FT : Operators Striving For Unified Global LTE Chipset

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mobile phone users could finally be able to operate their handsets anywhere in the world under 4G wireless technology known as LTE, Vodafone said.  The world’s largest mobile operator by revenue said Long Term Evolution could result in the long sought-after convenience of being able to use the same handsets in Europe, the US and Asia.  Vodafone, Verizon Wireless, the second-largest US mobile operator, and China Mobile, the world’s biggest wireless carrier by number of customers, are planning to hold LTE trials in Europe, the US and China.  The trials could have a significant influence on the final form of LTE, given that 20% of the world’s mobile phone users are customers of Vodafone, Verizon Wireless and China Mobile.  Vodafone said the trials, which began last month, would look at developing chipsets allowing handsets to work on two expected versions of LTE.  Such chipsets would be an important step towards LTE handsets that could operate in China as well as Europe and the US…..The world has been divided by rival second- and third-generation mobile technologies.  GSM is the most popular 2G technology with mobile operators, but CDMA took hold in the US and Japan.  The splinter effect got worse with 3G, where W-CDMA has competed with CDMA 2000, and China is developing TD-SCDMA.  The lack of a dominant 3G mobile technology means holidaymakers and business people often face slower data roaming speeds when abroad because they are forced on to 2G networks.  They may even have to use different handsets.  There are a very limited number of dual mode mobiles that operate on W-CDMA and CDMA 2000 networks.  The first commercial deployment of LTE networks is due to be done by NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile operator, next year.  Verizon Wireless is looking to roll out LTE from 2010-11.  Vodafone also expects deployments after 2010.  The development of LTE technology standards is being co-ordinated by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, a global umbrella body, and about 80% of the work was completed last autumn…..

Reference : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f8648202-eae6-11dc-a5f4-0000779fd2ac.html

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