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Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial

Flarion Technologies has added another carrier name to its growing list of trial wins, securing a small but high-profile deal with Vodafone Group plc's (NYSE: VOD) Japanese subsidiary (see Voodoo Flashes in Japan).

The “alternative” wireless broadband startup is to provide Vodafone KK -- Japan’s third largest wireless carrier -- with its Flash-OFDM PC card modems and RadioRouter base stations for use within its 3G UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) network (see Flarion Unveils Chipsets).

OFDM is a modulation scheme that can support an average data rate of around 1.5 Mbit/s for users in a standard, PCS-sized cell site, while using only 1.25 MHz of spectrum. This makes it approximately four or five times more spectrally efficient than comparable 3G technologies, such as CDMA2000 or UMTS -- and cheaper to implement.

According to Vodafone spokesman Matthew Nicholson, the trial is “expected to start in the summer and last until the end of 2004.”

Nicholson is unable to divulge details of potential customer numbers, stating that the trial “will take place in one area of metropolitan Tokyo.”

Flarion’s EMEA marketing director, Joe Barrett, is a little more effusive. Barrett claims the carrier will be trialing the technology over “seven or eight [base station] sites.”

“It is a friendly trial, targeting non-paying customers,” he adds. “I can’t comment on the actual financial aspects for Flarion, but we don’t do free trials.”

Despite Flarion’s success, Vodafone is keen to stress that the New Jersey vendor is not its sole supplier of “alternative” network equipment.

“Vodafone Group trials a lot of different technologies,” says Nicholson. “We can’t go into detail on what will take place after the trial. Whether or not we actually adopt the technology is another question.”

The deal adds to Flarion’s trial announcements with U.S. carrier Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL), as well as Korea’s Hanaro Telecom Inc., SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), and KT (see Nextel Steps Up Data Race, KT Joins the Flash-OFDM Band, Flarion Doubles Down in Korea, and Flarion Cookin' Up Seoul Food).

Aside from its publicly announced trials, Australian media reports also cite a deployment with national incumbent Telstra Corp. Meanwhile, industry scuttlebutt suggests that last year’s cash injection from T-Mobile Venture Fund was a prelude to a likely trial with T-Mobile International AG (see Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund).

“I can’t confirm or deny either carrier,” comments Flarion’s VP of global marketing and communications, Ronny Haraldsvik.

Regardless of such speculation, analysts believe Flarion’s recent activity is indicative of a marked shift in carrier focus. “Sensibly, carriers aren’t writing any technology off,” says Gartner Inc.’s Jason Chapman. “The Flarion service seems to be very impressive. If you are a mobile carrier and there is a technology out there that seems to be rocking, then it makes sense to look at it.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

lrmobile_Gman_too 12/5/2012 | 1:49:09 AM
re: Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial Vodaphone's current 3G solution uses a custom TCP protocol so that Layer 4 does not time out. This is a problem everytime Bill Gates puts out new OSes, sine the custome protocol might need tweaking.

By using 802.20, their customers get to use TCP right out of the box, and it migrates too.

This precisely why newer technologies, like 802.20 have a chance at winning the mobile IP market.

They are economical in either dense or sparse populations. There is no base station coordination or synchronization needed. You just add base stations into existing deployments, and you do not need to remap your RF plan, you do not need to tell the other base stations that they have a new neighbor. The mobiles automatically discover better base stations based on RF environment.

There is need no for costly TDM infrastructure. All the extra boxes in the MSC go away, you need just IP routers.

All this with an average 3-4 times the performance.

It cannot come soon enough.
standardsarefun 12/5/2012 | 1:48:29 AM
re: Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial Gman_too writes: By using 802.20, ... This precisely why newer technologies, like 802.20 have a chance at winning the mobile IP market.

Sorry but I don't understand. When I last looked at the 802.20 web site all I saw was a huge debate on requirements and common propagation model for simulations to be used in the selection process. Seems to be that "802.20 technology" isn't defined yet....
El Rupester 12/5/2012 | 1:48:24 AM
re: Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial There is no base station coordination or synchronization needed.

How do you handoff if there is no coordination?

You just add base stations into existing deployments, and you do not need to remap your RF plan, you do not need to tell the other base stations that they have a new neighbor.

How does this work?

Cellular networks use frequency planning very carefully. There are laws of physics involved in that. Are you trying to say Flarion doesn't do frequency planning? Or has infinite frequency reuse?

And if you don't tell the basestation, how do you do handoff ?

The mobiles automatically discover better base stations based on RF,/i>

That sounds like every other cellular system.
So what ?
El Rupester 12/5/2012 | 1:48:24 AM
re: Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial Gman_too

I am not sure I understand.

Vodaphone's current 3G solution uses a custom TCP protocol so that Layer 4 does not time out

But isn't this to cope with the "glitches" in cellular coverage, without dropping a session?

If I'm on voice, I get about 5 seconds of silence when a connection 'stutters' before GSM actually drops the call. I can use GPRS for hours on a train (despite multiple silences, tunnels, glitches) with interrupting the VPN. Yet if I disconnect my network & plug it in a few seconds later, TCP (and DHCP) will be interrupted.

How does 802.20 cope with interruptions without a custom driver?

What is the timeout on a normal network?

Or are they going to guarantee absolutely seamless coverage ?

Besides, is this really a problem?
Many systems ship with a driver - that is a cheaper part of a network.
lrmobile_Gman_too 12/5/2012 | 1:48:16 AM
re: Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial El_rupester,

"But isn't this to cope with the "glitches" in cellular coverage, without dropping a session? "

Yes, but my point is that this aggrevates application deployment since it is not just out-of-the-box deployment. How do you manage change of applications, differences in hardware, change of OS, changes to Layer 4 hack?


"What is the timeout on a normal network?"

Standard TCP was built with timers to monitor the condition of the transmission line (or airlink) and to try to minimize retransmissions. When you have sufficient bandwidth access to the server, the acknowledgement of successfully delivered TCP frames are exchanged between the client/server indicating the transit delay for the ack. If the acks are fast, TCP assumes a BIG pipe and sets a larger data window and effectively gives your application more bandwidth. When the Internet gets buzy or your server get buzy, the delivery of acks slows down, and TCP minimizes the window and slows down your connection.

On an unreliable transmission link (or airlink), out-of-box TCP will not behave in a suitable fashion for a user-friendly experience. Even with a 10G link, if it is fully satured with traffic, you will see this behavior.

The reason that you do not see gamers with delay-sensitive applications running around with wireless PDAs, is that the games do not run that well due to data loss and delay inherent in the air channel.

That is why custom TCP-IP protocols are used in the wireless data industry.

From what I understand, Flarion has developed a way to minimize the data loss and delay, which allows the use of industry-standard software, and allows loss/delay sensitive applications to ACTUALLY work over an air channel.
lrmobile_Gman_too 12/5/2012 | 1:48:13 AM
re: Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial El-rupester,

The answers to many of your questions can be found at:

http://www.flarion.com/viewpoi...
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