AT&T to deploy LTE Mobile Broadband Network using Alcatel-Lucent andEricsson equipment

AT&T to deploy LTE Mobile Broadband Network using Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson equipment
AT&T has announced the selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as equipment suppliers for the planned deployment of its higher-speed LTE mobile broadband network. The selection of the two suppliers paves the way for AT&T’s planned field trials of LTE technology later this year, with commercial deployment scheduled to begin in 2011.
AT&T in January 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.

Earlier this year, 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, which will support a considerable boost in 3G speeds as well as future LTE service. AT&T offers a total of 10 HSPA 7.2-compatible devices today, enabling millions of customers to immediately take advantage of faster 3G speeds as backhaul is deployed. In contrast, LTE devices are still in development today and are not expected to be widely available until 2011.

This upgrade strategy will enable customers to experience a significant boost in 3G speed well ahead of the time when an LTE ecosystem with handsets is available. As LTE is deployed, HSPA 7.2 and supporting backhaul will provide a much more robust 3G network experience when users move outside of locations covered by next-generation networks. In contrast, competitors who are not upgrading their 3G networks will be unable to provide faster mobile broadband speeds for smartphones until next-generation devices are available.

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.
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