Intel's London MAN Plans

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has given its WiMax bandwagon further fuel by revealing that it aims to eventually roll out broadband wireless services in the centre of London as part of an industry initiative.

The vendor shared its plans at the launch of today’s "Wireless City" project -- a joint partnership with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Westminster City Council that involves the rollout of a public 802.11b (11-Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) network within the London district (see Westminster Goes Wireless).

The group is in the process of extending a small trial project in the Soho area of central London that provides limited hotspot coverage to the public and links closed circuit cameras to a central network to enable local security monitoring.

Intel is eager to add to the 802.11b wireless LAN services on offer, planning to incorporate faster technologies such as WiMax metropolitan area networks over time.

“Westminster City Council will be one of the first users of this technology anywhere in the world,” claims the vendor’s director of IT Innovation, Martin Curley. “It is our plan to cover large metro areas with WiMax technology. We want to unlock the last mile without the need for fiber.”

Curley declined to specify a timescale for such rollout.

Intel’s enthusiasm for the technology is hardly surprising, in light of plans to launch its own WiMax chips “by the second half of this year.” (See Intel's Got WiMax Headroom and Intel's WiMax Drive.)

These chips, based on the 802.16a (revision d or e) standard, will be used in wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) base stations to initially provide high-speed fixed wireless data services at distances of up to 30 miles or so. WiMax is being touted as a cheaper way to provide backhaul for 802.11 wireless LAN access points, which normally have to be wired up to an Ethernet or cable network to provide connectivity (see Working for the MAN).

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

wap545 12/5/2012 | 1:53:23 AM
re: Intel's London MAN Plans God! This is such a misleading article.
The Implications of this piece are as follows:
1. WiMAX and 802.11b are made to appear the same.
2. Intel is deploying a 802.11b solution in London as part of an effort to promote its WiMAX enhanced services package.
Excerpt:"...involves the rollout of a public 802.11b (11-Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) network..." a 5 year old technology.
3."...planning to incorporate faster technologies such as WiMax." and " Westminster City Council will be one of the first users of this technology anywhere in the world,GÇ¥ What is up with that? What technology are they refering to here ? 802.11b , WiMAX or 802.16a ?

Some facts as I know:
WiMAX is not a Technology or spectrum but a Forum for the promotion of interoperability between developers of the emerging 802.16a standard.
802.16a is the new standard and is initially being planned as a Back Haul technology (release 1) for the 802.11a/b/g WiFi Last Mile Point to MultiPoint solutions.
The only vendor I know of that has announced a 802.16a product (Backhaul Point to Point Radio) is Redline Comm and that is an international (3.5Ghz)standard based product. To do the HotSpot service ref to in this article they will need to deploy existing 5+ year old 802.11 products fed by a 802.16 radio like Redlines in backhaul mode. If they want to have the enhanced mode implied by the article (and why it's a bogus piece)people will have to wait until the 802.16d technology is release to allow a PCMCIA based Portable functionality like in a hotspot. Further before it can go mobile they need to wait until the 802.16e standard is released. I would referr people to the WiMAX Forum or better yet the IEEE 802.16a group for release dates for these pieces.

Why is this article necessary and why can't we get an analyst to report what is really happening-our subscribers are increasingly savy in this space and look to you folks for better information.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 1:53:12 AM
re: Intel's London MAN Plans Added a couple of words to clarify but on the whole I disagree.

WiMax is not just a forum but also the name of the specification that the forum is putting together, which is currently based on 802.16a revision d.

As far as I know Intel will base its chips on 802.16a revision d (which some people have taken to calling 802.11d), and may move to revision e after that. The first chips are due end of 2004/early 2005.

There is an Insider report on WiMax coming in July.

What do other readers think? Should we put together a "beginners guide" to WiMax/802.16a rev d.

Happy to do so if there's enough demand.

DJ Unstrung
wonderfull 12/5/2012 | 1:53:06 AM
re: Intel's London MAN Plans Dan: Please do for the benefit of mankind..

Few months ago I attended a wireless tech day at a carrier which included sessions on 802.11,802.15,802.16, 802.20, WiFi Alliance, WiMax, MBOA, etc. To the credit of the standards and forum speakers the audience were thoroughly confused...
wap545 12/5/2012 | 1:50:26 AM
re: Intel's London MAN Plans Further confusion: Not sure if Dan is disagreeing with me here but WiMAX is still an Interoperability Forum and will not be setting Standards per say.
See attached Principles from their Forum Web Sites.
WiMAX Forum web site:
WiMAX is comprised of industry leaders who are committed to the open interoperability of all products used for broadband wireless access.
-Support IEEE 802.16 standard
-Propose and promote access profiles for their IEEE 802.16 standard
-Certify interoperability levels both in network and the cell
-Achieve global acceptance
-Promote use of broadband wireless access overall
Unfortunately Dan missed the point here, that is we need analysts that understand the technologies they write about and not sucumb to vendors rhetoric about planned deployments of systems not released yet.
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