Friday, January 12, 2007

On WiMAX

WiMAX has two variants- fixed/nomadic and mobile. They are two 'completely' incompatible technologies. They could have as well given them two different names. Don’t expect your devices to ‘smoothly’ upgrade to one or the other. Don’t expect your network service providers to offer both technologies ‘seamlessly’. No matter what they tell you, they are not compatible. At the most, they can make them work the way they have made GSM and CDMA work together- and you know how that works.

Fixed/nomadic WiMAX is interesting to emerging nations. Lack of copper and lack of long 'last mile' allows wireless deployments, and fixed/nomadic WiMAX is ideally suited to be the best alternative- to both broadband internet and voice telephony. Again, if you have DSL and it is working fine, then you don't need WiMAX no matter what they tell you.

Mobile WiMAX is interesting to developed nations. It comes as the best possible alternate to 3G cellular. I don't think it will come as a replacement of 3G. It will come more as a complementary technology. Mobile WiMAX will allow some operators to offload the bandwidth, allow dual technologies to efficiently manage their traffic and spectrum, depending on location, application and mobility (as three governing factors). 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

hsekwpaI think you are wrong here. There is a chipset by Beceem Communications that has commercially deployed in S Korea. You can access very fast up and downlinks in a car travelling at 75 mph. Beceem is headed by Prof. A J Paulraj, ex-Indian navy and now the brains behind Beceem and a Prof At Stanford University. Sprint, Samsung, Alvarion, Navini,
Nokia, Motorola besides ZTE China and NTT Docomo Japan are depnding upon their chipsets for the rollout in 2007 - 08.
Ta ta

Sujai K said...

anonymous:
??
Where was I wrong?

Naren said...

Wi-Max might still beat DSL in countries like India. DSL has big problems when it comes to rollout of non-Voice/HSI services; i.e. Video, Gaming. Bandwidth is one thing, ensuring quality and stability quite another.

BTW, I see you jumping into conclusions very soon; 'no matter what they tell you ...' :-). Isn't it too early to conclude?

Nevertheless, I like your articles. Enjoyed the 'How many people report into you?' stuff.
Keep posting!

Cheers!

Sujai K said...

Naren, you ask:
"Isn't it too early to conclude?"

If you are already working on it or if you are deploying one of them, I think one should already know :)

802.16-2004 is already out. 802.16e is also standardized.

Peddi Reddy said...

Dear Sujai,

Its a good, succinct article.
But I have few comments..

>>>>if you have DSL and it is working fine, then you don't need WiMAX no matter what they tell you.>>>>>

Both fixed broadband(DSL) and Wimax are still in infancy stage in developing countries. If I would get Wi-Max at the same price as fixed-broad band, why wouldn't I move to Wi-Max, which offers me flexibility and convenience thanks to roaming?

>>>>I don't think it will come as a replacement of 3G>>>>>>

I defy that. WiMax is going to kill the 3G broadband market.

Many research reports voice only one thing, i.e., WiMax is going to eat atleast 60% of the revenues from 3G market and so its a huge threat to mobile operators.

WiMax is already a red hot strategic issue in most of the boardrooms of the telecom companies.

But they can't invest in WiMax, as they are still struggling to recover their mammoth investment in 3G, thanks to the sluggish growth, except in SouthKorea!


I do concur with you that WiMax is a way to go in developing countries, as the mobile operators haven't invested in 3G services yet.

So people with Wi-Fi enabled handset can use mobile broadband with almost 6 times faster than that of HSPA enabled handset, AND at a low cost.

Anonymous said...

Cool!

Sujai K said...

Peddi Reddy:
You write-
I defy that. WiMax is going to kill the 3G broadband market.

If that is the case, then I am happy.

Unfortunately, we cannot predict the future so well.

And one thing that we learn from history is - never trust the reports.

I wouldn't bet my life on what the reports are going to say.

I have seen both worlds- 3G and WiMAX. I believe they both make a good case. Let's see how what the future holds for all of us!

Anonymous said...

WiMAX has two variants- fixed/nomadic and mobile. They are two 'completely' incompatible technologies. They could have as well given them two different names. Don’t expect your devices to ‘smoothly’ upgrade to one or the other. Don’t expect your network service providers to offer both technologies ‘seamlessly’. No matter what they tell you, they are not compatible. At the most, they can make them work the way they have made GSM and CDMA work together- and you know how that works.

didn't get what you are trying to convey. why they are incompatible?...I agree that a system designed for fixed applications may not be the best for mobile environment...but lets say i have designed my WiMAX system to support a "mobile" scenario. are you saying that it will not work for a "fixed" subscriber.


Fixed/nomadic WiMAX is interesting to emerging nations. Lack of copper and lack of long 'last mile' allows wireless deployments, and fixed/nomadic WiMAX is ideally suited to be the best alternative- to both broadband internet and voice telephony. Again, if you have DSL and it is working fine, then you don't need WiMAX no matter what they tell you.
Mobile WiMAX is interesting to developed nations. It comes as the best possible alternate to 3G cellular. I don't think it will come as a replacement of 3G. It will come more as a complementary technology. Mobile WiMAX will allow some operators to offload the bandwidth, allow dual technologies to efficiently manage their traffic and spectrum, depending on location, application and mobility (as three governing factors).



I think its not the developed or developing nation that matters for a mobile or fixed WiMAX application. It is the marketing strategies (getting vendors) and the price of the product that decides what is best for the current scenario. if you make a mobile or fixed WiMAX chip with $300-400 dollars, obliviously you don't market it in countries like india. where as if it costs only $100 dollars then everybody will try to chose india as its best suitable market.

It would have been better if u have provided some examples for comparison of DSL and fixed WiMAX. and you argument saying WiMAX cant replace 3G.

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39285961,00.htm

Sujai K said...

Anonymous:
didn't get what you are trying to convey. why they are incompatible?...

They are two different technologies. They are incompatible at OFDM level itself as defined by the standards. So, its like working with CDMA and GSM phones- they are inherently incompatible.

May be, I will give examples. Next time.

Anonymous said...

some reference from my side

tmcnet.com/usubmit/2007/03/27/2445672.htm