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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.
The German regulatory agency for spectrum launches its 3.4-3.6 GHz broadband wireless auction on Dec. 12: The auction will cover broadband wireless that could include Internet access. Four sets of frequencies in 28 regions are up for bid with 21 MHz paired uplink/downlinks in each set.
Martin Sauter has the full details on his blog.
Nortel scores two wins: The company will work with the government of Japan to test mobile WiMax systems in the northern Tohoku region. The area has limited broadband access.
Nortel will also be building out mobile WiMax in Yilan, a northeast county of Taiwan, working with Chunghwa Telecom.
Monica Paolini files a report on trying WiBro in Seoul: Paolini, who runs the analysis firm Senza Fili Consulting, was able to get 500 Kbps to 2 Mbps performance down and 250 Kbps to 500 Kbps up within the coverage area. She could even make Skype calls on the 19th floor of her hotel, despite Korea Telecom promising only coverage up to the fourth floor. The network was quite busy with other users similarly testing the network in the same location. This is first-generation WiBro with single input and output antennas. Paolini predicts better performance when MIMO is added.
Paolini identifies a more salient factor in why Asian telecoms get such huge uptake on data services in general: KT is pushing user-to-user operations, such as messaging and video calls. They’re not stressing high-download, walled-garden passive content.
WiBro uses the 2.3 GHz band with an 8.75 MHz channel, which Paolini notes was developed as a Mobile WiMax profile for the Korean market.
The terminology kills me: Nortel says that a provider in the UK will use its equipment to deploy WiMax service in the 3.5 GHz band in the UK. But the licenses for that operator allow only fixed use. Rather than use the 802.16-2004 spec which offers fixed-only profiles, Nortel says its partner will use 802.16-2005, typically referred to as mobile WiMax—but which has fixed, nomadic, and mobile uses. (The band is owned by Pipex, which ZDNet reports said it wasn’t working with Nortel.)
There’s still debate over a dedicated band that would allow mobile WiMax, with 2.5 to 2.7 GHz under consideration. 3G operators naturally want 3G-related standards to be the only ones permissible in that band.
Alvarion’s gear selected by Netia: The gear, using the 3.6 to 3.8 GHz extension to their BreezeMax platform—frequencies I haven’t heard of in use for this elsewhere—will cover provide WiMax in 20 cities by the end of August; they acquired a national license for this spectrum.
EE Times reports that Motorola and Softbank will build a trial network in Tokyo: Motorola will provide the system and mobile WiMax handheld devices. Softbank has 26m fixed-line and mobile customers in Japan that they could offer new services to. It’s a small trial with five base stations and 25 mobile devcies. But it will also show off MIMO technology in the base stations.
The largest planned 802.16-2005 (formerly 16e) development will cover 193 sites in Pakistan by September: Wateen Telecom will increase sites that rely on the mobility part of this WiMax standard to 600 by June 2007. The carrier will handle voice, broadband, and private IP services over the network. The early nature of this project is emphasized in this article, which notes that the general manager of Wateen said to Motorola at the end of a presentation at Wimax World Europe last week outlining the scope of the project, “Please don’t let me down.”
The WiMax Community (WMC) will try to harmonize WiBro, 802.16-2005: The latter standard includes fixed, nomadic, and mobile WiMax, like WiBro’s key focus (but not sole ability) appears to be mobility. WiBro equipment is already available, and there’s service in South Korea. It has quite a lot in common with mobile aspects of WiMax, and thus there’s been interest in having one standard, not two.
Twenty-two telecom firms from 16 countries have signed a memo to create the group within six months, including Covad in the U.S. The firms seem to include both competitive and incumbent providers, such as PCCW in Hong Kong (an early U.S. Wi-Fi service investor, by the way) and NTT Broadband in Japan.
I’ve exchanged some email with the PR person representing Covad, and they expect more information to be forthcoming.
NetNearU will deploy Wi-Fi, WiMax: The hotspot service firm has apparently deployed 327 Wi-Fi hotspots in Nigeria, with 300 turned on at a ceremony noting the Intel and NetNearU partnership. The article is a little hazy on all the technical details, but it sounds as if NetNearU will offer WiMax for final mile to the home and to businesses, while also using it to power their hotspots.
