Light Reading

A Conflicted MAN?

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
10/31/2003
50%
50%

The WiMax Forum is supposed to do for the 802.16a wireless metropolitan area networking (MAN) specification what the Wi-Fi Alliance did for 802.11 wireless LAN networking: Push interoperability between different vendor's hardware and establish a brand for the technology (see Working for the MAN).

However, there could be one major issue that stands in the way of these ambitions, according to wireless broadband infrastructure manufacturer Alvarion Inc. (Nasdaq: ALVR), the 802.16a specification -- as it stands -- is "impossible to implement." [Ed. note: Well smack my arse and call me Charlie!]

So what's the issue? Alvarion's VP of marketing, Carlton O'Neal, says the job of the WiMax Forum is to "go through the 802.16 specification and tease out the interoperable systems." However, there are a lot of variables in the spec as it stands. The fixed, non-line-of-sight wireless technology can operate in the 2GHz to 11GHz bands. The data-transfer speed available to the end user depends on how much bandwidth is available. For instance, a system that operates at an efficiency of five bits per channel in a 14MHz channel will deliver 70-Mbit/s data streams at a range of up to 30 miles.

All this could -- O'Neal says -- result in two or three incompatible WiMax specifications. "WiMax could tell you this is WiMax blue, or WiMax green, or this is WiMax green," he says.

Contrast this with the Wi-Fi Alliance, which initially set out to promote the 802.11b (11 Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) standard under the 'Wireless Fidelity' brand [ed. note: yucky brand name, but that's another story] not three or four different standards. Even the Wi-Fi Alliance found it difficult to maintain the original promise of interoperability, as hardware vendors rushed in to deliver versions of 802.11g cards and access points before the specification was standardized this summer (see Interop Woes Smite 802.11g).

And O'Neal agrees that there's a "real risk" that different versions of WiMax specifications could confuse potential customers.

However, Alvarion is hoping that the involvement of chip behemoth Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) will force vendors to settle on one spec. "[Intel is] not going to build [chips for] three different specifications," says O'Neal. "They're going to build one."

Of course, Alvarion itself is working with Intel to develop products based on its WiMax/802.16a chips. O'Neal expects that the first chips will ship in the second quarter of next year, with infrastructure boxes arriving in the second half of 2004 (see Intel Gets Into Fixed Wireless).

However, like the battle to be the first with pre-standardized versions of 802.11g, its clear that Intel and Alvarion are not going to be only firms trying to get a competitive edge in this field. Startup Redline Communications Inc. is already claiming to have 802.16a-complaint infrastructure products. The Canadian firm demonstrated its AN-100 box at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) show in Geneva this year. — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones