Telefónica is getting one step closer to launching its 4G LTE network in Spain.
Alcatel-Lucent, a Franco-American network equipment maker, announced Thursday it had reached a deal with Telefónica to help build out a 4G LTE network in Spain.
Alcatel-Lucent will deploy 8,000 base stations as part of a 4G LTE overlay network built on top of Telefónica's existing 3G and 2G infrastructure, according to the company. It expects to have 1,400 base stations in place by the end of 2013. For comparison, T-Mobile is upgrading 37,000 base stations as part of its 4G LTE network in the US.
"This is a significant agreement for Alcatel-Lucent and our largest in scope to date in Western Europe," said Roque Lozano, president of Alcatel-Lucent Spain, in a statement.
Telefónica, Spain's largest mobile operator, has not yet announced when it will offer 4G service, but according to a report from ZDNet, it could happen early next year.
CNET has contacted Telefónica and will update this report when we have more information.
In May, Vodafone became the first mobile company to offer 4G LTE service in Spain. Mobile providers Orange and Yoigo followed suit in July offering 4G in some areas.