Telefonica O2, Hutch Austria roll out LTE kit

European carrier Telefónica is to roll out LTE test projects in six countries, with a view to selecting technology providers for its 4G deployments.

The suppliers Telefónica has chosen so far are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Siemens Networks and ZTE, all of which will start rolling out the equipment necessary for testing the technology during the coming months.

The project will take place over six months and will consist of field tests and the installation of base stations at Telefonica’s branded operations in Spain (Telefonica), the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe as O2, and Brazil and Argentina in Latin America as Telefonica Moviles.

The Spanish firm reckons its will be able to offer peak speeds of up to 340Mbps in ideal conditions using LTE, exploiting benefits from more flexible spectrum management, increased efficiency through greater operating automation and the mass adoption of the technologies such as MIMO.

“We are defining our strategy and the rollout of LTE with the objective of driving mobile broadband and offering the best service from the moment that the equipment and terminals can support the new standards and are available for sale,” said Julio Linares, COO of Telefónica.

In related news, Austrian mobile operator Hutchison 3G said it has tapped Nokia Siemens Networks to deliver HSPA+ and LTE upgrade kit starting in the autumn of 2009.

With the HSPA+ upgrade in place, Hutch claims it will be able to offer download data rates of 21Mbps from early 2010 and as of 2011, the network can be upgraded to Long Term Evolution (LTE) offering theoretical data rates as high as 100Mbps.

“The demand for increased mobile broadband capacity and throughput in Austria is reflected in the increasing usage of data cards and mobile services like Mobile TV, video download or video sharing,” said Berthold Thoma, CEO of Hutchison 3G Austria. “Mobile broadband is also one of the most pragmatic solutions to bridging the digital gap between cities and rural areas. For rural areas, mobile broadband coverage is simply less expensive and faster to deploy than “fibre to the home” solutions,” he added.

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