LTE North America Award Preview – Significant Progress for a Commercial Launch of LTE by a Vendor – 2010/11

The LTE North America awards 2011 are taking place on the 8th November 2011 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas, USA. These celebrate the innovation and excellence in that has taken place over the past 12 months in the LTE industry and features 60 nominees across nine categories.

In the lead up to the awards, we are featuring close looks at each of the companies shortlisted and here we bring you a preview of the category: Significant Progress for a Commercial Launch of LTE by a Vendor – 2010/11

Alcatel-Lucent: Motive LTE Device Management

With LTE bringing new levels of speed and network interactivity into the hands of consumers it makes sense for operators to have a device management system that is equally as sophisticated. Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive LTE Device Management is just such a platform. It offers a large library of information about the management capabilities of many devices, while remote diagnostics enables an accurate assessment of a device’s status, enabling quick resolution of any customer issues. Time and expense absorbing customer interactions can be avoided by being able to push updates to all customer devices OTA. In addition to LTE device activation, Motive MDM can also provide provisioning Access Point Names (APNs), performing bulk firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) updates, as well as updating device configurations and settings over-the-air. Subscribers are able to perform their own device set-up, as well as use Motive MDM technology to diagnose issues via a variety of self-care options on the web, and on their mobile device.  Alcatel-Lucent says that a Tier One US operator has activated and supported more than one million LTE devices using its platform, increasing both profitability and customer satisfaction.

Alcatel-Lucent, End-to-End 4G LTE Solution

Alcatel-Lucent is one of the largest network equipment vendors in the world, and claims to be number one in the LTE vendor market in North America. It has been selected by 10 service providers in the US to provide LTE infrastructure, including Verizon Wireless, the largest LTE network vendor with 1.7 million LTE subscribers in the first quarter of 2011. It also provides equipment for AT&T and has been awarded a five-year contract to help deploy Sprint’s Network Vision programme. A number of regional and smaller wireless carriers have also awarded Alcatel-Lucent with LTE contracts.

Alcatel-Lucent has invested €2.5bn in R&D in 2010, representing over 15 per cent of its total revenues and its End-to-end LTE solution stems out of that. Its solution includes software-defined LTE radio access and its breakthrough LightRadio architecture created by its Bell Labs research group that claims to double wireless network capacity while cutting costs in half. The LTE End-to-End solution also works smoothly with GSM, WCDMA/HSPA, CDMA, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and WiMAX.

Ericsson, 4G LTE

Ericsson has been indispensable to the rollout of Verizon Wireless’s LTE network, the world’s largest commercial rollout so far and was selected as a key partner for the Radio Access Networks (RAN) and Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) components of the rollout. The network currently covers 50 per cent of the US population and nationwide is expected by 2013.

Ericsson has a strong claim to be the leader in the development and standardisation of LTE and holds 25 per cent of all essential LTE patents. It provides most of the infrastructure for the world’s largest LTE network, Verizon Wireless, which it believes is now a milestone in telecommunications and a benchmark for future LTE rollouts. It also worked with TeliaSonera in Stockholm on the world’s first commercial LTE launch in December 2009.

Key to its technology edge is its Self Organising networks, with high levels of Plug and Play technology boosting its performance.

Gemalto, OTA Advanced for LTE and LTE UICCs

Gemalto is one of the best known digital security companies in the world and has been heavily involved in LTE development. Globally, Gemalto invests around 100 million Euros in R&D per year, half of which is dedicated to telecommunications initiatives worldwide, including LTE.  It has participated in trials in 2010 and 2011, TeliaSonera in Sweden and KT Telecom in Korea that utilised its UICC solution. It has also won four contracts in North America in 2010 and 2011 – Verizon, Metro PCS and two additional wins which have not yet been made public. For the launch of the Verizon network, Gemalto had more than 200 engineers provide a fully functional OTA Advanced platform and LTE UICC cards. This allowed Verizon to perform the final conversion to LTE for the commercial market and activating subscriptions for its new 4G subscribers. Since then, over 500,000 subscribers have been activated with the Gemalto solution during the first quarter of 2011, while Verizon reported over 1.2 Million LTE devices sold in the second quarter.

Novatel Wireless – LTE terminal devices

An operator cannot survive on network infrastructure alone – it needs terminal devices to get into the hands of consumers. One of Novatel’s key products has been the MiFi 4510, which on its release in April 2011 brought a lot of customers to Verizon’s LTE network. It offers connectivity to Verizon’s LTE network for up to five devices with download speeds of up to 12Mbps and also stands out for offering features such as an intuitive status display on the device showing signal strength, battery level, roaming and the number of connected devices. The MiFi 4510 also has advanced settings that include MAC address filtering, port blocking and forwarding and WPA2 encryption. Additionally, a power-management feature includes automatic shutdown.

Other products include the Expedite E362, which was the first embedded LTE module to receive commercial certification with Verizon Wireless, and was also showcased by including a number of other manufacturers such as Cisco, Consert, Dell, HP, SerComm and TouchTunes. The Ovation MC551 and MC679 USB modems provide laptops with LTE access at a wide range of frequencies.

Novatel has also worked closely with working closely with the Verizon Wireless’ LTE Innovation Center and its partners since 2010.

The LTE North America 2011 conference takes place on the 8-9 November 2011 at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, USA.

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