Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax

Broadband wireless access vendor Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR) today unveiled its "WiMax platform" product, despite the lack of an officially ratified industry standard for the technology.

The pre-WiMax kit -- dubbed BreezeMAX 3500 -- is targeted at carriers that are looking to deploy wireless broadband services but aren’t prepared to wait for WiMax equipment (see Alvarion Touts WiMax Kit).

For those folks who played truant at tech school, WiMAX is the WiMax Forum’s name for the 802.16a wireless MAN standard (see Working for the MAN). The forum is not expected to ratify WiMax-certified products until late this year or early 2005.

Initial products bearing the WiMax badge are due to be based on the 802.16 revision d specification, intended as a high-speed, fixed wireless, cable/DSL replacement technology. A faster variant intended for applications where the user is mobile -- 802.16a version e -- is expected to follow.

Alvarion’s VP of marketing, Carlton O’Neal, plays down any potential problems with its pre-WiMax kit entering the market before the real deal is ratified.

“The guys on the WiMax Forum, the guys on the 802.16 committee, and the guys that built this product are the same folks,” he tells Unstrung. “Yeah we are flying the plane whilst we are building it, but we are pretty comfortable with that.”

O’Neal states that the company has an “upgrade path” planned once the standard is ratified. “We will add software and firmware to it so that it can support WiMax-certified CPEs [customer premises equipment]... We are being honest about our shortcomings. It is a WiMax product but it doesn’t have an Intel chip in it yet and it isn’t certified.” (See Intel's WiMax Drive.)

The marketing man claims that “customer pressure” was a major catalyst for product launch. “We have customers asking, so we want to deliver... We already have a couple of commercial customers deploying it: one in Latin America, one in Europe, and one in Asia. We will be making announcements over the next few weeks.”

Alvarion isn’t alone in talking up WiMax-ish kit. Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) has teamed with Navini Networks Inc. on pre-WiMAX technology, while Aperto Networks and Wi-LAN Inc. (Toronto: WIN) have deployed services using a WiMax-like service (see Alcatel's Not Waiting for WiMax, Aperto Unveils WiMax Roadmap, Wi-LAN Extends Finnish Net, and WiMax Gets Serious).

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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attwi2002 12/5/2012 | 1:39:41 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax WiMAX will not support 75Mbps and 50km together! Surprise. 75Mbps needs 20MHz of spectrum (not for cellular operators). Note: 5.8Ghz band is the only one with 20MHz bandwidth. 20MHz bandwidth at 5.8GHz will maybe go 500m (sounds like WiFi or Metricom to us). Coverage at 30 to 50km will be Line Of Sight not NLOS. The 2.5 and 3.5 bands may have 5-7Mhz bandwidth solutions. Coverage is a factor of bandwidth and the power per Hz. There are regulatory stipulations for power output, which again will limit range and any kind of mobility (let alone getting roof rights too). According to my favourite source within the WiMax camp, 10-30km will is NLOS but will require installation of outside antenna cost of around $150 (on top of the CPE cost). And, Indoor self installed solution will only work 1-2km from cell. The WiMax team may have hit the summit of Mt.Hype (where Oxygen is sparse). From here on, it's all downhill back to the land of reality. Interesting note in the Dow Jones newswire today about promising wireless technologies.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 1:39:39 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax Can't see that we said it did anywhere in this article. In fact we're very careful to simply describe WiMax as high-speed wireless technology at the moment because no one has yet delivered a convincing set of speeds and ranges that I've seen.

Note that Clearwire, which is using sorta WiMax tech from NextNet (as was), is promising 1.5 Mbit/s for user download speeds on their website. Seems more realistic...

If any readers have seen examples of WiMax-ish kit working in the wild I'd be interested to hear about them. It would be nice to throw some real world examples into a beginner's guide I'm trying to compile.

attwi2002 12/5/2012 | 1:39:38 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax DJ
The WiMax notes were from the Paris conference, last week - not in response to your article.
- AW
joset01 12/5/2012 | 1:39:37 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax Ah ok, interesting... do you have more? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

angelseye2000 12/5/2012 | 1:39:19 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax Alvarion Releases “WiMax” Platform
Alvarion artfully crafts its BreezeMax press release to use the term WiMax without precisely saying what that means: There’s no such thing as WiMax gear yet, but Alvarion wants you to accept that they’re releasing the closest thing to it. There’s no certification standard and no trademark program from the WiMax Forum, and that might be allowing a little market confusion to creep in.

