C Spire Wireless has announced that it is working with Alcatel-Lucent to build and deploy the initial phase of its 4G LTE high-speed mobile broadband network. The move marks a change in partner, as C Spire originally announced in November 2010 that it would be working with Samsung on its LTE roll out.
The company, formerly known as Cellular South, is the eighth largest wireless provider in the United States and operates in Mississippi, the Memphis metropolitan area, the Florida Panhandle, parts of Alabama, including Mobile, and Rome, Georgia.
The company is investing $60m for the initial phase of 4G LTE mobile broadband services in 20 Mississippi markets beginning in September covering 2,700 square miles, a population of 1.2 million and more than 360 cell sites. The new service will provide four out of every ten consumers and businesses in Mississippi with wireless data speeds up to 10 times faster than today, allowing C Spire to be the first provider to make these services widely available in the state.
‘As an industry leader in smartphone penetration, we’re excited to soon provide our customers with the speed and benefits of 4G LTE on the nation’s only personalized network,’ said Kevin Hankins, chief operating officer for C Spire Wireless.
‘We believe that Alcatel-Lucent’s solutions and considerable global deployment experience, backed by Bell Labs’ technology and innovations, will help us deliver on our commitment to provide a personalized mobile broadband experience that gives consumers and businesses unmatched connectivity, reliability, mobility and the ability to communicate in new and innovative ways,’ said Hankins.
C Spire is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s end-to-end 4G LTE solution, including base stations, IP mobile backhaul for 4G LTE and existing 3G CDMA traffic, Wireless Packet Core (WPC) and a complete IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network core, which will allow C Spire to develop and offer an increasingly rich portfolio of advanced IP-based services, such as Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), according to Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire Wireless.
‘In addition to the IMS core, we’ll be using state-of-the-art design and solutions, such as fiber and Ethernet backhaul, at every site and the latest Remote Radio Head (RRH) and four-branch diversity receiver technology for the base stations,’ said Hollingsworth. ‘These innovative approaches will help us maximize speed and coverage and provide our customers with a network experience that they expect from our company.’
As part of the relationship and collaboration with C Spire, Alcatel-Lucent also is providing a complete portfolio of professional and network integration services.
‘Today, many providers are realizing that providing connectivity to the network is really just the beginning in terms of the types of innovative services they can offer to subscribers through technologies like LTE,’ said Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region.
Since announcing the initial phase of its 4G LTE plans in early March, C Spire has made significant progress in deploying key elements of its next generation high-speed mobile broadband network, including installation and testing of all major core network elements, completion of the second phase of base station equipment installation and integration of Ethernet backhaul at more than 70% of the 360 plus cell sites slated for 4G LTE service, according to Hollingsworth.