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Just when the average consumer was learning to take advantage of the 3G network (while perhaps noticing the limits of the 2.5G Edge network on the iPhone), it’s time to prep for 4G. Verizon and Vodafone are already testing 4G equipment that relies on the Long-Term […]

Just when the average consumer was learning to take advantage of the 3G network (while perhaps noticing the limits of the 2.5G Edge network on the iPhone), it’s time to prep for 4G. Verizon and Vodafone are already testing 4G equipment that relies on the Long-Term Evolution standard.

Arun Bhikshesvaran, VP of business strategy and CTO for Ericsson North America, said the equipment maker has launched a trial of its LTE baseband equipment with an unnamed carrier. He expects it will be completed toward the end of the year.

He expects 2008 and 2009 to be the trial and test years for the standard and anticipates 2012 will see widespread deployment. Bhikshesvaran further expects the U.S. and Japanese markets to lead the way, with Europe to follow. Although China Mobile announced an LTE test at Mobile World Congress last week, Bhikshesvaran is uncertain if the Chinese market will skip 3G deployment entirely. India chose not to.


The staggered generations of network will only help Ericsson, which faces a smaller end-user market in the U.S. thanks to carrier consolidation and new competitors from the Chinese. The company’s finances have suffered while waiting for the injection of capital spending that a network upgrade cycle brings, although Bhikshesvaran downplayed the affects of stagnant U.S. growth on the company. “We’ve sold more GSM base stations in the last year than we did in the first three,” he noted.

When it comes to competition, Bhikshesvaran said Ericsson has an advantage from having already spent a lot of time and effort working with the standards boards, but acknowledges that formidable competitors could arise in China.

“We can’t underestimate the skill of the Chinese vendors, and to use the American car industry as an example, we could see something like a Toyota or a Honda arise,” Bhikshesvaran said. “The challenge is how do we want to play in that market? We aren’t sure if we want to be a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, but not something like Chrysler.”

Bhikshesvaran didn’t give details about how Ericsson would avoid the fate besetting American auto companies, but he said the company would be prudent in the Chinese market. As for the rest of the competition, Bhikshesvaran expects Ericsson’s global customer base to offset a slowdown of 3G equipment sales in many markets and the lag between testing and the sale of 4G equipment.

In addition to the network transitions, Bhikshesvaran is pushing for more data traffic on the cellular network — from navigation devices to multimedia downloads — to drive revenue in saturated markets such as the U.S. However, driving more traffic to data networks might require the carriers to give a little on price, as well as to offer compelling services and content on a mobile handset. I’m not sure that by 2012 they’ll have it right.

  1. [...] Ericsson Expects Mass LTE Deployment in 2012 – GigaOM [...]

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  2. Ericsson’s weight behind LTE is definitely going to drive the technology. However one of the most interesting announcements coming out of Ericsson recently has been their acknowledgment of the importance of ‘common’ multimode base station platforms, which can support multiple standards from GSM, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA to LTE.

    The interesting part is when you get to LTE, you cannot ignore WiMAX as it is based on OFDM and can operate on a similar platform. Picochip, a UK base station component provider is doing just the same. They are providing reference design platform that can support both LTE and WiMAX. This empowers smaller vendors to put together a LTE base station platform much quicker than was earlier possible.

    For complete analysis check my blog post at http://kaulout.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/ericsson-and-picochip-two-sides-of-the-same-coin/

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  3. [...] from GigaOm: Arun Bhikshesvaran, VP of business strategy and CTO for Ericsson North America, said the equipment [...]

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  4. [...] won’t be deployed until 2010 or [...]

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  5. [...] won’t be deployed until 2010 or [...]

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  6. [...] LTE will take time to roll out, with deployments reaching mass adoption by 2012 . WiMax is out now, and more networks should be available later this year. As for speeds, LTE will [...]

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  7. [...] LTE will take time to roll out, with deployments reaching mass adoption by 2012 . WiMax is out now, and more networks should be available later this year. As for speeds, LTE will [...]

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  8. [...] is expected to start deploying LTE in 2010 as well. Vendors such as Ericsson expect LTE to be widely deployed in 2012. As a footnote, KDDI also has a WiMAX network deployed in parts of Japan that is has said it plans [...]

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  9. [...] Om Malik | Friday, April 24, 2009 | 12:15 PM PT | 0 comments Sweden is fast becoming the epicenter of the LTE universe, with three of the country’s four major wireless carriers — Tele2, Telenor and TeliaSonera — racing to build 4G wireless networks. These carriers bought spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band in 2008 and are looking to roll out LTE networks by 2010, according to Wireless Intelligence, a market research service. According to some estimates, mass deployment for LTE will happen around 2012. [...]

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  10. [...] Sweden is fast becoming the epicenter of the LTE universe, with three of the country’s four major wireless carriers — Tele2, Telenor and TeliaSonera — racing to build 4G wireless networks. These carriers bought spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band in 2008 and are looking to roll out LTE networks by 2010, according to Wireless Intelligence, a market research service. According to some estimates, mass deployment for LTE will happen around 2012. [...]

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