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MetroPCS Chooses LTE For 4G Wireless Network

The wireless carrier joins the likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T by backing Long Term Evolution for its next-generation mobile broadband network.
MetroPCS is the latest wireless carrier to choose Long Term Evolution technology for its next-generation wireless broadband technology.

During its second quarter conference call, the company said it would be joining the likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T by backing LTE. MetroPCS also said it sees the next-generation of mobile Internet access as a tremendous opportunity to grow its subscriber base.

"Quite frankly, 4G represents a great opportunity for us because we see that as a capacity expansion, higher data rates imply capacity expansion, not just combining speed and download capability," said Roger Liindquist, CEO of MetroPCS, during the company's conference call. "So I think overall, we see it as kind of wait and see. And if market trends shift and change, then that's something that will be easily accessible to us."

Lindquist also said he expects LTE to be popular worldwide, and that he expected to see some "interesting developments" in the next six to 12 months.

Similar to the GSM and CDMA wireless technology schism, many experts are expecting a showdown between WiMax and LTE as the format of choice for next-generation mobile broadband technology. Many wireless carriers around the globe will be using LTE, but WiMax is supported by companies like Sprint, Google, Intel, and Time Warner.

WiMax will have the advantage of being first out of the gate, as Sprint and Clearwire are prepared to launch commercial services in select U.S. cities next month.

The LTE standard is still being hammered out, and it's not expected to be rolled out until 2010 at the earliest. But LTE offers a relatively easy upgrade path for carriers who have already built 3G infrastructure, as well as potentially faster data rates for end users.