Leap Wireless Announces LTE

Cricket Wireless parent of Leap Wireless said it is on track to launch a trial run of its 4G LTE network by the end of the year, which Fierce Wireless said will be in Tucson, Arizona.

Within two to three years, Leap said it will cover two-thirds of its current network footprint with LTE. That includes 25 million points of presence (POPs), or Internet access points, in 2012, Leap said in an third quarter earnings report.

LTE-based smartphones from Leap are not expected until mid-to-late 2012, Leap CEO Doug Hutcheson told Fierce Wireless.

Leap (Cricket) picked up 100 licenses in the FCC’s Advanced Wireless Services auction (AWS) at an aggregate cost of $984 million. Their AWS coverage compliments that of MetroPCS.

US prepaid operator MetroPCS selected Ericsson and Samsung as vendors for its LTE network, which was actually the first LTE network available in the United States.

MetroPCS, currently a CDMA operator, is the sixth-largest mobile operator in the US, with 6.3 million connections and a 2.3 percent market share (according to Wireless Intelligence).

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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