Receive new posts as email.
This site operates as an independent editorial operation. Advertising, sponsorships, and other non-editorial materials represent the opinions and messages of their respective origins, and not of the site operator or JiWire, Inc.
Entire site and all contents except otherwise noted © Copyright 2001-2006 by Glenn Fleishman. Some images ©2006 Jupiterimages Corporation. All rights reserved. Please contact us for reprint rights. Linking is, of course, free and encouraged.
The WiMax Forum has certified products that use Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) in the 3.5 GHz band: You’ll have to get used to very fine distinctions with WiMax, because there are ultimately many frequencies and many encoding methods that could be certified, although a handful will be most common. The 3.5 GHz band is not yet cleared for use in the U.S., but is in wide availability in Europe where it’s considered one of the main early bands for broadband wireless. FDD uses distinct frequencies for uplink and downlink traffic; TDD (Time DD) uses time slots but shares frequencies.
These certifications and those announced in January are for a set of interoperable parameters for base stations and subscriber units that ensure those units both meet the 802.16-2004 spec as set up for testing by the forum, and that they interoperate in expected ways. Quality of service isn’t part of these parameters at the moment, so companies aren’t required to show compliance there.
Yesterday’s announcement brings official first-wave certification to Airspan (MacroMax base station, EasyST subscriber station), Axxcelera (ExcelMax base station), Sequans (SQN1010-RD subscriber station), Siemens (WayMAX@vantage base station, subscriber station), Wavesat (MiniMax subscriber station).
PT. Citra Sari Makmur (CSM) will upgrade gear, expand offerings using Aperto equipment: CSM already has PacketWAVE (pre-WiMax) equipment in place for a variety of offerings, and will upgrade and extend those deployments with the WiMax-certified PacketMAX products. The first wave of certification covers only a handful of characteristics of base stations, but it’s already being boosted as a selling point.
The device supports, well, everything: The Airspan 16eUSB adapter has no shipping date or price attached in this announcement, but it does include the kitchen sink. It’s compatible with 802.16e-2005 and the WiMax Forum’s profile for mobile WiMax, includes beam-forming and MIMO, and works in four major potential mobile WiMax bands (2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3-3.7 GHz, and 4.9-5.4 GHz) worldwide.
The device’s development has been sponsored in part by Yozan, which I assume is a fancy way of saying they invested money to make it happen. The Japanese operator plans mobile WiMax service in 2007.
Reuters reports that Intel is claiming it will have WiMax cards for laptops in 2006: The story, as usual, confuses fixed and mobile WiMax, reporting that “Wi-Max is seen by many in the field as a successor to Wi-Fi,” which isn’t what many people in the industry really think. Fixed WiMax is a fixed wireline replacement. Mobile WiMax is a threat to 3G cellular. Neither really overlaps the primary use of Wi-Fi, which remains indoor uses in which dense deployments (many homes, many apartments, campus-wide business service) remain the norm.
The article also notes that “Wi-Max has a much longer range, varying from a couple of miles in an urban area to 10 miles or more in open country.” Sure: for specific fixed WiMax installations. Mobile WiMax won’t have that kind of range because physics won’t allow distance, performance, and nomadic or mobile uses without extremely high signal strengths.
What Intel is talking about is mobile WiMax which is quite far from actual deployment, thus it’s strange that the company is gung-ho about embedding mobile WiMax receivers in laptops. In the US, especially, even basic issues of which frequencies would be used are still up in the air. There’s no certified standard and it’s likely months off or longer. The similar WiBro technology in South Korea may have a handhold there, already, but that’s a far cry from deployments worldwide that would require pre-installed cards.
There’s a big missing piece in this story, and I’m eager to hear more.