STOCKHOLM, ( TheStreet) -- The race to 4G is on, and Ericsson ( ERIC - Get Report) continues to sweep the field with wireless upgrade contracts.

Regional telco MetroPCS ( PCS) said Tuesday that it picked Ericsson as its long-term evolution, or LTE, network equipment supplier. The latest Ericsson win is another setback for gear peers Alcatel-Lucent ( ALU) and Nokia ( NOK) Siemens ( SI), which have fallen to the back of the pack.

"Ericsson's product timing and equipment pricing all went right for them," says Telecom Pragmatics analyst Sam Greenholtz.

Earlier this year, Ericsson was named the primary supplier to Verizon's ( VZ - Get Report) 4G LTE upgrade plan, an early and large wireless overhaul that is expected to be online in some cities as early as the end of this year.

AT&T ( T - Get Report) is already expected to name Ericsson as its key supplier for its planned LTE project,

Telco spending cuts amid the financial crisis have squeezed the entire tech equipment sector particularly vendors including Juniper ( JNPR - Get Report), Ciena ( CIEN) and even Cisco ( CSCO - Get Report).

While Ericsson, the No.1 wireless networking supplier, was among the players that felt the pinch, unlike Alcatel Lucent, its stability was never in question. Greenholtz says that helped Ericsson's chances as phone companies looked out years ahead for a reliable supply partner.

The stocks tell a similar story. Ericsson shares have now recovered to pre-Lehman collapse levels, while Alcatel Lucent is still down about 18% in the past year.

-- Written by Scott Moritz in New York.


Which tech CEO has led best during the recession?

Sam Palmisano -- IBM
Mark Hurd -- Hewlett-Packard
Michael Dell -- Dell
Larry Ellison -- Oracle
John Chambers -- Cisco
Steve Jobs -- Apple
Steve Ballmer -- Microsoft
Joe Tucci -- EMC
Carol Bartz -- Yahoo!
Eric Schmidt -- Google