Light Reading
This time it's personal: WiMax and LTE are going toe-to-toe yet again in the battle to be the 'real' 4G standard

WiMax vs. LTE: The Rematch

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
10/7/2009
50%
50%

Think the battle between WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) is over? Think again.

The WiMax and LTE camps are rallying forces again to win the hearts and minds of operators for future mobile broadband networks. This time, the wireless groups are competing for acceptance at the International Telecommunication Union, Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) as the primary standard for IMT-Advanced (that's 4G to you and me). (See ITU Approves New 4G Specs and Wireless Camps Prep Fresh 4G Battle.)

Today is an important deadline for documents to be submitted to the ITU-R so that the technology candidates can be considered, and both the WiMax and LTE supporters have met this deadline. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) has submitted documents for its candidate 802.16m (a.k.a. WiMax Release 2), and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has submitted documents for LTE-Advanced.

What happens next is a long evaluation process -- expected to take at least until October 2010 -- which formally kicks off at a meeting in Dresden, Germany, next Wednesday. During that time, the ITU will consider whether or not each of the technologies meets the IMT-Advanced requirements.

Both camps claim they do meet those requirements, of course.

First, to douse some of the confusion here, today's WiMax and LTE networks are not technically 4G, strictly speaking, but since they are so commonly referred to in that way the label has stuck. (NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) is an exception here because it refers to its LTE network as "Super 3G.") The "real" 4G, defined by these IMT-Advanced requirements, are what the WiMax 802.16m and LTE-Advanced camps are striving to meet.

The key characteristics of IMT-Advanced are downlink speeds of 100 Mbit/s in the wide area with high mobility and 1 Gbit/s in low-mobility scenarios; low latency at less than 10 millisecond roundtrip delay; and very wide spectrum bandwidths of up to 100 MHz.

WiMax grows up
At the ITU Telecom World 2009 show in Geneva this week, the WiMAX Forum has been hyping the development of 802.16m (or WiMax Release 2.0). (See Forum Backs WiMax 2.)

And proving that the war of words isn't over, the Forum refers to WiMax Release 2 as "short-term evolution." [Ed. note: Get it?] The Forum says the technology is expected to be commercially available in the 2011-to-2012 timeframe.

The Forum claims that WiMax Release 2 can achieve 120 Mbit/s downlink and 60 Mbit/s uplink in an urban scenario using 4x2 MIMO (Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output) on a 20MHz-wide channel.

The first operator trials of WiMax Release 2 will start next year. Russian operator Yota announced in Geneva that it will start trialing the 802.16m technology in late 2010 with equipment from Samsung Corp. , its sole provider of 802.16e infrastructure. (See Yota Trials WiMax 2.0.)

Yota CEO Dennis Sverdlov said at a WiMax Forum press conference in Geneva yesterday that 802.16m is needed for additional capacity, as Yota does not place usage limits on its customers and the use of video applications is growing.

Yota currently has 200,000 customers who, on average, download 10 gigabytes of data each month -- that’s 2 petabytes of data per month going downstream across Yota’s network -- and it’s adding about 2,300 new customers each day. The operator can handle this level of traffic because it has built its own fiber backhaul network for its urban rollouts that give each cell site 200 Mbit/s of backhaul. The operator has also started using DragonWave Inc. (AIM/Toronto: DWI; Nasdaq: DRWI)'s microwave backhaul gear in less dense coverage areas. (See DragonWave Backhauls Yota's WiMax.)

Could WiMax and LTE ever merge?
Some scuttlebutt from Geneva that has reached Unstrung's ears involves the possible blending of WiMax and LTE via the IMT-Advanced evaluation process. One possibility for such a technology merger could see the 802.16m standard becoming the time division duplex (TDD) version of LTE-Advanced. However, the achievement of such an outcome is considered to need more political, rather than technical, work.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
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.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
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
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed