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Chinese WiMax Standoff Brewing?

Dan Jones

11:15 AM -- It seems there may be some trouble and strife over the possibility of WiMax emerging as a 3G standard in China.

The vice chief engineer of Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group is claiming that WiMax isn't mature enough to be a standard. "WiMax, based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, is unable to support seamless handover, and can't meet mainstream 3G standards," Datang's Chen Shanzhi told the Beijing Morning Post. The paper notes that Datang is a leading supporter of China's home-grown TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) standard.

Shanzhi's remarks come hard on the heels of a Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. statement carried by the Shanghai Morning Post in which that company described itself as the "leading WiMAX... solution provider in China," boasting its relationship with NextWave Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: WAVE) That followed on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) awarding WiMax the 3G status Datang says it doesn't meet. (See WiMax Wins ITU Approval.) Any WiMax squabbles should be no surprise, however, given the long and fraught nature of the Chinese 3G process. The government once again delayed 3G rollout earlier this month. (See Chinese Roulette.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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