Want a Choice in LTE Providers? Move to Uzbekistan!

UCell, a wireless service provider in Uzbekistan, has deployed an LTE network, making the central Asia nation the first to offer two different LTE networks. Consumers can now choose high-speed wireless broadband from either UCell or Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), a Russian-based operator that launched LTE in Uzbekistan last month.

The two competing networks each boast peak theoretical download speeds of 100 Mbps, and this pair of providers holds a combined 78 percent share of the wireless market, says Wireless Intelligence. Although consumers are the real winners here, due to competition and choice, a behind-the-scenes company is reaping benefits too. The infrastructure of UCell’s new LTE network is powered by ZTE, a Chinese-based provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions.

ZTE is quietly becoming a force in LTE, having implemented seven LTE commercial networks and initiated and over 50 LTE trials. Interestingly, one of ZTE’s main competitors, also from China, is Huawai, which is the infrastructure provider for MTS’s competing LTE network in Uzbekistan. Huawei, and ZTE for that matter, are poised to “win the 4G sweepstakes” according to Om, providing the equipment for tomorrow’s wireless networks around the world.

Before you pack up and move to Uzbekistan for a choice in LTE providers, make sure you don’t plan to enjoy fast mobile broadband on the beach. The country is one of only two double-landlocked in the world — Lichtenstein is the other — meaning that Uzbekistan has no ocean access, nor do the countries that surround it.

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