US round-up: ShenTel completes LTE upgrade; Sprint, T-Mobile abandon H block auction; AT&T increases 4G footprint

14 Nov 2013

Shenandoah Telecommunications (ShenTel) has completed its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network upgrade in conjunction with affiliate Sprint’s ‘Network Vision’ programme. The upgrades, which were overseen by Alcatel-Lucent, marked the culmination of a two-year USD100 million overhaul, which also saw ShenTel’s existing CDMA-based 3G services in Virginia, West Virgina, Maryland and Pennsylvania improved.

In the space of 48 hours, executives from Sprint and T-Mobile US have declared that their companies will not participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) 22 January 2014 auction of the 1900MHz H block, leaving DISH Network the most likely winner of the spectrum. According to Fierce Wireless DISH Network has agreed to bid the reserve price of USD1.56 billion in the auction, as part of a complex deal with the FCC in which it may be given leeway to convert part of its 2GHz AWS-4 spectrum from uplink to downlink.

AT&T Mobility has announced that it has switched on its LTE network in nine new areas, taking its total number of markets covered to 471. New locations added to the mobile giant’s footprint are: Dothan (Alabama); Vail (Colorado); Kalispell (Montana); Utica-Rome (New York); Prineville (Oregon); Clarksville-Hopkinsville (Tennessee-Kentucky); and Eagle Pass, Kerrville and Mount Pleasant (all Texas).