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KT has shown off the homegrown mobile wireless data standard, WiBro: The standard has aspects of mobile WiMax and cellular technology, and may wind up converging with international mobile standards in the future. KT claims access at speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour. They have two access devices that can function as WiBro modems and for voice calls. The service will roll out next year.
The mobile WiMax profiles should incorporate MIMO and beamforming: ArrayComm, whose executive chair is the guy behind modern cell phone technology, is very pleased in this press release because two of their key technological leads will be part of mobile WiMax if all continues as it’s so far approved. They distinguish between MIMO and adaptive antenna systems (AAS), which use beamforming. This is a nice distinction.
Their chair is also the guy that trash talks Wi-Fi as if it doesn’t work at all; he’s got a bit of a vested interest in mobile WiMax supplanting both it and cell 3G.
In 2003, he said: “When you try to make Wi-Fi cover a wide area, it’s absolutely the worst way to do it. Think about it. In order to cover a city, you need a million sites; we actually did an analysis of that. And every one of them has got to have backhaul.”
In 2005, on Google’s SF plan to use as few as 300 APs to cover the city: “I calculate they will need more like 3000 AP’s per square mile.”
I don’t disagree with him if he’s talking about providing indoor coverage without a CPE at 54 Mbps raw speed rates. Sure. But Google, EarthLink, and the like, are all assuming a high-gain or ArrayComm-like CPE—see Ruckus’s announcement Monday—and 1 Mbps outdoors as the guaranteed level of service. (Google said 300 Kbps, but that’s a throttled free speed.)
ZDNet reports that Intel released a slew of money around the world for WiMax development: This includes a $1.12 billion contract for a project in Taiwan, which will agree to provide the necessary spectrum for the work. The project will be government-assisted until 2008 to bring businesses into the fold.
The article says Intel has 13 more Europe and Americas networks up and running, with 10 more they’ve sponsored due to appear by year’s end. This includes projects in The Dominican Republic and Austria.
The firm Irish Broadband will launch pre-WiMax services 14 cities across the country: They’re using Alvarion’s WiMax-ready gear with Intel CPEs. Speeds will run as high as a combined 12 Mbps for business and residences.
The WiMax Forum claims 150 WiMax (really pre-WiMax) networks have been deployed worldwide: This includes pilot and commercial rollouts. The article notes that certified products from the first testing are expected to appear next year—which is odd, given that some companies were predicting last month that certified labels would be applied in November.
The article also notes that a plugfest for informal interoperability testing in China on the 3.5 GHz band (not yet available in the U.S. for this purpose) saw 2.8 Mbps to 7.2 Mbps throughput ranges. No word on how many devices worked with other devices.
Somehow, Unwired in Australia has a PC Card and working mobile WiMax long before the standard has been set and equipment should be shipping: APC Magazine reviews the card and service that uses Navini pre-WiMax technology. The network was designed for fixed-antenna access, but the company has done on the ground testing in some areas, and is making the card available for Aus$349. Access is Aus$74.95 monthly for 2 gigabytes of transfer and 750 Kbps access speeds. The service is available in and around Sydney.
The reviewer likes the simplicity: the Navini card’s drivers make it appear just like another network device with no special applications for access. Mac users are cut out at the moment. The device and service worked marvelously in their testing, and the reviewer found it excellent compared to similar 3G and broadband wireless services that use other technology.
However, the 2 GB limit rankled the writer for what could be a primary broadband connection. He also noted that the system doesn’t offer station-to-station seamless handoffs with a constant IP address. This makes it portable but not mobile, I think.