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The IEEE looks to 802.16m to turn WiMax into gigabit wireless technology: WiMax came out of 802.16, with what’s typically called fixed WiMax being 802.16-2004, and mobile WiMax being 802.16-2005 (actually comprising fixed, nomadic, and mobile profiles). 802.16m would potentially comply with 4G requirements, allowing a convergence of WiMax and cellular standards. The new standard wouldn’t be finalized until late 2009.
The FCC required AT&T to sell off 2.5 GHz spectrum as part of its acquisition of BellSouth: Clearwire gets the prize spectrum, which probably also brings it into a closer relationship with AT&T. The deal is for $300m in cash. The 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses and leases were owned by BellSouth across its nine-state territory. The Seattle Times reports that Clearwire will boost its spectrum holdings with this purchase by 14.2 percent, and revised its estimate of population covered to 214m, up from about 200m just a few weeks ago. Carol Ellison at MuniWireless.com reminds us that Clearwire founder Craig McCaw sold AT&T a pile of cellular spectrum in 1994 for $13b, making his first fortune.
The firm had a previous IPO filing, but withdrew it and accepted $900m from Intel, Motorola: The new IPO would sell 20m shares for $23 to $25 to raise capital for expansion, or over $500m at the mid-range after expenses. After the sale, Intel will keep a 27 percent stake and Motorola, 13 percent. Both firms, along with Samsung, are developing mobile WiMax equipment for Clearwire, as well as for Sprint.
The story is a bit complex, but it’s apparently a first: Nortel, Kyocera Wireless, and Runcom worked together to create the lab conditions to place a call using MIMO-equipped WiMax equipment. It’s all prototype gear, but it involved three different firms working together to produce the call, which included voice and streaming video. Nortel is heavily pushing MIMO-based WiMax; current WiMax standards don’t require MIMO, but there’s an expectation that it will be a significant part of wide-scale rollouts within a few years. MIMO buys you frequency reuse and greater range with relatively few penalties compared to simple omnidirectional antennas.
The company says it’s the first to mash-up Wi-Fi, WiMax in a single platform: The company offers both 802.11b/g and 802.11a radios for Wi-Fi coupled with a fixed WiMax (802.16-2004) radio for backhaul. The WiMax radio, from the Tsunami product line, works in 3.3 to 3.6 GHz licensed and 5.1 to 5.8 GHz unlicensed spectrum. There’s also an Ethernet switch built in. The WiMax radio is certified as a standalone item, but the entire product needs new certification. The company says MeshMAX will be software upgradable to Mobile WIMax (802.16-2005).
Alvarion equipment will be used by Ukrainian High Technology (UHT) to build out further service: The network has deployments in Kiev and Kharkov; the new deployments, also in 3.5 GHz, will extendt o Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Lviv. There are no numbers on customer base or costs in the press release.