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Verizon picks Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent for LTE network

19 февраля 2009

Verizon Communications Inc. Wednesday said LM Ericsson Telephone Co. and Alcatel-Lucent will build the first fourth-generation wireless network in the United States.

Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent will construct the underlying network for Verizon Wireless, Verizon's mobile joint venture with Vodafone Group PLC, which will begin commercial service of the new technology in 2010.

"These are the vendors I will be using for the rest of 2009 and 2010," Verizon's chief technology officer, Dick Lynch, said at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Lynch didn't give financial details of the order.

Known as Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, the new technology will allow consumers mobile access to features such as high-quality video that had previously only been available through fixed-line broadband networks.

The hotly anticipated announcement, which had become a focal point of the mobile industry gathering in Barcelona, is a boost for Alcatel-Lucent, which is battling to turn its business around after a messy post-merger period, and for wireless equipment market leader Ericsson.

At the same time, the decision is a setback for other equipment suppliers who participated in trials with Verizon and Vodafone but didn't get selected to build the network: Nortel Networks Corp., Motorola Corp., Huawei Technologies Co, and Nokia Siemens Networks, the joint venture between Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG.

Nokia Siemens will, along with Alcatel-Lucent, be a key supplier for the IP Multimedia Subsystem, or IMS, which will help to enable the use of multimedia applications on the new network. Meanwhile, Starent Technologies Corp. will join Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as a core packet provider.

The blow is a heavy one for Nortel and Motorola in particular as both are struggling in the midst of the economic slump. Nortel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.

"We decided after three phases of trials that any of those six vendors would've been quite capable and are quite capable of deploying infrastructure for us, but we certainly don't have a need for six vendors," Lynch told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview.

The decision was taken on the basis of commercial readiness, price, performance, and "cultural fit," Lynch said.

Verizon will use the 700 Mhz spectrum it recently purchased for the deployment of the new network.

"By the end of this year we expect to have at least one market installed" by each of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson "somewhere in the U.S.," Lynch said."Those markets will probably turn into our first commercial markets."

Verizon's moves will be closely watched by other telecom operators around the globe to see how its rollout progresses.

"Beginning very late this year or early 2010, we will begin deploying very aggressively to a variety of markets around the country," Lynch said. The company will not turn on the network until it is satisfied the footprint is large enough, he added.

Verizon's annual capital expenditure on its wireline and wireless networks is a little over $17 billion, Lynch said.

With the rollout of its third-generation wireless network essentially completed,"this is a very logical time to redeploy those capital dollars into our next generation of wireless," he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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