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Former FCC Chairman Warns US That Its Lead In LTE Coverage Is Not Set In Stone

June 10, 2013 - Written By Chance Miller

The United States has built up a pretty solid LTE network. Both Verizon and AT&T have extensive coverage around the states, with the former still leading the latter by a decent amount of cities. Sprint is getting up there in terms of coverage, but still hasn’t expanded at the rate Verizon and AT&T have been doing so. T-Mobile started rolling out its LTE network earlier this year, though its rollout process will be aided greatly by its acquisition of MetroPCS and its spectrum. Despite having such a well-built LTE infrastructure, one former FCC chairman is warning the United States not to get lazy when it comes to the Long Term Evolution network.

While speaking at the FT-Telefonica Millennials Summit in London, former chairman of the FCC Julius Genachowski warned the United States not to get lazy with its LTE network, because at one point, the country led in 3G coverage, but slacked off and had its lead taken by other countries. “The US has regained global leadership in key broadband metrics,” said Genachowski. He continued to add “We need to remember that the US was ahead in 3G before it was behind in 3G, so in this new world it’s dangerous to think that because of any country having a lead it’s then set in stone – it’s not.”

He makes a very good point. While the United States currently has the largest LTE network, all another country or continent would have to do to rollout the network at a lightning fast pace is team up. If Europe decided that it wanted to get serious about LTE coverage, some of the carriers could team up and work together to get a wide-covering LTE network live because they all you use similar spectrum. Parts of Europe already have LTE and in some places it’s extremely fast.

Genachowski went on to add that the world is in a bandwidth race and that the United States still has a lot to do if it wants to maintain its lead. “We are right in the middle of a global bandwidth race – every country is trying to find its strategic bandwidth advantage. The US is in strong shape but in order to continue its current trajectory, it needs to recognize there is a lot of work to do and that competitive global dynamics will only speed up.”

Do you think the United States is in trouble when it comes to competing with other nations for having the best LTE coverage? Tell us down in the comments!