Regional carriers -- which historically haven't had the highest-tech networks around -- have been surprisingly quick to support LTE (heck, MetroPCS remains the only US carrier with a live network), and now it's little Cellular South jumping on the bandwagon. Samsung sent out a press release a few days ago touting a new partnership to help Cellular South in its grand endeavor, supplying both infrastructure equipment and two LTE-compatible phones for a launch in 2011 with expanded availability in 2012 in the carrier's 700MHz spectrum. Interestingly, the companies have also committed to launch voice over LTE next year, meaning Cellular South will no longer need to rely on its legacy 3G network for phone calls -- that's something that Big Red won't be doing initially when its network goes live next month, though it's not clear what standard Cellular South will be using for the deployment. Follow the break for the full press release.

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SAMSUNG MOBILE AND CELLULAR SOUTH COLLABORATE TO DEPLOY LTE INFRASTRUCTURE AND ANNOUNCE UPCOMING AVAILABILITY OF TWO LTE-ENABLED HANDSETS

Samsung Mobile will supply multiple LTE-enabled handsets in support of Cellular South's LTE network launch in 2011

DALLAS and RIDGELAND, MS – November 17, 2010 – Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.1 and Cellular South, the largest privately owned wireless carrier in the U.S., today announced their collaboration to build and deploy a fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband network using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

The agreement also calls for Samsung Mobile to design and launch two LTE-enabled smartphone handsets available in 2011 in Cellular South's 700 MHz footprint.

The advanced end-to-end LTE network and devices from Samsung Mobile will allow Cellular South customers to stream video, download music, enhance Web browsing capabilities at high download speeds, and utilize voice communications to increase productivity and access downloadable applications. Samsung Mobile and Cellular South will launch LTE service by the end of 2011 using voice-over LTE (VoLTE) and continue to expand availability across its 700 MHz footprint in 2012.

"Samsung Mobile is excited to work with Cellular South to bring the speed and connectivity of LTE infrastructure and devices to consumers in the Southeastern United States, along with two LTE-enabled handsets by the fourth quarter of 2011," said Dale Sohn, President of Samsung Mobile. "The LTE network and upcoming handsets will enable Cellular South customers to consume multimedia content like they never have before, such as Samsung's Media Hub service, with first-rate movies and TV programming. Our collaboration with Cellular South will also expand consumers personal communications capabilities, including Samsung's Social Hub service, which integrates contacts, calendar and social networking accounts into intuitive user interfaces."

"Cellular South is pleased to partner with Samsung Mobile on an LTE solution that uses all of our spectrum in the lower 700 MHz band," said Hu Meena, president and CEO of Cellular South. "This network will deliver a first-class LTE experience to our customers who want the freedom to access content and services and to communicate in new and innovative ways, whether it's viewing video, listening to their favorite music, gaming or social networking."

Samsung Mobile's commercial LTE network products leverage years of 4G orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) commercial experience in MIMO networks and have flexible bandwidth support of 1.4 to 20 MHz standards. Samsung Mobile's network infrastructure supports a wide portfolio of enhanced node B (eNB) products, including rack types, remote radio heads (RRH), picocells and distributed antenna system (DAS) hosts.

Samsung Mobile's network solutions feature a scalable, single rack, enhanced packet core (EPC) along with IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) products, to support rapid deployment and end-to-end quality control through devices.

Samsung Mobile's infrastructure network products also feature an open architecture which supports multi-vendor inter-operation through initiatives such as the LTE Strategic Test Initiative (LSTI). Samsung Mobile's network infrastructure will incorporate Self-Organizing Networks (SON), high efficiency multimode amplifiers and energy saving mode.

For additional information and product photos, please visit HYPERLINK "http://www.samsungusanews.com" www.samsungusanews.com or visit Cellular South's website at www.cellularsouth.com.

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Cellular South hooks up with Samsung for LTE network, two LTE-enabled phones next year