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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Thu 04-Jun-09 10:40:19
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Harro ten Wolde 03.06.09

Companies working on WiMAX high-speed mobile data technology are hoping government stimulus packages inject billions of dollars into wireless broadband, boosting take-up of the new technology.

WiMAX has been competing for the status of next generation mobile technology, but has largely lost the battle to Long Term Evolution (LTE), which has become mobile operators' favoured solution as it can be bolted on to existing systems.

Many analysts say WiMAX is destined to be a niche player in a market expected to total $45 billion (27.4 billion pounds) in 2009, according to research group Gartner. However WiMAX companies hope government stimulus packages could revive appetite for the technology.

"One of the biggest things people are doing because of the crisis is stimulus packages for rural broadband -- in the U.S. alone (the spend is) $7.2 billion," said Tzvika Friedman, chief executive at Alvarion, a leading WiMAX equipment maker.

"That's one of the big advantages of WiMAX now, as much as we suffer from the economic crisis, we also enjoy it," Friedman told Reuters on the sidelines of a WiMAX conference in Amsterdam, estimating over $1 billion could be spent on WiMAX.

Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum, the main industry group, said governments recognised investing in broadband is important for economic recovery.

"The most appropriate way of doing it (investing) quickly is probably wireless," said Andy McKinnon, who works for Motorola's 4G unit.


WiMAX stands to benefit from the fact that governments want to spend on stimulus measures now, with few other wireless broadband technologies available for quick deployment.

"Other technologies are not there yet and they cannot fix the problem," Motorola's McKinnon added, referring to LTE, which is expected to be available as early as next year.

Although WiMAX is available to 430 million people, only 3.6 million people had subscribed to the service at the end of 2008, according to data from researcher Informa.

"There is a place for WiMAX but it will be very niche as a global mobility access technology," said Gartner analyst Sylvain Fabre. "WiMAX will be a minor mobile technology compared to LTE which is going to be the next dominant access technology worldwide.

Fabre said WiMAX would realistically get a few percentage points of the total worldwide wireless subscribers.

"It may be niche but it is also a completely new market, which eventually could become as big as the current mobile market," said Dr. Hung Song, vice president of Samsung Electronics' Global Marketing Group for the Telecom Systems and Network business.

China's largest telecom gear maker Huawei Technologies said on Monday it expected WiMAX equipment sales to grow in the next 19 months to $1 billion, especially in emerging markets where fixed line networks are poorly developed.

Governments then face some tough choices on which technology to back.

"They are spending it to get us out of the recession, so logically you would think some of that money would end up with WiMAX," said Barry West, president of wireless high-speed services provider Clearwire.

(Editing by Tarmo Virki and David Holmes)

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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Thu 04-Jun-09 11:08:13
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Business Wire

Two bodies co-operate to optimise WiMAX femtocell specifications and ensure full potential of the technology

The Femto Forum, the independent industry association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, and the WiMAX Forum,, the non-profit organisation dedicated to the deployment and certification of WiMAX technologies, today agreed to collaborate on the development of WiMAX Femtocell Access Point (WFAP) specifications that will address topics such as end-to-end QoS, provisioning, network entry and authentication, power optimisation, and mobility management. The specifications will also support for emergency services, lawful intercept, and location-based services.

Considering the growing demand for broadband wireless access inside homes and offices while enabling mobility and roaming across wide area networks, WiMAX operators and vendors have identified the need for femtocell solutions to increase the aggregate cell throughput per unit area and accordingly to improve the related quality of intra-cell links, particularly in indoor environments.

“Femtocells will provide a powerful new tool for WiMAX operators. By significantly increasing the number of cells in a wireless network using femtocells, operators can deliver a dramatically better service than using macro networks alone,” said Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Femto Forum. “This partnership will not only enable vendor interoperability and increased economies of scale thereby driving competition- it will also help to support far-reaching new femtocell applications.”

“The operators in our community are looking toward femtocells to improve coverage and capacity while retaining the benefits of end-to-end Quality of Service management that is one of the great benefits of the WiMAX network,“ said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “WiMAX specifications will support WiMAX certification of interoperable vendor products. We look forward to interactions with the Femto Forum to ensure that our specifications take advantage of its expertise regarding industry best practices for femtocell deployments.”

