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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Impact on WiMAX from World Radio Congress

There has been an awful lot written (by me among others) about the ratification of WiMAX as a 3G technology within the IMT family. This gives it access to the 3G-designated frequency bands like 2.5GHz.

Cue lots of huffing & moaning from the UMTS advocacy brigade.

But now I'm wondering if perhaps the boot is on the other foot. Part of the outcome of the WRC was to designate a number of new ranges for IMT technologies, and also to get rid of the distinction between IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced. Two of the bands discussed - 3.4-3.6GHz and 2.3-2.4GHz - have previously been home to fixed broadband wireless technologies of various types, and, especially recently, WiMAX.

There's lots of 3.5GHz WiMAX being deployed, usually for fixed applications even if it's using 802.16e. Korea uses 2.3GHz for WiBro.

Now, it looks like we could see UMTS or CDMA encroaching into those bands. I bet we'll see a 3GPP profile for 3.4GHz UMTS pretty quickly.... and then it wouldn't surprise me to see a lot of HSPA+ or LTE fixed-3G chipsets and devices being made available pretty rapidly.

Given that the mobile operators are already successfully pitching 3G modems to home users for fixed/nomadic usage, I reckon that fixed WiMAX will come in for some stiff competition in 3 years or so time.


Martin said...

Concerning IMT-Advanced and IMT-2000 the WRC 2007 newsroom says:

'Further actions in the RA-07 included agreeing on IMT-Advanced as the name of the future generation of radio technologies beyond IMT-2000. As part of the naming agreements, the term IMT-2000 remains for describing third generation. Together IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced are collectively identified by the term IMT.'

(from: http://tinyurl.com/2pc7nx)

So, o.k. they will both be called IMT but I don't see the rivalery going away as both continue to exist.

But we will now have to wait for 2011 I suppose before we see what will be thrown into IMT-Advanced (now that almost everythin is in the (Enhanced)IMT-2000 basked :-)


Martin said...

Interesting pitch with 'will we see HSPA and LTE in 3.5/3.6 GHz'. At first I thought, 'please not another frequency band, we already have enough'. But there is enough space in that range to have lots of 20 MHz channels for those home users!