LightSquared Signs Sharp to Develop LTE Smartphones
LightSquared today announced that it will collaborate with hardware maker Sharp to bring Long Term Evolution 4G-enabled smartphones, tablets, and other devices to market. The devices can be marketed and/or sold by LightSquared's growing list of wholesale customers, which plan to use LightSquared's forthcoming LTE network to offer their own goods and services. LightSquared has signed more than a dozen such partners, though it is currently still resolving interference issues related to the U.S.'s GPS systems and equipment. The Federal Communications Commission has yet to grant LightSquared definitive permission to operate its LTE network, which will be deployed in L-band spectrum.
T-Mobile Rolling Out LTE-U
T-Mobile today said it is beginning to upgrade its 4G network with LTE-U this spring. LTE-U allows LTE to operate on the unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band, which is typically reserved for WiFi.
Verizon Starts Cannibalizing 3G Airwaves for LTE 4G
Verizon Wireless has begun testing the use of LTE 4G on its PCS spectrum, airwaves it primarily uses to operate its CDMA-EVDO 3G network, in Manhattan. GigaOm confirmed with Verizon that the company has begun to steal capacity from its 3G network in favor of 4G, though it is doing so slowly and in limited scope.
Verizon Explains Why It Is Refarming PCS Spectrum
Verizon Wireless elaborated today on news it has begun to refarm its PCS spectrum for LTE. Verizon has already deployed LTE on its PCS spectrum in a limited scale across Manhattan and Cleveland, Ohio, with "about 10 other markets" currently in testing.
Sharp Leaning Toward Foxconn's $5.5B Bid
Sharp is favoring an acquisition offer from Foxconn over a potential rescue from Japanese investors. Sharp has lost market share in the consumer electronics business over the last few years while prices for its display panels have sunk.