About the WiMAX Forum

The WiMAX Forum is an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation formed to certify and promote the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based upon the harmonised IEEE 802.16/ETSI HiperMAN standard. A WiMAX Forum goal is to accelerate the introduction of these systems into the marketplace. WiMAX Forum Certified products are fully interoperable and support broadband fixed, portable and mobile services. Along these lines, the WiMAX Forum works closely with service providers and regulators to ensure that WiMAX Forum Certified systems meet customer and government requirements. For more information about the WiMAX Forum and its activities, please visit

About The Femto Forum

Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections. The Femto Forum was set up in 2007 to promote the wide-scale adoption of femtocells. The Forum supports and drives the adoption of industry wide standards and common architectures to enable the widespread adoption & deployment of femtocells by operators around the world. It directs and implements a multi-faceted marketing campaign raising the profile, driving technology development & deployment and promoting the potential of femto solutions among industry stakeholders, journalists, analysts, regulators, special interest groups, standards bodies and consumers.

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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Wed 10-Jun-09 10:58:52
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Hi Bill and the guys at Vfast, sorry to muscle in again, but I think that the story below has relevance to GB.
I hope you are lobbying hard for a share of Gordo's cake.
Puzzle: why do Freedom4 users never post here?
Shock/horror - today's headline news about pathetic mobile B/band speeds!!


WiMAX and Wi-Fi Will Need to Educate to Grab a Piece of the Stimulus Pie

Tara Seals 09/06/09

For WiMAX and Wi-Fi operators, the broadband stimulus money represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But when they're going up against so many fixed-operator heavy hitters, can they make the case to non-techie types that wireless broadband is a viable option and worthy of government funding?

The people at the Department of Agriculture and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have a wide array of options to choose from when deciding how to allot the cash for projects — and they’re not technologists, meaning that WiMAX is likely to be viewed as less proven than the more mainstream copper or fibre technologies. As is Wi-Fi, widely known as having failed in the municipal broadband biz the first time around.

But it’s not just perception that wireless companies will need to overcome. Those gaining Rural Utilities Service funding from the Department of Agriculture will be required to use RUS-approved equipment, very little of which is wireless broadband gear. And timelines are conspiring against new wireless equipment joining the list: a product must be in use in a trial project for six months before it can be approved.

Then there’s the issue of the heavy-hitting and well-funded RBOCs and cable MSOs, many of which are lobbying, intensively, for the stimulus money to circumvent providers entirely, instead to be spent on institutions directly, which can build their own networks.

In all, wireless providers have a lot on which to educate the grant-reviewers.

Why Wireless Works for Rural

Why wireless to serve the un- and underserved? It comes down to a classic equation: How much money is needed to bring broadband to how many houses, to how many people, and at what speed?

“The business case this funding is addressing is so challenging because these towns are so far spread out and sparsely populated, so to serve them takes a technology that allow a nice trade-off between good coverage and the speeds they’re looking for,” said Ashish Sharma, vice president of corporate market development at WiMAX vendor Alvarion Ltd., which has been very active in underserved markets worldwide like Africa and Eastern Europe and offers RUS-approved gear. “Cellular can’t play well because it is narrowband — excellent for voice but not enough capacity to efficiently provide broadband to residents sprinkled across big geographic areas.”

Sharma also notes that more concentrated towns will be a target for DSL and fiber, but wireless shines in the time-to-market category. “The Rural Utility Service program – a lot of the funding goes to fixed technologies, but those technologies are limited in terms of how they can scale,” he noted. “And they’re facing very stiff deadlines where they have to roll out networks very quickly. So I don’t foresee all the money going to fixed. It will be a mix of both.”

There’s also the question of sheer economics. “In true rural America there is no contest, because for every dollar spent on a wireless technology, you’d spend eight or 10 to deploy a wired equivalent,” said Den Cubley, CEO at ERF Wireless, which uses a mix of Wi-Fi and WiMAX, licensed and unlicensed, to serve 150,000 square miles in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. More than 90 percent covers very rural settings. “The economics of the situation dictate wireless, because there’s not enough population density to justify the expenditure on cabling. Then too you’d need the funds to operate, maintain and service the network, and wireless is a much easier architecture with which to do that.”

Showing Wireless Can Fit the Mandate

The economics present in wireless can fulfill the basic mandate of the stimulus bill: to get as much broadband as possible out to as many people as possible that don’t have it now. Demonstrating this is critical when there’s only so much funding to go around, meaning that wide swaths of the most sparsely populated areas might get left behind. “The really truly rural areas, a lot of them are just not that different from 50 years ago or 100 years ago,” said Cubley. “It’s farming, not a lot of industry and no opportunity unless you want to be a farmer or rancher. And someone wouldn't locate a business there, and employees wouldn't move there. The only ones that are growing are the ones that have solved the problem of getting communications going.

