Since my last post on LTE devices, FCC has approved more LTE devices. After Verizon’s network launch on Dec. 5th, terminal manufacturers are coming up with new devices. Following list includes two (likely) USB sticks from Novatel, a WiFi router from Samsung as well as the Pantech USB stick that wasn’t included in the list I sent at the last post.
I’d think Novatel is using Qualcomm MD9600 module similar to what Pantech did in their USB device. Novatel already announced that it uses MDM9200 (dual carrier HSPA+ and LTE) and MDM9600 (dual carrier HSPA+, EV-DO and LTE) chipsets for its own embedded modules.
Considering Novatel’s aggressive marketing of MiFi, I’d have expected Novatel to be the first company with an integrated WiFi router. However, it looks like Samsung has beat it to punch. Samsung HLC11 is a WiFi router with EV-DO and LTE wide-area radio.
On the infrastructure side, Ericsson added two new e-nodeBs to its portfolio.
A new e-nodeB for the lower 700 MHz band and another for the PCS band have been added to what it already had in upper 700 MHz band and AWS band. This is the first enodeB at the PCS band. Certainly the ultimate form factor and the set of included frequencies in a given package will depend on the operator deployment scenarios.
LTE equipment base is growing at a slow pace. So far, there is one phone, 5 USB devices and one WiFi router approved for LTE. Considering there are only two operators with LTE networks in the US so far, this is a reasonable start. I am sure at the CES we will see a plethora of new devices. However, I think 2011 will belong to HSPA+ with dual-carrier devices (42 Mbps, category 24) considering it has had a three-year runway to come to this point. Next post, I will discuss how HSPA+ is being re-positioned into a true 4G technology with the new capability of aggregating spectrum from different bands.