US mobile operator Sprint has awarded contracts to Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Solutions and Networks and Samsung this week for the expansion of its Time Division Duplex-LTE (TDD-LTE) network across the country.
Sprint, the third-largest US operator, introduced a network upgrade plan in October, which aims to deliver faster speeds in about 100 cities over the next three years.
The operator signed the contracts for an undisclosed amount on Wednesday after it acquired the blocks of spectrum in 2.5 GHz frequency band.
Alcatel-Lucent will install its lightRadio RAN technology, as well as managing the operator’s antennas and cabling system. The vendor will also provide other services such as RF design, system integration and optimisation, site acquisition and construction.
Rival NSN will implement its TDD-LTE Radio solution with the latest LTE-Advanced-ready software capabilities and NetAct network management system. It will also deploy its radio system, including the Flexi Multiradio 10 base station.
Meanwhile, Samsung Mobile will provide network infrastructure, as well as implementation services, to deliver the TDD-LTE network.
"NSN is an ideal vendor for our deployment, which will provide our customers with increased speeds and capacity in densely populated cities. We are excited to showcase what the future might hold through a live demonstration of TDD LTE Advanced with NSN's commercial base station," said Bob Azzi, senior vice president of Network Operations for Sprint.
Azzi said that Samsung was crucial for Sprint’s 4G expansion plans as not only did the vendor provide phones which work on tri-band, it also had a hand in deploying the network, as did Alcatel-Lucent.
"Samsung is a key partner in deploying our advanced network – not only are they supporting us in building this advanced network, they offer premium smartphones that run on the tri-band spectrum,” he said.
“Having worked hand-in-hand with Alcatel-Lucent throughout the Network Vision and initial 4G LTE rollout, we have confidence in its technology and its people to help introduce this new era of high-speed broadband access.”
Sprint’s choice of TDD-LTE for the network expansion will be the first use of the technology in a national deployment in North America. The operator says that the overall reach of its TDD-LTE network will hit about 200 million by the end of this year and rise to 250 million by the middle of next year.