Dish has offered up a little more detail on an already-announced plan to offer fixed wireless broadband service. Dish announced back in May
that the company would be offering fixed LTE services in a new partnership with nTelos. At the time, the companies stated they'd be ultimately offering the service in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky -- though June deployments were very unspecific and limited in nature.
In October Dish and nTelos stated the trial was going well and they intended to extend it into Roanoke, Staunton, Waynesboro and Charlottesville with the goal of reaching "up to" a half-a-million homes.
Still, pricing and speed details have been hard to come by (drop us a line
if you're a trial participant). Speaking at a recent investor conference the companies did state they aim to be able to offer at least 5 Mbps to subscribers
, even though trials have obtained speeds of 30 to 40 Mbps.
The companies plan to offer LTE using roughly 20 MHz of spectrum belonging to nTelos, with Dish's growing spectrum holdings potentially being incorporated sometime down the road. The focus is pretty clearly going to be more rural markets, where the service should offer faster speeds than DSL provided over aging copper.
"We may blow away fixed line provider(s)," nTelos CEO and President Jim Hyde told conference attendees.
AT&T and T-Mobile have enjoyed being the LTE speed leaders during early LTE network comparison tests
, though Verizon's deployment of wider 2x20MHz channels will likely give Verizon the last laugh, analysts insist. As recently noted
, Verizon has started using the AWS spectrum won at auction years ago to bolster their existing LTE network, the results on an unloaded network showing 80 Mbps down and 15 Mbps up, with a theoretical top end of 150 Mbps for the 40-MHz LTE network.
While the improved audio fidelity benefits of voice over LTE (VoLTE) aren't expected to be seen in any real volume until well into 2014, AT&T says they hope to launch their first VoLTE-supported phone before the end of the year. "I do believe there might be a VoLTE-compliant device for the holidays this year," AT&T Labs President Krish Prabhu said today
at an industry conference.
Whether you'll be able to actually use VoLTE is another question entirely, since interoperability issues will plague the technology for some time, and while VoLTE handsets may be available this fall, the VoLTE infrastructure won't yet be fully baked. Prabhu also reiterated AT&T's intent to cover 270 million POPs (potential customers) with LTE by year-end, up from 240 million now.
AT&T has announced that they've brought faster LTE connectivity to another 14 markets, including Abilene, Texas and Greenville, North Carolina. According to AT&T
, these latest launches bring their LTE market total to nearly 400, meaning it shouldn't be much of a problem for the company to reach their expanded
year-end LTE market deployment goal of 420. AT&T this week also says they expanded existing LTE operations in several markets including Sacramento.
While all four major wireless carriers profess to have the nation's "largest 4G network," there remains some obvious differences in LTE deployment. Fierce Wireless
has compiled a good breakdown of where things currently stand among the country's big four in terms of LTE coverage. Verizon
continues their lead with 301 million potential customers (POPs) covered, followed by AT&T
(225 million POPs), T-Mobile
(167 million POPs), and Sprint
(POPs not provided). Both Sprint and T-Mobile got late starts, but are rapidly gaining ground in their fight against AT&T and Verizon. Have you noticed improvements?
Last week AT&T rather quietly deployed an LTE service aimed at home users called, quite creatively, AT&T Wireless Home Phone and Internet
. Like Verizon's Home Fusion
service, AT&T's Wireless Home Phone and Internet service is aimed squarely at rural users without any fixed-line options.
Sprint today announced that Brooklyn and The Bronx will have full access to Sprint's shiny new LTE network as of July 30 (aka next Tuesday). According to a Sprint press release
, users in Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens will officially see LTE service launched in the "coming months," though many users have already been able to access the network for some time
. The company currently offers LTE in more than 110 markets, with the aim of covering 200 million potential customers by the end of the year. Sprint also today that they've finalized a deal with Transit Wireless that will allow Sprint users to use their service at the growing number of subway stations
where Transit Wireless is providing cellular service.
AT&T today announced that they've launched LTE in 35 new markets, and have expanded LTE availability in 17 existing markets. The launches (full list available below) bring AT&T's LTE market total to 326 markets. story continues..
We've now seen two
that have shown that AT&T's LTE network is the fastest, even though Verizon's tends to have broader coverage and be more reliable. That's effectively what PC Magazine's new analysis of the fastest wireless networks found
, the company working with Sensorly to collect data in thirty cities. "In our first truly fair fight between LTE networks, AT&T came through with faster upload and download speeds overall than Verizon Wireless, although Verizon offered better reliability and greater rural coverage than its competitor." Another trend we're seeing in these studies: T-Mobile's LTE (where available) is faster than Verizon, while Sprint's average LTE speeds fail to impress. It will be interesting to see if these numbers change as both AT&T and T-Mobile see greater user loads on their LTE networks.
