Where North American wireless carriers stand on LTE

MetroPCS: Launched in Sin City

MetroPCS Communications Inc. announced in September it will offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless service to cellular customers in Las Vegas. Initially it will offer service on the Samsung Craft handset and extend the service to other cities. It is first out of the gate, with telecommunication carriers Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA Inc. working on LTE launches of their own.

Telus Mobility: Not yet

Earlier this year Telus Corp. CEO Darren Entwistle said it is “presumptuous to talk about deploying LTE,” referring to the Long Term Evolution standard for wireless data services. Telus built its High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) cellular network in a partnership with Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., offering transfer rates of 7 Mbps to its telecommunications customers. In August, Telus announced it will upgrade early next year to HSPA Dual Cell which has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 42 Mbps.

Rogers Wireless: Not any time soonRogers Communications Inc. was first out of the gate in Canada with High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) wireless, which allowed it to offer Apple Inc.’s iPhone 3G before any other Canadian cellular wireless carrier. During a call with financial analysts announcing its quarterly results, Rogers Communications CEO Nadir Mohamed said: We have no plans to move to LTE any time soon. He cited the 21 Mbps theoretical maximum speed available from HSPA + which is the second iteration of High Speed Packet Access.

Public Mobile: LTE ready

Before it launched service in May, a Public Mobile Inc. official said his company’s network will only need a “minor upgrade” to be ready for Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless. But right now Public Mobile is only offering CDMA/EVDO service, with a maximum data speed of 3.5 Mbps. Public Mobile was one of the new entrants to offer wireless cellular service in Canada that bought telecommunications spectrum in 2008.

Clearwire: WiMAX provider testing LTE

Wireless carriers using competing technologies are also looking at LTE. In the U.S., Clearwire Corp., which operates a 4G WiMAX network for Sprint Nextel, said in August it will start testing LTE because it expects manufacturers to have lots of devices capable of using the standard



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