C Spire Wireless looks to be inching closer to its LTE network launch as it today announced it would be working with Alcatel-Lucent on the initial phase of the network build.
Alcatel-Lucent is expected to provide base stations with remote radio head technology, IP mobile backhaul for LTE and existing 3G traffic, wireless packet core and an IP multi-media subsystem (IMS) network core. C Spire noted this will allow the carrier to offer IP-based services, including voice-over-LTE. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
C Spire has said it expects commercial services to be available beginning in September. The network is expected to use A-Block 700 MHz spectrum assets C Spire, then known as Cellular South, picked up in the 2008 auction.
The carrier earlier this year announced plans for its LTE launch, noting it would spend approximately $60 million in providing coverage to 20 Mississippi markets covering 2,700 square miles and approximately 1.2 million potential customers with 360 LTE-enabled cell sites. C Spire was originally expected to launch LTE services by the end of 2011, but missed that deadline for unspecified reasons.
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