& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
,
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
Cisco Throws 5,500 Overboard on Cruise to Richer Waters
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/17/2016
VoLTE Can Drive 4G Small Cells Adoption
Ravi Narayanan, Senior Analyst – Cloud & Next Generation Mobile Networks, Heavy Reading, 8/18/2016
Slow Roll Builds for DOCSIS 3.1
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/17/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.