AT&T this week announced
that the company has extended LTE service into another twenty-two markets, while expanding LTE coverage further in ten existing markets. The new markets: Batesville, Ark.; Blytheville, Ark; Forrest City, Ark; Colorado Springs, Col.; Clewiston, Fla; Blackfoot, Idaho; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Pocatello, Idoha; Rexburg, Idoha; Columbus, Ind; Fort Wayne, Ind; Seymour, Ind; Muskegon, Mich.; Vineland, N.J.; Farmington, N.M.; Wooster, Ohio; Miami, Okla; Williamsport, Pa.; Texarkana, Texa; Heber, Utah; Olympia, Wash; and Spokane, Wash. This week's upgrades bring AT&T's total LTE market count to 261.
A new report
from research firm OpenSignal found that T-Mobile LTE is currently live in nine United States cities ahead of the company's official network launch expected tomorrow. Only Kansas City and Las Vegas were specifically mentioned as launch markets, though the firm notes they've also seen significant LTE presence in Seattle, Denver, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, and the Bay Area.
A new IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications Special Report
predicts that the global LTE subscriber total should surpass 100 million users sometime this year. According to the firm, that number is then expected to skyrocket to 198.1 million in 2013, which would be a 115 percent jump from the 92.3 million subscribers seen last year. The lion's share of that growth is courtesy of Verizon here in the States, with AT&T steadily gaining ground. Both Sprint and T-Mobile should significantly add to that total this year with LTE builds of their own.
We've noted several times how Verizon's sale of their DSL and landline assets to Fairpoint and Frontier was strategically brilliant (unless you're one of the impacted customers). Not only did Verizon sell both companies millions of neglected customers and lines they didn't want to maintain or upgrade, the deals offloaded huge amounts of Verizon debt onto these companies (driving Fairpoint into bankruptcy
) while netting Verizon a huge tax write off.
The FCC has released more detail on the conditions imposed on Dish's planned LTE network in exchange for receiving a waiver on conditions requiring that spectrum be used for satellite phone services. After recently unanimously approving the Dish waiver
, the FCC yesterday released two documents
(pdf) getting more specific about the conditions.
Continuing the company's industry-leading LTE deployment, Verizon Wireless today announced that the carrier has added another nineteen LTE markets to their network footprint. According to Verizon, December 20 will see LTE service light up across nineteen new markets in Washington, Arizona, Indiana, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Colorado, and New Mexico. You can find a bevy of launch announcements
citing specific locations over at the Verizon Wireless website. Verizon recently stated that all current EVDO areas should have LTE by the middle of next year, six months ahead of schedule
AT&T's LTE deployment keeps chugging along, the carrier announcing new LTE launches in four new (admittedly small) markets
: Auburn-Opelika, Ala.; Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Grand Rapids, Mich. and Nashua, New Hampshire. AT&T's handy dandy LTE deployment pdf
now states that the company has deployed LTE in 109 markets, covering more than 150 million potential customers. The company's entire current HSPA footprint should be covered with LTE by the end of 2014, reaching 300 million potential customers.
Fiber to the home providers in Japan are having to lower their rates to compete with fast, cheap and reliable LTE services in the country. "Fixed-broadband giants NTT East and NTT West have been forced to slash their FTTH prices for new subscribers by an eye-watering 34 percent from ¥5,460 (US $66.70) to ¥3,600 ($34) per month to try and re-ignite their subscriber growth and stop the outflow of subscribers to cheaper LTE mobile broadband services," Tony Brown, senior analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, on the company's blog
(via Fierce Wireless
). That may bode well for incumbent American telcos AT&T and Verizon, who have decided to hang up on wired broadband entirely
across more than half of their footprint in order to focus primarily on LTE. Granted, Japanese LTE and FTTH carriers see significantly more competition....
AT&T's LTE deployment continues to gain steam, with the company announcing availability of the faster wireless network in another eight markets. According to a slew of press releases
, AT&T's now offering LTE in Annapolis, Maryland; York, Pennsylvania, Daytona Beach, Florida; Tacoma, Washington; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Louisville, Kentucky; and Provo, Utah. AT&T's LTE network is now available in almost 90 markets, with the company promising 100 LTE markets by the end of this year, and to have their entire HSPA+ footprint upgraded to LTE by the end of next year. You can find AT&T's list of launched cities and their coverage map here
: Locals in Daytona Beach say they're seeing speeds above 40 Mbps downstream on the freshly-launched and largely-unoccupied network:
Sprint is poised to turn on service in nine new markets, while many people wait for the company to seriously deploy LTE in some larger cities. According to a Sprint press release
, Sprint has started working on LTE upgrades in markets like Minneapolis and Oakland, with a full service launch expected sometime before January. Sprint is turning markets on almost as soon as they're even remotely deployed, resulting in many users with LTE devices seeing network connectivity before commercial launch.
While the pre-launch availability is nice, Sprint has recently resorted to announcing a lot of upcoming LTE markets, as opposed to actually available LTE markets. The carrier realizes that they're getting a lot of new iPhone users who may find themselves disappointed with LTE coverage compared to Verizon (417 markets) and AT&T (80 markets).
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors