Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has announced that it has reached an agreement with six Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology providers to launch pilot schemes in six different countries with a view to rolling out commercial 4G services in the regions where it operates. The countries Telefonica has selected for testing are Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe, alongside Brazil and Argentina in Latin America. Those vendors chosen for the trials are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) and ZTE, and all are expected to start deploying the necessary equipment for the tests within the next few months.
The trials themselves will take place over a six-month period, and will include field tests of LTE technology, as well as the installation of eNodeB base stations. Telefonica claims the pilot project will allow it to prepare its worldwide rollout strategy for the technology, helping to predict the timeframes required for deployment and marketing.
Commenting on the development, Julio Linares, Telefonica’s COO, said: ‘We are working with the conviction that we can only offer our clients the maximum levels of quality and innovation. To do this, we are defining our strategy and the rollout of LTE with the objective of driving mobile broadband and offering the best service from the moment that the equipment and terminals can support the new standards and are available for sale.’