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LTE could help Verizon and AT&T, hurt Sprint-Nextel, Barron's reports

Barron’s Technology Trader columnist Tiernan Ray went out on a limb and predicted that we'll see the end of the traditional phone company over the course of the next several years. His reasoning is that the fast pace at which data -- e-mails, text messages, Web pages, tweets -- happens with displace plain old phone calls. Over the next couple of years, 4G/ LTE, or long-term evolution, will move cellphone voice calls from traditional cellular networks to the Internet. The phone companies won't go away, but Ray contends that they'll be challenged to make the economics work without the assurance of a monthly tax on your phone calls. The dominant carriers, Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) in this country, would see their relative positions improve. While Ray believes the smaller ones, such as Sprint-Nextel (S) and Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGY.PK) T-Mobile USA, could suffer.