Two stories in WirelessWeek on the subject of LTE that have been covered in a few places caught my eye and demanded amplification. The first is about Verizon's Rural Program and a rural mobile operator in Tennessee, Blugrass Cellular joining the Verizon LTE enablement program. This is very smart business for both parties as it quickly puts Bluegrass on par with AT&T and Verizon in their backyard and helps them keep customers they have matured. As a regional and rural operator their customers no longer would be subjected to being second class digital citizens. It also paves the way longer term for possible acquisition by VZW if that would be permitted by the FCC and DOJ. More importantly, it allows their customers to roam on to the larger Verizon network when out of footprint.
The second on is also interesting both to me personally, and professionally, since I spend so much time each year working in and from Europe and the UK. The story deals with the EU opening up the 2GHZ band for LTE.
Basically, Europe is playing catch up to the USA on LTE, which in mobile is usually not the case, as the Asian and European countries normally come out with new technology first, but the race between AT&T and Verizon, as well as some pressure from the like of Metro PCS created a guinea pig environment in the Americas while Europe stood by and watch. Now, like they have done so often, you'll start to see them move as a nation states, not individual operators rolling out faster mobile networks.
What I find more interesting though is how in Portugal, PT and other operators like Optimus have already rolled out 150 megahertz download services wirelessly in select areas as a way to eliminate wired broadbad. It doesn't work everywhere yet, but it does show what home grown technology can do. The services are not LTE but some other brew, that seems to work though I have not tested it yet.