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AT & T picks Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson for network

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 6:35am

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. has selected Alcatel-Lucent and LM Ericsson AB to supply the equipment for a new wireless network that will provide data speeds that are at least ten times faster than today's wireless broadband.

AT&T plans to start service on the network in some cities next year, using a technology called LTE, or Long Term Evolution.

Dallas-based AT&T is about a year behind Verizon Wireless in building out an LTE network and has been boosting speeds on its existing network in the meantime. Verizon is focusing on getting LTE out early because its current network has limited upgrade potential.

Alcatel-Lucent of France and LM Ericsson of Sweden, two of the biggest suppliers of wireless network equipment, will supply cell-tower equipment for the LTE network. Ericsson, in particular, has been on the forefront of LTE development. A year ago, Verizon Wireless picked the same two vendors for its LTE deployment.

Other companies making LTE equipment include Motorola Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill., and Nokia Siemens Networks, a German-Finnish joint venture. Huawei Technologies Co. of China has been a surprisingly strong competitor as well.

New gadgets will be needed to take advantage of LTE speeds. The first ones on the market are likely to be PC modems, with phones following later.

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