C-Spire misses target date for LTE service

C-Spire misses target date for LTE service
Back when it was Cellular South, regional carrier C-Spire had aspired to starting a 4G LTE network and said that it would have one up and running before the ball dropped in Times Square this past month. The carrier had signed a deal with Samsung to help construct the network. Unfortunately for the carrier and its customers, the year ended without a live LTE network for C-Spire. In a statement that reveals nothing, C-Spire said, "We did not launch 4G LTE at the end of 2011. We have no further comment beyond that." No new deadline has been released by C-Spire, which serves Mississippi and other areas in the Southeast.

A theory for the delay comes from Fierce Wireless which suggests that the carrier was waiting for the FCC to rule that AT&T's LTE handsets support the LTE bands of smaller carriers which are adjacent to AT&T's 700MHz spectrum. This would have made it cheaper for C-Spire to pick up LTE enabled phones, essentially riding on AT&T's coattails. There had been speculation that the FCC would make that part of its ruling when it signed off on AT&T's purchase of 700MHz spectrum from Qualcomm last month, but it was never done.

C-Spire had also signed a deal with LightSquared to pick up some of the latter's wholesale LTE pipeline. But when things are not going your way, you can't seem to catch a break. Thanks to the GPS interference that is a problem with LightSquared's LTE service, the latter cannot get regulatory approval to offer it. And without that, there is no LTE pipeline that LightSquared can lease to C-Spire. Until something changes, 3G is where it's at for C-Spire and its customers.

source: FierceWireless


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