Cleartalk expands to Texas with AWS band
Regional operator launches Nortel CDMA systems in Lubbock and Abilene
Cleartalk may have given up Florida to MetroPCS, but it has staked new territory in Texas, having launched CDMA 1X networks in Abilene and Lubbock using spectrum acquired it the Advanced Wireless Services auction.
Cleartalk is the 4th operator to deploy in the AWS band, following CDMA operators Leap Wireless and MetroPCS last spring and T-Mobile, which began its nationwide service launch of high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) over the band this summer. Using the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz frequencies, the band requires a new radio chip in phones, but luckily for Cleartalk Leap and MetroPCS blazed the trail for dual-band PCS-AWS phones with their much-larger deployments.
After building its PCS networks with gear from Alcatel-Lucent and Chinese upstarts ZTE and Huawei, Cleartalk’s corporate owner Flat Wireless has tapped Nortel for its initial AWS build. Nortel is supplying its IP radio access infrastructure as well as the key elements of the core network. Cleartalk is deploying Nortel’s Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA)-based Packet Mobile Switching Center, a softswitch for CDMA networks, and Nortel high-density media gateways, which will create an end-to-end IP network from MSC to base station. Nortel said the network can easily be upgraded to EV-DO Revision A if Cleartalk wants to do so, but so far it has not announced any plans.
Cleartalk now offers service in six states: western Tennessee, northern Alabama, parts of California and Arizona, and Idaho as well as the two markets in Texas. Flat Wireless sold its Cleartalk networks in northern Florida to MetroPCS earlier this year.
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