That’s because it doesn’t matter if a manufacturing plant is 200 miles from a city, or right in a city — as long as the communications are stable and can support modern business processes. “It's almost like water was 100 years ago,” said Cubley. “Places will offer almost anything in the way of incentives to get broadband because if they can get the community to grow, property values grow and opportunities grow.”

Deployment Scenarios

At least one analyst is bullish on wireless prospects: “The ARRA represents a windfall for wireless service providers as well as for satellite service providers,” said Stan Schatt, analyst at ABI Research. “It will have an enormous impact on Wi-Fi and wireless broadband vendors. It will also immediately benefit a number of specific vertical industries including health care, education, homeland security, the environment, and the nation’s electricity infrastructure.”

There are enough successful use cases to sway those holding the purse strings. For instance, to counter the LECs, ERF can show that it is effectively partnering with municipalities in a successful public-private partnership. It has an agreement with the state of Louisiana where it can use state police towers free of charge in return for providing statewide bandwidth to municipal departments. Then it can sell wireless broadband to local citizens. The city wins; ERF has a viable business case; and no one has to worry about bureaucrats getting into the telecom business.

For its part, Alvarion won a contract to provide WiMAX equipment for an RUS-funded project earlier this year with Main Street Broadband LLC, which received $34 million in funding for deployment in 66 markets covering 129 rural communities in Florida and Georgia.

Schatt points out that success also will hinge on showing how wireless offers some unique applications. In health care for instance, Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and sensors, communications systems linking health networks, telepresence, wireless LAN equipment, and Wi-Fi-enabled video surveillance systems are all becoming must-haves, a boon for WISPs looking to bring that capability to rural hospitals on a municipal level.

“There are plenty of unique opportunities for wireless, and I think the agencies will see that as long as enough supporting and expository materials are submitted with the application,” said Sharma. “Education is going to be critic

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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Wed 10-Jun-09 11:30:44
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[re: RadioJock] [link to this post]
Mr Li please note. Britain is waiting.



Giant telecommunications networks provider, Huawei which now serves 36 of the world’s top 50 operators, plus more than one billion users worldwide, says that its new WiMAX distributed base station (DBS) with four transmitters and four receivers (4T4R), will enable operators to reduce the number of base station sites in certain areas and lower their total cost of ownership.

WiMAX is a telecommunications technology providing wireless data, voice and video over long distances and Huawei is China’s largest networking and telecommunications equipment supplier.

Huawei Wireless vice president of CDMA & WiMAX, Tang Xinhong, said the world’s first WiMAX distributed base station provides substantial improvements to the coverage and performance of WiMAX networks.

He said it increases operator efficiency by supporting multi-standard convergence and could also be configured into two 2T2R base stations so it can handle different coverage configurations.

Great cost efficiency

“As a leading industry innovator, Huawei is committed to supporting the development of the WiMAX industry by providing solutions like the new 4T4R WiMAX DBS, which will help operators deploy networks that are much more efficient and cost-effective,” he said.”

Huawei said its state-of-the-art 4T4R WiMAX DBS was based on a fourth-generation base station platform, and also incorporates green technologies such as natural cooling and a high-efficiency power amplifier. The company said this allows for the new DBS to greatly reduce the energy consumption and achieve better cost efficiency.

As of the first quarter of this year, Huawei said it has been awarded 41 commercial WiMAX 802.16e contracts worldwide, including Globe in the Philippines, STC in Saudi Arabia, Mobilink and Augere in Pakistan, and Méditel in Morocco.

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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Thu 11-Jun-09 10:10:04
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[re: RadioJock] [link to this post]
Seems to be signs of recent WiMAX Green Shoots around the world (except for UK).


Julien Grivolas 10.06.09

Italian WiMAX operator Aria has won the right to use Telecom Italia's 3.5GHz spectrum to supply WiMAX services in Sardinia and in the central and southern regions of Italy. In addition, Aria will be able to use Telecom Italia's transport network to support its WiMAX network. In return, the Italian incumbent will have access to Aria's nationwide wholesale services.
Incumbent Telecom Italia to use WiMAX as a complement to DSL
This partnership is in line with our belief that the most likely business models to succeed using WiMAX technology in the developed markets of Europe are those targeting users that have limited access to alternative broadband technologies, as detailed in our report WiMAX operator strategies in Europe. Other incumbents such as Telenor and Lattelecom already use WiMAX in previously unserved areas but, unlike Telecom Italia, they have invested in the rollout of their own WiMAX infrastructure.

