First LTE phone gets go-ahead in the US

The FCC has given the thumbs-up to the first LTE phone destined for the US, the Samsung SCH-R900. Unveiled at CTIA earlier this year, the phone will be carried by MetroPCS, and not Clearwire or Verizon as some expected. Launching on a smaller carrier is an unusual move since the handset’s data capability will put an unprecedented strain on the MetroPCS network.

-Rethink Wireless

DoCoMo hands LTE breakthrough to MediaTek

Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek has already seized the number two spot in the cellphone baseband market, behind Qualcomm, but its success has rested almost entirely on chips for low end handsets, particularly for the Chinese 2G, ODM and grey markets. Now an LTE licensing deal with Japan’s NTT DoCoMo will send shivers down Qualcomm’s spine, highlighting MediaTek’s determination to move up the food chain in to 3G and even 4G.

MediaTek is the first company to sign a licensing deal for LTE-PF, a platform for 4G devices jointly developed by DoCoMo with its Japanese partners NEC, Panasonic and Fujitsu. Although conformant with LTE standards, this was tailored to the operator’s requirements and designed to ensure it would have early access to devices once it goes live with LTE late this year.

- Rethink Wireless

NSN to break with Huawei in TD-LTE

As Huawei’s challenge to its western rivals mounts, the Chinese firm is finding itself increasingly in the firing line. Not only is it facing significant hurdles to major contracts from US and Indian authorities, but last week Motorola filed a lawsuit accusing it of stealing confidential information. And now, reports have surfaced that Nokia Siemens plans to break a joint development deal with Huawei for TD-LTE and go it alone.

- Rethink Wireless

Reliance to choose WiMAX in India after all

When the Indian BWA spectrum auctions concluded earlier this year, it seemed that the 2.3GHz TDD band – once considered a clear run for WiMAX – would actually be split between that technology and TD-LTE. While state-owned telcos BSNL and MTNL are already deploying WiMAX in their 2.3GHz spectrum, the privately held winners were more divided. The only one of these players to get licenses nationwide was Infotel, which was quickly snapped up by Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL). The firm implied that it would choose LTE for its new frequencies, even though Infotel had previously been committed to WiMAX, but now the firm appears to have opted for the more readily available technology after all, in the interests of early market impact.

- Rethink Wireless

Intel Acquires 4G Technology

Earlier this month, Intel acquired the assets of Comsys, a small 4G vendor that had developed a WiMax baseband chip and was working on an LTE design. This technology could assist Intel in its quest to develop a cellular baseband to pair with its Atom processor for smartphones. The company has licensed a 3G baseband from Nokia (now Renesas) but has not yet implemented it. Intel considered acquiring Freescale’s baseband business last year and is now in discussions with Infineon to acquire its wireless business.

- Linley on Mobile

Ambitious US wireless broadband scheme unveiled

An investment firm unveiled an ambitious plan on Tuesday to build a high-speed wireless broadband network that would cover more than 90 percent of the United States by 2015.

New York-based Harbinger Capital Partners said it has signed a seven billion dollar agreement with Finnish-German giant Nokia Siemens Networks to “deploy, install, operate, and maintain” a broadband network called “LightSquared.”

“The nationwide LightSquared network, consisting of approximately 40,000 cellular base stations, will cover 92 percent of the US population by 2015,” LightSquared said in a statement.

“In addition, from commercial launch it will offer the entire nation coverage through its satellite,” it said.

LightSquared said it expects to launch commercially in the second half of next year and to cover at least 100 million Americans by December 2012.

LightSquared plans to use LTE, or Long Term Evolution, technology for its fourth-generation, or 4G, wireless broadband network.

–Yahoo Finance

LTE in satellite spectrum?

Harbinger may be close to funding its LTE network plan

FCC votes to push forward proposals for flexibility in satellite spectrum

A national US LTE network built in mobile satellite (MSS) spectrum came a step closer with the FCC voting unanimously to consider a proposal to ease restrictions on the band, potentially allowing it to be used for terrestrial networks alone, which would open up 90MHz of new bandwidth.

-Rethink Wireless

Alvarion steers path to TD-LTE

Alvarion is the most installed WiMAX base station supplier with 250 separate deployments in the field, but has now announced support for the upcoming TD-LTE standard saying it will be incorporated into its 4Motion systems.

Alvarion was careful not to suggest it was dumping WiMAX, and made it clear this was a second string to its bow, aiming for TD-LTE field trials by the first quarter of 2011.

- Rethink Wireless