The article says that up to 50 cities in the UK could offer WiMax networks: Intel is investing £14 million in Pipex, which plans to roll service out broadly by 2008. The company currently competes in other telecoms businesses. The rollout will start in Manchester in 2007 with eight large cities added in 2008; up to 50 would eventually get the networks.
Clearly, these are 802.16e networks as the reporter says only two WiMax licenses are available in the UK, which would likely refer to specific frequencies that carriers would want to use for fixed and mobile WiMax with 802.16e. Unstrung reports that these are 3.6 GHz licenses.
Pipex had revenues of nearly £102m last year with £7.1m in profit. This isn’t a startup, but a going concern expanding into a new arena. The Independent says that only one other license for this type of service is available and issued—to Hong Kong firm PCCW, which long ago was an investor in airport Wi-Fi.
Natcom will start a trial in Auckland, New Zealand, of WiMax service: The Airthernet service starts with trials in January offering 2 to 10 Mbps. Companies that sign up will receive free equipment and pay a low rate during this period.
Are they using equipment certified in WiMax’s first round of basic testing? Not clear.
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.
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.
UAB “Netlas Tinklas” has launched in the Baltic state of Lithuania: It uses 3G UMTS TDD, which is a technology sold by IP Wireless, and is one of the many considered one of the potential broadband wireless winners for mobility. IP Wireless says the standard supports full mobility and 3 Mbps data rates. UAB has yet to sign agreements with customers, but continues to deploy in Vilnius and soon elsewhere.
Lithuania has several characteristics as a country shared with its neighbors Latvia and Estonia. They each have unique cultural and linguistic histories, and are each coming into the 21st century at different. Estonia has been an early and rapid adopter of wireless technology; Lithuania’s major telco just announced a major hotspot rollout. Any news on Latvia?
(Lithuania also has the closest living relative to Sanskrit extant today.)
InfiNet Wireless signs to supply gear for 28 Russian Federation cities: Enforta BV will build out a national broadband wireless network using WiMax gear supplied by InfiNet. Broadband has two percent penetration in Russia. The rollout will span 24 months.
IPWireless’s technology powers the T-Mobile’s so-called fourth generation (4G) network for broadband data, video: The technology is designed for both fixed broadband replacement and mobile access. The initial roll-out is in Prague, Czech Republic. Voice isn’t mentioned in the press release. The service is offered at 512 Kbps (699 korunas/US$29 + 19% VAT per month) or 1 Mbps (999K/US$41 + VAT), but speeds are not guaranteed. While they’re calling this 4G, the lack of initial voice integration makes it hard to take that label seriously.
I’ll confess ignorance: I can’t seem to find a solid definition of 4G as there is for 3G. Older sources claim that 4G will top 100 Mbps. Others seem to include converged IP networks that carry voice, data, and video. Enlightenment welcome in comments.
Over in the Slovak Republic earlier this week, T-Mobile opened up a Flash-OFDM network that offers 512 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps service for mobile and fixed data. Video and voice aren’t mentioned in this article.
Alvarion said that multiple operators will conduct a total of 11 pre-WiMax trials in Italy: A state ministry has appointed a testing group to monitor the trials performance with results due by the end of the year.
Intel says it intends to test WiMax in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines; South Korea already way ahead: Intel will start its trials by the end of 2005 with the intent to help providers roll out service within two to three years in the first three of those countries. South Korea is ahead of the pack with a commercial roll-out expected in the first half of 2006.
The U.S. firm has markets in the U.S, and has launched commercially in Dublin with Copenhagen to follow: Broadband penetration in Ireland is the staggeringly low rate of 3.3 percent. Clearwire’s service costs about the same as DSL, but doesn’t require the mandatory line charge that comes with DSL. The official launch of Clearwire in Ireland is mid-October, but the service can be ordered now.
The Copenhagen launch should be in the fourth quarter, with other cities to follow. Clearwire acquired a Danish firm with existing license holdings. Clearwire already operates wireless broadband services in Brussels.
BlogWiMax is a new Spanish-language site with news on the broadband wireless standard: As WiMax spreads internationally, expect more regional and language-focused blogs to emerge.