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Huawei`s LTE influence quietly grows


The two biggest U.S. LTE contracts may have eluded Chinese vendor Huawei, but it has managed to pick up several smaller 4G contracts. Today, Huawei announced that it would deploy its SingleRAN architecture with United Wireless in rural Kansas and with SpeedConnect in the ‘Thumb’ of Michigan.

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United Wireless is overhauling its CDMA networks completely, replacing its existing infrastructure with Huawei multi-mode gear that will take over its CDMA 1X and 3G EV-DO load as well as serve as the architecture for an LTE deployment. United owns 700 MHz licenses in Kansas, which it uses for fixed wireless services today.

SpeedConnect is a wireless ISP serving three counties in Eastern Michigan. Huawei will supply a WiMAX network initially, but the SingleRAN architecture will be upgradable to LTE if SpeedConnect chooses to go that route. SpeedConnect has spectrum in the same 2.5 GHz band Clearwire uses for WiMAX today.

Huawei has struggled as an infrastructure vendor in the U.S., watching big new network contracts go to Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and even Samsung. But Huawei may still be well positioned to make an impact on the North American LTE scene due to its incumbency status with other operators. On Tuesday, Bell Canada launched its first LTE networks in Toronto and four other Canadian markets, building off the Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks and Cisco Systems infrastructure it deployed for its high-speed packet access (HSPA) network.

Huawei also has part of Clearwire’s WiMAX contract, which means Clearwire will likely tap the vendor for its future LTE build—at least in its existing markets. Clearwire plans to overlay LTE in its current WiMAX footprint hanging the network off its current WiMAX infrastructure (CP: As the 4G road forks, Clearwire takes both paths). Huawei also is an HSPA incumbent with Telus, which has similar LTE plans to Bell.


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