The GSMA today announced that China Telecom, KDDI and Verizon Wireless have gained membership to the GSMA following their commitment to deploy commercial services based on Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the next-generation wireless technology for Mobile Broadband. China Telecom, KDDI, and Verizon Wireless are three of the world’s largest CDMA operators and will begin the commercial deployments of LTE as early as 2010. LTE, when combined with the expansive footprint of these operators’ existing Mobile Broadband services, will deliver high-speed services to more than 150 million* customers over the next three years. Qualcomm has also joined the GSMA as an associate member and will work with the operators to aid the smooth integration of LTE with existing Mobile Broadband technologies.
“With its compelling, high-speed and cost-effective network architecture, LTE is bringing the GSM and CDMA communities together. We are delighted that China Telecom, KDDI, and Verizon Wireless have joined the GSMA along with Qualcomm, and will be among the first operators to launch commercial LTE services,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at the GSMA. “The rapid rise in demand for Mobile Broadband devices, applications and services is driving both GSM and CDMA operators to evolve their network infrastructures and embrace new, cutting-edge technologies, and LTE is widely regarded as ‘the’ Mobile Broadband technology that will be adopted by the vast majority of mobile operators globally.”
“As the largest state-owned operator in China, China Telecom is very excited to join the GSMA, which will enable us to extend our reach and network across the global mobile ecosystem,” said Mr. Cao Lei, Director of Technology, China Telecom.
“We have succeeded in bringing our customers satisfaction with the performance and quality of services via our CDMA network, but the growing demand for broader bandwidth and richer multimedia applications drove us to move towards LTE. We look forward to deploying LTE by the end of 2012 and the benefits a global ecosystem for Mobile Broadband will provide,” said Tadashi Onodera, President and Chairman, KDDI.
“User demand for Mobile Broadband services is today’s key network driver, and LTE provides a valuable addition for operators to address this demand,” said Andrew Gilbert, Executive Vice President and President of Qualcomm Internet Services and Qualcomm Europe. “LTE has the advantage of leveraging the existing 3G Mobile Broadband ecosystem, which includes hundreds of successful operators, vendors and developers already achieving significant economies of scale. These partnerships – and the collaborations they enable – greatly amplify LTE’s benefits and clear the path for future Mobile Broadband growth.”
Dick Lynch, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Verizon, said, “In the one year since Verizon Wireless first announced our LTE plans here at Mobile World Congress, LTE has quickly become the global technology choice for 4G. We’re proud of that global leadership, and believe our work will advance by aligning with the GSMA’s mission and members to advance LTE throughout the globe.”
LTE is set to out-perform most of today’s fixed-line broadband networks by delivering very fast, highly responsive mobile voice and data services with peak rate speeds of up to 100Mbs downlink and 50Mbs uplink. LTE was developed to enable a significant increase in the bandwidth achievable over mobile networks, while also boosting network capacity and reducing latency. LTE is designed to be interoperable with widely-used global technologies such as GPRS, WCDMA and HSPA, building on the all-pervasive international roaming capabilities available today. This will allow mobile operators deploying LTE to provide a seamless service and multi-mode devices for their customers, who will benefit from using high-speed mobile internet to surf the web or download applications wherever they are on a wide range of devices.
More than 74 mobile operators from around the world have committed to plans, trials or deployments for LTE, with many more commitments expected to be announced over the coming year. The world’s first commercial LTE network was launched at the end of 2009 in Sweden by TeliaSonera, with NTT DoCoMo in Japan on track to join China Telecom and Verizon Wireless in deploying commercial LTE services by the end of 2010. LTE is expected to experience substantial growth over the next three years with research firm Infonetics predicting the number of global LTE connections to exceed 72 million by 2013.