To date, Telecom Italia has not used the three 3.5GHz regional licences it acquired for €13.8 million. However, like all operators in the current economic climate, it is paying close attention to its spending. Thanks to the agreement, Aria will incur the deployment and maintenance costs for the WiMAX network in exchange for access to Telecom Italia's spectrum and its existing transport capability. The agreement also allows Telecom Italia to comply with the regulatory obligations associated with the granting of the licence at a minimal cost. Until now Telecom Italia has done almost nothing with its spectrum. It will also contribute to Telecom Italia's branding and corporate responsibility image, as it shows the incumbent's commitment to bridging the digital divide in the underserved areas of Italy.

A win-win partnership
If the deal sweetens the WiMAX investment pill for the incumbent, for Aria it significantly reinforces its wholesale strategy as it has attracted the incumbent as a nationwide customer. Compared to its competitors, this brings a great deal of credibility to its value proposition and will potentially instil confidence in its service capability in order to attract other customers. However, conversely, it may also be perceived as being less disruptive than other WiMAX providers because it works so closely with the incumbent. Telecom Italia's WiMAX pricing strategy, when revealed, will hopefully help solve this question.

Another positive from the partnership for Aria is the agreement related to the transport network. Deploying WiMAX base stations implies that the traffic generated has to be backhauled efficiently to allow customers to enjoy a good user experience. There are few alternatives for a small service provider with nationwide ambitions: deploy its own transport network nationwide; rent capacity to companies that may also be competitors; or a mixture of both. By partnering with the incumbent, Aria has answered this challenging aspect of the WiMAX equation.

Italy's WiMAX deployments are not too far behind
A couple of years ago Italy faced a lot of criticism that it would be badly positioned to benefit from WiMAX because it was one of the last countries to allocate 3.5GHz spectrum. However, several companies have now launched WiMAX services, mostly using the mobile WiMAX standard even if it is for the provision of fixed wireless services. For example, the main spectrum owners (Aria, Linkem and Retelit) have all commercially launched services, along with some smaller, local players such as Mandarin.

Therefore, Italy is actually not too far behind in its WiMAX rollouts, certainly when compared to what is happening with 3.5GHz spectrum in other Western European countries such as France. There is still only very limited WiMAX activity in France, even though the spectrum was allocated 20 months earlier than in Italy. This has led the French regulator to track market developments more closely, but with only limited improvements, as demonstrated by the market update published a couple of months ago.

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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Thu 11-Jun-09 10:26:47
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UQ Communications WiMAX Commercial Service Details Disclosed;
WiMAX-Embedded Laptops Introduced with Intel® Centrino® 2 Processor Technology


TOKYO. – UQ Communications Inc. and Intel Corporation today announced their extended collaboration to promote and expand "UQ WiMAX" the commercially available WiMAX service from UQ Communications in Japan. Scheduled to launch on July 1, UQ Communications will offer new services to meet the diverse consumer demands for mobile Internet broadband use. Working closely with OEMs, Intel is providing embedded WiMAX laptops based on Intel® Centrino® 2 processor technology to enable mobile WiMAX broadband Internet access. The two companies will also work with PC vendors and MVNOs to deliver a range of initiatives and promotional activities driving the adoption of WiMAX technology and creating greater awareness for the global WiMAX ecosystem.

WiMAX is the only solution available today that is meeting the demand for the mobile Internet. With WiMAX, users can enjoy rich, interactive content outdoors and on the go as mobile broadband Internet access traditionally requires a fixed broadband connection. Together, Intel and UQ are helping to enable wireless Internet connectivity with WiMAX, forming alliances with a number of companies in the industry and offering a range of new digital equipment and services designed to enhance user experience.

As part of this new initiative, UQ Communications has unveiled a novel fee structure that will make it easy for new users to subscribe. Meanwhile, Intel will offer the Intel WiMAX/Wi-Fi Link 5150, an embedded module supporting both wireless LAN and WiMAX, providing flexible Internet connectivity and high-speed communications with WiMAX. Toshiba, Panasonic and Onkyo have today unveiled notebook PCs which integrate the module and Intel® Centrino® 2 processor technology. The laptops, as well as other products, are scheduled to debut next month in Japan.

