to 40-45 percent at typical load, compared to alternative site solutions using standard base stations combined with passive antennas.
Ericsson has signed 46 LTE/EPC contracts in 23 countries on five continents. The global LTE population coverage is 325 million, of which 215 million are covered by Ericsson networks.