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Today's Headlines
Dec. 22, 2011

FCC-Mandated Data Roaming in an LTE Environment to Be Discussed at 4GWE in Miami
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Much to the dismay of the nation's two largest carriers, AT&T and Verizon, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated data roaming between carriers back in April of this year. The FCC chairman stated that data roaming will "unleash investment, especially in rural areas; it will benefit consumers and international competitiveness" — and most tier 2 and tier 3 mobile carriers feel mandated roaming is critical to competition and maintaining affordable wireless broadband pricing. But the order opens the door for many unanswered questions. Paul Barbagallo, reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs, will moderate a panel discussion at 4G Wireless Evolution (4GWE) Conference and Expo on Feb. 1, 2012, and identify and discuss the critical issues that must be addressed in order for this FCC mandate to be effective. Topics include: how roaming should be structured in an LTE environment, how operators should handle data roaming "hogs," how payment should be handled and more. Take the opportunity to really understand what this mandate means to all mobile carriers and how it may impact your business strategies and bottom line. View the entire agenda here. Register with discount code "WCAI" to save an extra 20 percent off early bird rates! Early bird registration ends Dec. 30.

Three Prepares for 4G Trials in 2012 in the U.K.
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Mobile operator Three is preparing to test out 4G technology in the U.K. The operator said on Wednesday that a one-month technical trial will take place from March in the Thames Valley, the same area where O2 performed its early 4G tests. Three will be testing out 2.6 GHz spectrum, which is very high-bandwidth, at around four sites close to Maidenhead and Slough. Further tests, involving real-world customers, will follow later in the year, Three said. O2 is currently trialing LTE technology in London, while Everything Everywhere (T-Mobile and Orange) is doing the same in Cornwall. Vodafone has already conducted three LTE trials in the U.K., having started in 2009. None of the operators can launch their U.K. 4G services until they have bought new spectrum at a much-delayed auction, which is now supposed to take place at the end of 2012. More

Ericsson Readies Swisscom for LTE in Switzerland
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Swisscom, Switzerland's largest mobile and fixed operator, has chosen Ericsson to upgrade all 6,000 of its mobile base stations, connecting them to fiber and making them LTE-ready. Swisscom hopes the work, which includes new packet core capabilities too, will be completed by mid-2014. More

Leap's Cricket Service Begins Network Transition to 4G LTE in the U.S.
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Leap Wireless International, the parent company of Cricket Communications announced the beginning of its transition to 4G LTE with a commercial market launch in its Tucson, Ariz., Cricket market. The launch marks the beginning of the company's planned, multiyear transition of its existing 3G network to 4G LTE. More

Yota Launches LTE Network in Siberia
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Russian operator Yota has confirmed the launch of its LTE network in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, with customer modems becoming available on Jan. 15, 2012. The network, built with radio access network (RAN) infrastructure from Huawei, currently comprises 63 base stations but will grow to 150 by March. Yota is using spectrum in the 2.5 GHz-2.7 GHz band to provide FDD LTE connections that will be used by multiple Russian service providers. Technical integration has already been achieved with MegaFon in Novosibirsk. More

LightSquared Asks FCC to Affirm Its Spectrum Rights
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LightSquared has asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to affirm its right to use its radio spectrum, possibly setting the stage for a legal battle over interference between its planned mobile data network and GPS receivers. The would-be hybrid mobile operator, which wants to build a national LTE network using frequencies next to those devoted to GPS, filed a petition for declaratory ruling to the FCC on Tuesday. LightSquared wants the FCC to affirm that it can use the spectrum and that makers of commercial GPS devices don't have a right to protection from interference. The company said it is not at fault for the interference because tests have shown the problem is caused by GPS receivers looking into its licensed spectrum. GPS receivers are not licensed and don't operate under any service rules, so they aren't entitled to interference protection, LightSquared said in the petition. More

4GWE Conference & Expo
Feb. 1-3
Miami Beach Convention Center
Register with Priority Code "WCAI" to save 20 percent!

The 4GWE Conference & Expo will focus on how the transition to an all-IP network will affect carriers and other industry stakeholders. 4GWE's conference sessions will weigh in on the implications that this new network infrastructure will have on carriers and their ability to develop strategies and business plans to succeed in this new age of the "anywhere, anytime" mobile broadband network.

Topics include carrier strategies for pricing and costing models, continuity between Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks, over-the-top offerings and carriers ability to compete, app store business model, spectrum issues and more. 4GWE has become the industry's premier gathering place for mobile network operators, fixed carriers, handset manufacturers, mobile Internet device manufacturers, application providers and venture capitalists.

 The Wireless Communications Association International is the global trade association of the wireless broadband industry. We are a technology-neutral, non-profit organization committed to advancing economic opportunity for the wireless broadband industry worldwide by:
 - Promoting favorable governmental regulatory environments;
 - Collecting and disseminating relevant economic and regulatory information; and
 - Establishing and enhancing industry best practices.

For questions or submission of news items, please contact WCAI Vice President, Communications & Strategy and 4G Global Update Editor Susan Polyakova.

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