Said Takashi Tanaka, president of UQ Communications: "We are glad to welcome this major milestone. Working with Intel, we are on the road to full mobile broadband access, and, remarkably, in just 18 months since UQ Communications obtained a Mobile WiMAX license. A feature of Mobile WiMAX is that its infrastructure is open, both to people who want to use WiMAX, and to businesses that want to enter the WiMAX market. In collaboration with PC makers, MVNOs, and various other industries, we will enable true mobile broadband access, with UQ constructing a high-speed, advanced WiMAX network, while Intel enables WiMAX modules to be built into all kinds of devices"

"Intel looks forward to the UQ Communications WiMAX service launch next month in Japan" said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer of Intel Corporation. "The next-generation wireless Internet broadband from UQ will be one of the most advanced networks in the world, further driving global adoption of WiMAX. Intel also welcomes today’s announcement that Intel® Centrino® 2 processor technology-based laptops with embedded WiMAX will be introduced in the Japanese market, a huge leap forward in the continued development and expansion of the global WiMAX ecosystem"

In addition to working with UQ on embedded technology, Intel Capital invested $43 million in the company to help continue the nationwide expansion of WiMAX service.

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Standard User RadioJock
(member) Sun 14-Jun-09 20:25:33
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Sorry, this is a lengthy read, pretty comprehensive overview though.


Wireless Asia
– By John C. Tanner 12.06.09

One of the notable things about the 2008 Mobile World Congress was the major splash made by WiMAX, a technology that the GSM Association has denounced as a niche technology with virtually no future as the world's cellcos inevitably evolve to LTE. Yet there was the WiMAX Forum promoting over 40 stands worth of real equipment and boasting over 200 commercial deployments.

Almost as if by response, the 2009 MWC was all about LTE. Numerous heavy-hitters showcased LTE gear in action during the event, with LTE base stations running live video and other bandwidth-heavy apps. Motorola executives drove a van around Placa Espanya running LTE between the van and its booth via two eNode Bs running raw 8-Mbps MPEG-4 video with no buffering or FEC of any kind. The demo went off without a hitch - the handover from one Node B to another produced a bit of picture breakup, but given this was unbuffered video sharing a link with two laptops running YouTube videos, it wasn't bad.

Real-world conditions, of course, won't be nearly as accommodating, but new results released that week from the LTE/SAE Test Initiative (LSTI), which puts an emphasis on real-world conditions in its testing, were encouraging. The LSTI wrapped up its proof-of-concept phase earlier this year, and all up, LTE is essentially living up to the 3GPP's performance benchmarks for downlink/uplink throughput performance and latency.

Put another way, LTE works. It hasn't been vetted for interoperability yet - that's next on the LSTI's docket -but it works.

That was this year's LTE message. It works as advertised, and it's coming sooner than you thought. This year, actually. Various vendors like Ericsson, Motorola, Huawei, ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent intend to have LTE gear commercially available in the second half of this year. And according to Pyramid Research, a dozen operators are committed to launching commercial LTE services sometime next year, including NTT DoCoMo, TeliaSonera and Verizon. Another 15 operators plan to roll out LTE in 2011-2012.

That would seem to be grim news for WiMAX, whose chief selling point has been that LTE is years away from commercial reality and thanks to the rise of smart-phones and dongles, demand for "real" mobile Internet needs to be met now. The spectre of LTE just around the corner makes that pitch a little harder to sell.

On the other hand, that presumes the market will only accept one or the other, not both. And the market has already accepted WiMAX to some degree. The WiMAX Forum says the technology had racked up deployments in almost 140 countries (albeit not all of them fully commercial and many of them as wireless DSL rather than fully mobile offerings) as of April this year. Asia has already seen high-profile launches in Malaysia and Taiwan, and will see another in July this year when UQ Communications - a consortium that includes EV-DO operator KDDI - launches commercial service in Japan, where LTE is expected to go live next year.

Moreover, some doubts remain over just how much of a head start WiMAX will ultimately have over LTE - and how much of a difference it will make in any case.

Time to market: overrated

Certainly the LTE camp is predictably unimpressed with WiMAX's head start in the wireless broadband space, effectively dismissing the "window of opportunity" advantage as irrelevant.

"Time-to-market does not equal success," says Dan Warren, director of technology at the GSM Association, arguing that GSM's history and footprint gives LTE "two equally important things that WiMAX lacks -pedigree and a pre-existing ecosystem."

