Light Reading
WiMax Forum rassles with 802.16, the wireless MAN specification that's 'impossible to implement'

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
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business – Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/30/2014
Pics From Comic-Con -- Honest!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/30/2014
If Not Muni Networks, Then What?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2014
Utilities Drive Connected Cars Into the Smart Grid
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/31/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed