WiMax or LTE? T-Mobile Puzzled And So Are Customers
WiMax or LTE? T-Mobile seems confused in choosing technology for its eventual 4G network support. Reportedly, T-Mobile has been in talks both with Clearwire about WiMax and with Harbinger Capital about its planned LTE network.
According to Financial Times, “the carrier has reportedly been in talks with two companies about their competing technologies. Clearwire, which supplies Sprint’s currently 27-city-strong WiMax network, could likewise extend “wholesale” WiMax capabilities that T-Mobile would repackage for its customers. And hedge fund Harbinger Capital plans to build a high-speed LTE (Long Term Evolution) network—the style of 4G chosen by AT&T and Verizon Wireless.”
Though Harbinger’s plan calls for a hybrid 4G network that combines LTE technology with the satellite network assets it acquired during its March merger with SkyTerra.
The plan emerge to take benefit of a 2003 U.S. FCC ACT (Ancillary Terrestrial Component) Order, which was formed to sustain public safety and law enforcement officials and allows for synchronized satellite and cellular services over licensed satellite spectrum that’s moreover capable of supporting 4G services. Some analysts have also added that they believe SkyTerra and other satellite communications companies have taken advantage of the ATC as a way of crouching on prime 4G territory.
“We believe that the green-field satellite companies’ plan is to forge short-term roaming partnerships with AT&T and other cellular operators and then, when LTE services are deployed, position themselves to be acquired by these major players, including their prized spectrum,” ABI analyst Kevin Burden explained in a July 2009 report. “It’s unorthodox but clever.”
In a March 26 statement announcing the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of its merger with Harbinger, SkyTerra said it will launch the first of two satellites offering coverage in the United States and Canada later in 2010. The satellites, it said, are “expected to be among the largest and most powerful commercial satellites ever built.”
However T-Mobile was the first U.S. network to support a smartphone running Google’s highly popular Android operating system, and on May 4 introduced its latest model running Android, the MyTouch Slide.