On the other hand, the same is less true for the early-adopter market partly responsible for driving LTE's accelerated development - many of them cellcos who happened to be outside of the typical W-CDMA cellco demographic, and thus have an incentive to push on to 4G sooner rather than later.

"CDMA operators like Verizon and KDDI are in a hurry to deploy LTE because they are stuck on a one-way street with EV-DO," says Bo Ribbing, strategic marketing director for Ericsson. "China Mobile has TD-SCDMA and wants to move quickly to TD-LTE. And TeliaSonera, which was the first to sign an LTE contract, is sharing its HSPA network with someone else and wants their own network."

For most W-CDMA cellcos, though, LTE isn't an immediate concern, with many currently not planning to deploy LTE for another two or three years. Some are also still considering the interim step of HSPA+, which boosts data speeds to 21 Mbps, although vendors like Motorola counsel against this.

"The window of opportunity for HSPA+ is only one and a half years, so we recommend to operators to go sooner rather than later to LTE because of the benefits of lower TCO, faster time to market and you can better meet mass-market traffic-revenue challenges at a lower cost per bit," says Daisy Lam, senior marketing manager of wireless broadband technologies for the Home & Networks Mobility division of Motorola Asia Pacific.

So far, only a handful of cellcos have adopted HSPA+, but one such cellco - Hong Kong CSL - swears by it.

"HSPA+ has a lot of life in it because everyone is scaling back their capex, and LTE is a costly upgrade," says CSL's chief technology officer Christian Daigneault. "LTE will come, but you need a hell of a lot of spectrum if you're going to achieve the 120 Mbps they're promising."

It's also worth noting that CSL itself has plenty of spectrum to play with - 900 MHz, 1800 MHz (for which it has two licenses), 21. GHz and its newly-awarded 2.6 GHz. And it's using new software-defined radio (SDR) base stations supplied by ZTE to refarm and reuse spectrum across all of its frequency bands.

"The regulatory environment in Hong Kong allows us to refarm spectrum however we like based on market trends and technology, which gives us much more flexible use of our capacity," Daigneault says.

LTE base stations will have the same capability, and that's a potential advantage over WiMAX, which so far has typically been allocated single frequency bands, in markets where it operates.

The first delay

However, Verizon - which made a splash in Barcelona by explaining its game plan for LTE, complete with a list of supply contract winners - has already dropped the first bomb on LTE's ambitious timeline. The US carrier originally planned to have its first commercial LTE services up and running in 20 to 30 markets the first half of 2010, and nation-wide coverage (in the cities, at least) by the end of 2013.

But in a conference call in mid-May, wireless chief Lowell McAdam said the commercial launches would be pushed back at least six months to the second half of next year, with national coverage now scheduled to be completed in 2015 - two years later than originally stated.

McAdam chalked the delay up to a decision to go slow on LTE and "see what we need to do so we don't get ahead of ourselves in putting in capacity that we don't need."

But Verizon may also be taking a page from 3G's own chequered history, observes Caroline Gabriel, head of research at Rethink Research.

"This may not be the last revision of Verizon's time-scales, and the story is a familiar one from the days of the European 3G bubble," Gabriel said in a research note. "Launching prematurely with ill-tested equipment and a shortage of devices would be worse than delaying roll-out."

And a device shortage is a real possibility. Qualcomm - which supplies most of the chipsets that end up in Verizon products - plans to have chips for LTE datacards generally available next year, by which time handset chips will only be available for sampling. With device product cycles typically lasting 18 months - and with Verizon's well-known policy of rigorous device testing to meet its high standards of quality - Verizon's LTE offering will have to get by on dongles or single-mode gadgets until the end of 2011, Gabriel says.

Device strategies

To be fair, WiMAX has been dealing with the same issue. WiMAX networks today ship mostly with either CPE for fixed-wireless offerings, or dongles, although a few laptops with embedded WiMAX have also appeared in select markets. Dongles are a good entry-level approach to get consumers using the service, but WiMAX proponents - as well as the GSMA, for that matter - believe that wireless broadband's success hinges on embedding it into more devices, starting with laptops and netbooks, but moving on to all kinds of consumer electronics devices like cameras, MP3 players and gaming consoles.

The problem, says Peter Cannistra, VP of market development at Clearwire, is that while CE manufacturers "buy the WiMAX story", they're still hesitant to add to their BOM when they're already running on razor-thin margins and WiMAX's business model is still a work in progress.

