Nokia completes LTE modem as 4G network rollouts approach

Finnish wireless giant Nokia announced that it has completed trials with the "first ever Long Term Evolution (LTE) capable Internet Modem."

The product upon which the trials were conducted was the Nokia Internet Modem RD-3, a development tool by no means intended for consumer use. The company says it will be used with network vendors as well as measurement equipment manufacturers and operators. The RD-3 is interoperable with GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA and supports multiple LTE frequency bands with a theoretical peak of 100 Mbps downstream.

"Nokia is a founding member in the LTE/SAE Trial Initiative (LSTI) and carries out interoperability testing with a number of network vendors, collaborates with measurement equipment manufacturers and is ready to support operators with their LTE deployment activities. The Nokia Internet Modem RD-3 is used in all these activities," said Jani Mäenpää, Project Manager of Nokia's LTE/SAE Interoperability and Trials.

Unfortunately, Mäenpää did not disclose which development network the hardware has been tested upon, and Scandanavia currently sees much more LTE action than much of the world. Sweden's TeliaSonera unveiled its first LTE cell site in May, and at the Broadband World Forum today, Norwegian wireless company Telenor said it has secured 2.6 GHz LTE licenses in both Norway and Sweden and it intends to launch networks next year in both countries.

All of this is a big loss for WiMAX, which grew 74% in the second quarter of this year, according to ABI Research. Nokia is a former advocate of the WiMAX 4G standard, but it switched its plans to focus on LTE development for high speed 4G wireless.

"There will be no WiMAX spectrum that is not accessible to LTE," said Telenor's head of network technology strategies, Knut Erik Walter. "LTE is for sure going to lead. HSPA is sufficient until we get to LTE. This is our best way forward."

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