4G Rollouts Gaining Steam

Carl Weinschenk

Good tidings from Wayne Rash, writing over at CTOEdge. Rash makes the point that 4G services seem to bursting out all over, and that there is significant potential for the two variants-Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax-to in some way play together.

The idea that LTE and WiMax should interoperate-he points to chips from Beceem as the enabler - or even be combined into a single standard isn't new. The two are sort of like chimps and humans: Both grew away from each other the on the evolutionary tree, but share a lot of DNA.

The eWEEK story to which he links carries the news that Verizon Wireless will launch in "30 National Football League cities" by the end of the year. (Keep in mind that there are effectively 30 cities in the NFL if Oakland and San Francisco are grouped. Los Angeles has no team, however. The bottom line is that where Verizon is going is no great mystery.)

AT&T doesn't want to be left out in the cold. The carrier's LTE service will cover 70 million to 75 million points of presence-essentially users-by the end of 2012, according to AT&T Operations CTO John Stankey, who spoke at a Bank of America conference and was quoted by Fierce Wireless. The piece said that AT&T is spending $700 million in CapEx this year and will spend more in 2011 on LTE. The story described interim steps the company is taking to buttress its 3G network, which has experienced problems in supporting the iPhone.


Clearwire, meanwhile, is either on or just over the precipice of delivering services to New York City and Los Angeles. Though the precise status of activities in those two cities is a bit fuzzy, the symbolic and very real importance of movement in those cities is clear. The company also said it has lit its services in Nashville.


The takeaway here is that these carriers have done about what they said they would. The result is more wireless competition-but competition at a higher level than before. Whether there is a grand unification of 4G, a more modest level of competition or if they stay separate and highly competitive remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that wireless broadband service providers are responding to the great opportunities that Android, Apple and the other members of the mobile device and operating system segment are providing them.

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