"WiMAX players need to work harder to make WiMAX compelling enough for the CE manufacturers to go forward," Cannistra says.

The need for multiple embedded WiMAX devices isn't just about providing the variety of choice that drives 3G services today - it's also the key to competing against HSPA/EV-DO services now, and LTE in the future, according to Takashi Tanaka, president of Japan's UQ Communications.

In his WiMAX Forum Asia keynote in April, Tanaka said that Japanese mobile users are generally unhappy with handsets as a mobile Internet device. "Most mobile users in Japan use mobile Internet [HSPA and EV-DO], but complain regularly about speed, the limited browser, limited content, small screen and small keyboard," he said. "WiMAX can meet those needs, so why not deploy it?"

More to the point, however, users in Japan have lots of gadgets that they want to connect to the Internet, but mobile operators have difficulty with this because traditionally, a mobile service contract is tied to just one device.

Consequently, UQ intends to offer multi-device mobile deals, where a flat-rate monthly fee allows a subscriber to connect, say, a laptop/netbook/dongle, an MP3 player and a gaming device.

The risks of all-IP

Such a strategy gets to the heart of the way in which WiMAX could set itself apart from HSPA and LTE. At its core, WiMAX is designed to be an open IP-based network. That means it has the freedom to try out new business models such as open access - i.e. as long as it's certified by the WiMAX Forum, your device will work on our network, and you can include more than one under your service contract - and selling devices through retail consumer electronics stores. It also means the ability to offer more flexible tariff packages, where one can buy a day pass, for example.

To be sure, LTE is also designed to be all-IP and can exploit many of the same benefits. A number of vendors are already urging cellcos looking at LTE to make sure their core networks can handle the QoS functionalities on an end-to-end basis.

"There are several important aspects that are crucial to the LTE core," says Francesco Masetti-Placci, VP of solutions, strategy and marketing at Alcatel-Lucent China. "The first is latency requirements, less than 10ms, which cannot be supported with current architectures. Also, as you can expect a larger number of simultaneous users, you need more sophisticated processing power in the routers. And the architecture needs to be designed in a more distributed way to support the four classes of QoS under UMTS, which has to be mapped into the new architecture. Then policy based end to end QoS can be enforced."

However, for cellcos moving to all-IP, the potential snag may not be the technology to enable it, but the open-access business model that comes with it and runs counter to the existing cellco model of locked devices and two-year contracts.

To date, cellcos have been slow even to adopt IP models like flat rate access. UQ intends to exploit this to the limit, says Tanaka, who says that Japanese mobile users aren't just unhappy with the handsets as Internet devices - they also don't like being locked into contracts and see 3G operators as "the bad guys".

All of this represents a major and crucial opportunity for WiMAX to differentiate itself now, says Gabriel of Rethink Research.

"Of course, LTE will be closer to WiMAX in many key areas, such as all-IP and spectrum allocations, but with widespread LTE several years away, the priority for the WiMAX community in 2009 is to put clear water between its own platform and HSPA/EV-DO, and demonstrate that the systems have very different functions, all needed in the mobile broadband world," she says.

4G: where's the money?

As telecoms continue 4G equipment rollouts, one question looms: Will wireless data revenues keep pace with services offered?

Many analysts say no, unless telecoms find a killer, money-making 4G service.

"I've always noted that what it really takes [to drive 4G revenue] is an application that needs to consume that bandwidth," said Mike Jude, a program manager of consumer communications services at Stratecast.

"Currently, I think most LTE and 3.5 [later generation, faster 3G] to 4G deployment plans depend on this notion of mobile Web access or mobile data access as being the driver. But really, if you're looking at the total population of total users of wireless, not that many of them use that much data."

And not many are currently willing to pay much more just for higher bandwidth.

Instead, Jude and others believe, some basic models such as the all-you-can-eat flat-rate need to be fundamentally rethought or at least subsidized with high-margin services.

"Everybody's looking for services that they can provide [for] high-margin that would depend on that kind of bandwidth requirement," Jude said. "If it's a service that people want and it requires that kind of bandwidth, presumably they'd pay for that."

If wireless providers launch 4G services without a clear idea of exactly what those ARPU-driving services are, wireless providers may face the same crisis the wireline providers are facing: plummeting revenue-per-bit even as infrastructure upgrade costs skyrocket and entrenched consumers protest any change to the revenue model status quo.

H. Paris Burstyn, a senior analyst with Ovum, said wireless carriers need to embrace the death of the minute and move past it in terms of billing.

