Tuesday, February 9, 2010

AT&T Selects Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent for LTE RAN

AT&T has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as the primary suppliers of radio access equipment for its planned rollout of LTE beginning in 2011. AT&T's first LTE field trials are planned for later this year.

The multi-year agreement covers radio access network equipment needed to deliver LTE service.This equipment will be deployed at cell sites across AT&T's network to enable LTE speeds and functionality. Financial terms of the supplier agreements were not disclosed.

The selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson extend existing vendor relationships with AT&T. Both vendors currently supply equipment and services for AT&T's 3G network. AT&T said that as part of the supplier agreements, 3G equipment delivered starting this year, must be easily convertible to LTE, enabling AT&T to upgrade existing equipment and software rather than install entirely new equipment in many cases as it deploys the next-generation technology.

"The selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson is an important step forward in our ongoing mobile broadband strategy, which is focused on delivering the best possible combination of speed, performance and available devices for customers at every level of technology deployment," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations.

AT&T noted that the proliferation of smartphones on its network has resulted in mobile broadband traffic that has grown more than 5,000 percent over the past three years.

  • In January 2010, AT&T announced total 2010 capital expenditures are expected to be between $18 billion and $19 billion. These plans include an increase of approximately $2 billion in wireless network and backhaul investment, which will help ensure continued strong results in 3G network performance as well as preparation for planned deployment of LTE.

  • Also in January, AT&T upgraded 3G cell sites to HSPA 7.2 technology. Over the course of 2010 and 2011, AT&T plans to combine this upgrade with enhanced fiber-optic backhaul connectivity. AT&T wireless network investment plans for 2010 also include construction of about 2,000 new cell sites and adding new radio controllers and carriers at a pace that doubles deployment in 2009.
  • In February 2009, Verizon Wireless named Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as primary network vendors for its initial LTE network deployments in the United States. Verizon Wireless selected Starent Networks (now Cisco) as a key supplier for the packet core. Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent were selected as key suppliers for the IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network, which will enable rich multimedia applications regardless of access technology.


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