Atlanta-based iDEN operator SouthernLINC Wireless, has announced plans to roll out a 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to fulfil the growing data needs of its owner and largest customer, power/electric utility firm Southern Company. Swedish telecoms vendor Ericsson has been enlisted to provide the radio access network and evolved packet cores, while Cisco will be responsible for multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) equipment. Deployment, and planning and design for the network is now underway. Construction will start in 2015 and the network should be fully operational by 2018. However, SouthernLINC says that it will continue to operate its iDEN network for both Southern Company affiliate customers and its regional customer base.
SouthernLINC currently claims network coverage of the major metro and rural areas of Alabama, Georgia, southeast Mississippi and northwest Florida. Parent Southern Company owns four electric utilities in the Southeast: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power, all of which are also SouthernLINC Wireless customers.