"Carriers are ... fixated by minutes of use, and that's a terrible way to think about digital service because it's not about minutes of use, it's about megabits, and a growing quantity of data," Burstyn said. "The key is to figure out how to move the payment metric from minutes to megabits, and then tiers of service beyond that, which spills into net neutrality, and dealing with power users."

Jude said that there is some time to adjust, particularly with 4G. So far, however, a rational business plan has yet to emerge that will match the costs of 4G capital and operational expenses with revenue, Jude said.

Whatever the answer, it won't be found overnight.

"It's a very complex problem, and monetising it is the big issue," Burstyn said. "Moving the consumer and the billing paradigm to something that's linked to the amount of data you use is going to be a very complicated and evolutionary step-by-step kind of thing."

Michael Morisy / SearchTelecom

A source for believers in an alternative mobile future
Without copper or fibre to the home
Standard User sherly
(newbie) Mon 15-Jun-09 13:06:59
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[re: Ashaman] [link to this post]
Hi check out this link for more information about Wimax wireless broadband
Standard User RadioJock
(member) Wed 17-Jun-09 11:09:51
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[re: sherly] [link to this post]
Bet there's no mention in the Carter Report, of the delayed spectrum auction, the under-utilised UK Broadband tranche or even the word WiMAX.
C'mon Mr Li do your bit for Blighty.


— Michelle Donegan, European Editor

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has landed a contract to supply equipment to Russia's newest WiMAX operator in a deal that comes with a $100 million loan from Chinese banks.

News of Russia's new WiMAX start-up comes from Icon Private Equity , which just announced that it will invest $200 million in the operator to roll out wireless broadband throughout Russia. The new operator has a license in the 3.5 GHz frequency band and will operate under the brand name Freshtel.

Additional funding for the network deployment will come by way of a loan from Chinese financial institutions, according to Icon. An Icon spokeswoman tells Unstrung the loan will be $100 million.

Icon has also invested $100 million in the Ukrainian WiMAX operator, UHT, which will take on the Freshtel brand later this summer, according to an Icon spokeswoman.

Freshtel's CEO Sergei Avdeev (former JSC Vimpel-Communications exec.) will have responsibility for the Russian and Ukrainian operations.

For Huawei, the deal adds to the momentum the vendor claims it has in WiMAX. The company recently said that it expected WiMAX revenues to double from $500 million in 2009 to $1 billion in 2010.

According to Icon's spokeswoman, the additional financing from Chinese banks was not a factor in the decision to select Huawei. "There is no funding so far… The money is there if we need it for further network rollout," she says.

Icon says Freshtel's goal is to have network coverage for 20 million people by the end of this year. The operator will launch commercial service in October, according to the spokeswoman.

Russia is hot for WiMAX and it's the first market where High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) will launch its WiMAX smart-phone.

A source for believers in an alternative mobile future
Without copper or fibre to the home
Standard User kijoma
(regular) Thu 18-Jun-09 10:45:00
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[re: RadioJock] [link to this post]

Too true, as you can see though it is tied up in a load of red tape and our problem is we are too busy doing to have the time to wine and dine with MP's and chew through the political labyrinth..

So ultimately there is a good chance, as has happened with BT before, public money and lots of it will be squandered on hair brained ventures and inefficient incumbents while the cost efficient solutions with proven track record will have to run self financed (We are entirely self financed anyway, i think Vfast get support from Kent County council).

We did once ask about funding for infrastructure to enable areas but were told that would be "state aid" by the somewhat less than enthusiastic West Sussex council representatives. the same ones happy to lob 100's of thousands of pounds of public money at BT tho.. as that is ok smile

In reply to a post by RadioJock:
Hi Bill and the guys at Vfast, sorry to muscle in again, but I think that the story below has relevance to GB.
I hope you are lobbying hard for a share of Gordo's cake.
Puzzle: why do Freedom4 users never post here?
Shock/horror - today's headline news about pathetic mobile B/band speeds!!


WiMAX and Wi-Fi Will Need to Educate to Grab a Piece of the Stimulus Pie

Tara Seals 09/06/09

Bill Lewis - MD
Kijoma Broadband - (Division of Kijoma Solutions Ltd)
High Speed Wireless broadband ISP
The UK's top rated Wireless ISP 2005 - 2008 - ISP Review
Top 5 finalist in best UK wireless ISP - ISPA's 2008
Members of the Internet Service Providers association (
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