Uncommon Wisdom

May 28 2010   2:47PM GMT

Deutsche Telekom to launch LTE trial, add Wi-Fi hotspots

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Deutsche Telekom (DT) is planning its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) trial this year, even as it also expands its Wi-Fi hotspot profile to offload smartphone and dongle traffic from its cellular network.

For years now, EU operators have told us that they’ll need to make better use of Wi-Fi to unload traffic in areas where there are large congregations of users, including all hospitality areas and even some public transportation. One interesting development we’ve noticed in Europe is that the interest in Wi-Fi seems to be sapping some of the interest in 4G/LTE femtocells. The reason we’ve been given for that is that the problem of traffic already exists, and will continue to tax 3G services even when 4G rolls out.

Given that, and given that nobody believes 3G femtocells are a good idea, it makes sense to look at a more persistent Wi-Fi hotspot approach. That could have an impact on femtocell players, of course, but it might also promote public Wi-Fi considerably by ensuring that compatible devices continue to be deployed.

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