Wall Street analyst Mark Sue discusses the long term evolution (LTE) trends at the core

Earlier this week, Network World reported on its interview with Fred Wright - Motorola senior vice president for cellular and WiMAX networks. In the interview, Wright detailed Motorola's effort to promote a new technology known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), which is the next major step in mobile radio communications: Interestingly, in his research note to yours truly today, Wall Street Analyst - Mark Sue discussed the long term evolution (LTE) trends at the core, "LTE is the next major wireless upgrade cycle and the promise of peak data rates of up to 100Mbps will mean significant investments by major mobile carriers around the world. "Vendors are all jostling for position with their respective packetized routers and gateways and Alcatel-Lucent was the latest to announce its new Evolved Packet Core (EPC) offering which has been selected by Verizon. If successful with product delivery and performance metrics, Alcatel-Lucent may win incremental market share away from Starent across Verizon's footprint in our view."

Sue continued, "Alcatel is leveraging their know how with the successful 7750 wireline service router and adding software and plug-in modules with new mobility management tools. Verizon is planning a 2010 rollout for LTE targeting 30 markets and will begin the next phase of trials on 700 MHz spectrum in two unnamed areas. Verizon has already selected key partners for its LTE upgrade: Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson for radio access, Alcatel-Lucent and NSN for IMS, and Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Starent for the Evolved Core. To date, Verizon has field tested LTE on existing spectrum in Minneapolis, Columbus, and Northern NJ. Verizon spent $17B in capex in 2008, and does not see a significant increase in capex from building out LTE. "Real world speeds will of course be much lower than what's promised in the labs. Encouragingly enough, in field tests, Verizon demonstrated peak download rates of 50-60 Mbps. Initial applications may be machine-to-machine communications followed by wireless data cards and subsequently smartphones." Sue added, "AT&T is being more methodical with its LTE plans (mid-2011) happy to let Verizon take the lead. AT&T will instead focus on the initial launch of HSPA release 7, later this year. Internationally, T-Mobile, Vodafone, France Telecom, China Telecom, NTT Docomo and KDDI have all talked about LTE. TeliaSonera plans to have a commercial LTE network sometime in 2010. "Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Cisco, Starent, and Huawei are all meaningful contenders as carriers packetize their respective wireless networks. Earlier this year, Ericsson introduced its own EPC portfolio for LTE, built upon existing packet core products from Redback with new functionality introduced via software upgrades. The EPC portfolio includes SGSN/MME and Mobile Packet Gateway, software upgrades of existing SGSN and GGSN products and the new Converged Packet Gateway (CPG)." Sue concluded, "Starent's widely deployed EPC solution offers 2G/3G functionality and is software upgradeable to LTE. Starent continues to refine its product offering with in-line services for their LTE EPC such as enhanced content charging, content filtering, network-based traffic optimization, application detection and optimization, and stateful firewall. Starent also counts Vodafone as a customer."

What's your take on the long term evolution (LTE) trends at the core? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese

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