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WiMAX rival to see action in Beijing Olympics

Posted: 17 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:McWiLL technology? WiMAX rival? Beijing 2008 Olympics?

China Netcom, the country's second largest fixed-line telecommunications operator, said it will deploy a rival WiMAX technology for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.

McWiLL, or Multicarrier Wireless Internet Local Loop, is based on SCDMA technology in the 400MHz band and will be used in the coastal city of Qingdao during Olympic sailing events. The main application will be relaying race information back to shore.

Although backers of McWiLL hope it will spread throughout China as the main broadband wireless access technology, it looks like Qingdao may be the only place it is deployed for the Olympics. McWiLL has been tested in Guangzhou, Nanning in Guangdong province, Beijing and Qingdao for video, voice and data communications.

Yet Netcom is also testing WiMAX in Guangdong province. "To Netcom, wireless broadband is a small part of its business and McWiLL will also keep small scale," said Min Li, a telecom analyst from market researcher In-Stat.

McWiLL only has two chip providers for now, and local companies like ZTE and Huawei are focusing development efforts on WiMAX. That's leaving analysts in a conservative mood regarding any homegrown Chinese technology. "McWill hasn''t been standardized, nor has it an industry chain. It has a long ways to go," Li said, adding that it will probably only get a small slice of the market.

Moreover, telecom operators here are already being forced into an experiment with China's 3G technology, TD-SCDMA, and aren't likely to welcome another immature technology in the short term.

McWill is developed by Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology. It combines SCDMA's traditional use in narrowband voice and introduces nomadic broadband data that ties into an Internet Protocol-based core network. It is based on CS-OFDMA adaptive modulation, and it uses dynamic channel allocation and smart antennas to enhance its throughput.

As a homegrown technology for broadband, McWiLL is bound to bump up against WiMAX and WiBro, which are being actively promoted in China by Intel, Samsung and others. The Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee has accredited China Mobile to provide WLAN and WiMAX service for the Olympics.

- Cai Yan
EE Times

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