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Backers push for improved Mobile WiMAX speed, efficiency

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mobile WiMAX? broadband? wireless network?

The WiMAX Forum has reached a milestone in advancing the speed of data and the efficiency of broadband wireless networks based on the 802.16e Mobile WiMAX standard, amid threats from a rival standard.

Alvarion, Beceem, Clearwire, Fujitsu, GCT Semiconductor, Hitachi, Huawei, Intel, Motorola, NEC, Samsung, Sequans, UQ and ZTE have created a proposal on enhancements to the IEEE 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard for submission into the next WiMAX Forum certification release.

The specific enhancements to the 802.16e Mobile WiMAX standard include the following:

??Increased data uplink and downlink budgets that improve the performance of WiMAX devices operating at the outer edges of a WiMAX cell or enable the service provider to increase the coverage of a given cell.

??Up to 70 percent improved spectral efficiency and an associated potential doubling of peak data rates.

??New technologies for reducing signal interference both within cells and among cell sites.

??Improved frequency Reuse 1 deployment schemes.

The WiMAX Forum is targeting validation of equipment that incorporates these new enhancements before the end of this year, which would lead to certified products from multiple vendors starting in 2011.

In April, Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Sequans, XRONet and ZTE as well as the Taiwanese research organization, ITRI, launched the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI). The move is intended to accelerate interoperability of WiMAX 2 systems, based upon the IEEE 802.16m standard.

4G technologysuch as WiMAX and LTEfaces an uphill battle. "The road to advance 4G wireless technologies is challenged by multiple wireless standards, limited availability of spectrum, constricting business models, as well as a host of other market and industry issues," according to In-Stat.

The transition to 4G communication standards has begun, with 3.6 percent of mobile devices with baseband connectivity expected to be using 4G standards in 2014, according to In-Stat.

Despite the early lead of WiMAX, the rival LTE standard is expected to account for over 60 percent of 4G-enabled mobile devices in 2014, according to the firm.

According to a new International Data Corp. (IDC) forecast, the U.S. mobile broadband market will grow from 6.5 million subscribers in 2009 to 30.2 million in 2014, which accounts for a CAGR of 36.1 percent over the forecast period.

"2010 will see growing interest and adoption of services, but being at the threshold of a world with 4Gboth WiMAX and LTE fully deployedwill play a positive role in spurring growth within the consumer and the business segment," according to IDC.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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