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Friday, July 18, 2008

A mischievous suggestion - how about a WiMAX/UMB hybrid?

I see that Sprint has left the NGMN (Next Gen Mobile Networks) consortium in something of a huff, after that organisation endorsed LTE as "the answer" for 4G, leaving WiMAX on the table despite scrutinising it for a long time.

To be honest, NGMN's "inclusive" policy of other networks always struck me as a thinly veiled stick with which to prod Ericsson, NSN et al into a more benign IPR and interoperability direction.

So, in the spirit of end-of-the week "What if......?" thinking, I'm speculating about a possible next step. NGMN's other jilted lover is Qualcomm's CDMA-UMB, which is now looking almost completely friendless.

So.... how about a WiMAX / LTE hybrid? Could Intel and Qualcomm bury the hatchet and play nicely together?

What if... Sprint got together with KDDI in Japan (also a CDMA / WiMAX operator) , and locked the 2 silicon companies in a room together with representatives from CDG and the WiMAX Forum, and told them to turn UMB into WiMAX's FDD profile? And make it all neatly backward-compatible & roam-able with EVDO? It might even tempt the Koreans back to the CDMA camp.....

Yes, I know it's probably not practical on technological, commercial or political grounds. But it's fun to speculate anyway.......

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