Mobile network operator US Cellular has moved the deployment of its long-term evolution (LTE) forward as it tries to cope with the huge rise in the adoption of smart phones and data use that comes with them.
During the initial phase of its LTE rollout equipment manufacturer Ericsson has been named by US Cellular as the only provider of equipment although in later phases the network operator may use other manufacturers. As much as 25 to 30 percent of its user base should be covered when it launches its LTE network in 24 markets.
Even though Chicago is US Cellular’s biggest market it has decided to ignore this area and instead go for its footprints in Wisconsin, Maine, eastern North Carolina and Iowa when it makes its initial rollout of 1250 cell sites. It has also chosen to adopt the same 700MHz bandwidth as its rival operator Verizon wireless and this means that it will be able to provide support for any devices that can be used on the Verizon LTE network.
According to Mike Irizarry, the chief technical officer at US Cellular the move to bring the launch date forward from 2012 came about when the operator saw the impact the initial Android smart phone made on data usage after its release back in July.
Irizarry advised “While we have closely monitored data usage around the industry…we only started to experience this sharp uptake over the last several months as smart phone sales–particularly Android devices–and penetration has spiked. As you can imagine with smart phone adoption moving at such a rapid pace, our analysis has been demonstrating some pretty remarkable forecasts for data usage, and thus our re-evaluation of how quickly we should move with LTE.”
Source – Connected Planet Online