In the US, we’re a bit spoiled when it comes to LTE. We have a huge LTE network, thanks to Verizon, and all other carriers are hot on their heels. AT&T has achieved very respectable LTE coverage in a very short amount of time, and T-Mobile is also building out their LTE capability. The acquisition of Metro PCS will also help T-Mobile in the LTE realm.
Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has a few words of caution, though. At the FT-Telefonica Millennials Summit in London, he warned US carriers not to get lazy. “The US has regained global leadership in key broadband metrics,” said Genachowski. He went on to add “We need to remember that the US was ahead in 3G before it was behind in 3G, so in this new world it’s dangerous to think that because of any country having a lead it’s then set in stone – it’s not.”
He’s got a point. The US may have the largest LTE coverage, but mobilizing such a network elsewhere only requires a lot of dedication. Much like we saw with 3G coverage, if Europe were to get serious and widely adopt the technology, it would be a multi-pronged effort. With so many carriers, and so much area to cover, European carriers simply need to get on the same page with one another to get a large LTE network.
To further drive home his point, Genachowski noted “We are right in the middle of a global bandwidth race – every country is trying to find its strategic bandwidth advantage. The US is in strong shape but in order to continue its current trajectory, it needs to recognise there is a lot of work to do and that competitive global dynamics will only speed up.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Related: What is LTE Advanced?