Look at the hedges in the press release: Based on the IEEE 802.16/ETSI HiperMAN standards and WiMAX Forum profiles — that’s profiles, not standards. With prominent roles in the WiMAX ForumTM…The BreezeMAX platform is designed to support WiMAX certified CPEs, which will incorporate the Intel WiMAX chip set as they become available in the market…these are “products that provide a path for operators to WiMAX standardisation”…

All in all, perhaps they should have said more clearly: We’re not selling WiMax equipment, but something we believe we be so close to it that only firmware upgrades are required. Interestingly, while they say futureproofed on one page, they don’t mention whether purchasers would receive free hardware upgrades if the WiMax standard as deployed is too different to allow firmware changes to this equipment.

Finally, while the equipment will ship in the 2004 third quarter, BreezeMax 3500 works in the 3.5 GHz band, which is only available in Europe and the Asia Pacific. Daily Wireless has more details about the equipment. Bandwidth and throughput aren’t mentioned.


Nice to see people being bullish on Alvarions BreezeMax PR.......but what's so different from Wi-Lans Libra's OFDM Based products and there Continuity Program?:

Wi-LAN'S Continuity Program Delivers WiMAX Performance Today

The Continuity Program shows WiLAN’s clear path to the standards. Customers can purchase Libra (WOFDM based) products today and be confident that their investment will be protected when WiMAX products become available.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 1:39:16 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax So I'm confused, are you saying the product doesn't exist? Or that it's not WiMax?

Cos, as the article makes clear, its a Pre-WiMax product (PreMax?) -- as far as I'm concerned they're all pre-WiMax at the moment.

angelseye2000 12/5/2012 | 1:38:47 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax It's a pity that i can't edit my reply post(s) to add info with it....

There pr headline states: "Alvarion Launches BreezeMAX, Its WiMAX Platform Developed from the Ground up Based on IEEE 802.16/HiperMAN Standards"


Rudy Leser, VP Marketing of Alvarion. "Our WiMAX platform has been built from scratch...."

There is NO WiMax available. How can you have a "WiMax Platform"?

They should add "pre-wimax" in there headline imho.
angelseye2000 12/5/2012 | 1:38:47 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax I was also confused by all the media attention of Alvarion's BreezeMax PR!?

As if they are the only one with such a product?

A LIBRA 5800 network can be transferred into a WiMAX network without changing any
CPEs,thanks to Wi-LAN ’s Continuity Program ™.


angelseye2000 12/5/2012 | 1:38:47 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax Why are you confused Dan? Where do i say that the product doesn't exist?

Both *Glenn Fleishmann and i say that Alvarion's BreezeMax is not WiMax. That's all. A lot of people might think that. Example: Poster on WiFi-Planet: "The Alvarion sells the WiMAX at 3.5GHz.Who knows the price and speed?"

*Glenn Fleishman publishes the daily Web log 802.11b Networking News and writes the Practical Mac column for The Seattle Times. Glenn also contributes technology articles to the likes of The New York Times, InfoWorld, Wired, Macworld, and the O’Reilly Network. Glenn has been quoted on wireless networking in dozens of publications, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, The Boston Globe, Wired News, the Neue Z++richer Zeitung (Switzerland), and Les Echos (France).

Stop Using WiMax as a Verb
Parks Associates presents a clear chart of WiMax, 802.16, and cell flavors that explain their nature and timetable: Anyone writing about or planning to deploy fixed and mobile wireless data services needs to take a gander at Parks Associates’s layout of what WiMax will incorporate and when, including a break-out into the individual standards.

“Using the term WiMAX in a homogeneous fashion has created a lot of hype and confusion in the industry,” said one of Parks’s senior analysts. Bravo and thank you.

http://www.parksassociates.com.... html

angelseye2000 12/5/2012 | 1:38:46 AM
re: Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax "This is the first commercial launch ever of WiMAX hardware," Carlton O'Neal, vice president of marketing, told NewsFactor.

WiMax hardware? Did i miss something?

It will be early 2005 when the WiMax forum Certifieds real WiMax Products!!!!!!

The WiMAX Forum has established an aggressive, yet realistic roadmap to deliver WiMAX Forum Certified products:

2nd Quarter 2004: Profiles delivered and testing facility selected
3rd Quarter 2004: Certification tests ready
4th Quarter 2004: First “plugfest”
1st Quarter 2005: First products enter the WiMAX Forum Certified process
Early 2005: WiMAX Forum Certified products commercially deployed for fixed outdoor
Late 2005/Early 2006: WiMAX Forum Certified products commercially deployed for fixed indoor
2006/2007: WiMAX Forum Certified products available for portable access (notebooks, PDAs, etc.)

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