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It really is pretty astonishing isn't it?
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'
QCOM buy Flarion two years ago for $900M - at the time the only remotely proven real OFDM system on the market... A masterstroke...
They squander it.
Between LTE and WiMAX, who will use UMB? Why on earth should an operator choose a technology that is late, with no ecosystem, higher costs ?
The Koreans have gone for HSPA and WiMAX.
Sprint and KDDI are doing WiMAX.
Verizon says it will do LTE.
There is no way the GSM/WCDMA community (VODA, TMO, DoCoMo etc) will switch away from LTE.
We already see Indians & Brazilians shifting from cdma2000 to UMTS... And WiMAX is going well there?
So who is left to buy this stuff?
C Block 22Mhz 700 Mhz spectrum:
UWB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) with 2X2 MIMO & 64QAM
Could deliver up to 13.9Mbps Down and 8.5Mbps Upload.
What could we get with WiMAX using same spectrum??
Agreed, but it is actually even worse (even dumber...) than that.
Having blocked Flarion, let WiMAX sail past on the inside, then buy Flarion...
The intelligent thing would have been to promote that existing, working technology. At that time it was the only working OFDM system and it would have done well against (untested, not yet working) WiMAX, and savaged LTE
Flarion had been very clever in how they had aligned Flash-OFDM to EVDO; it would have been a good candidate as Rev C.
Instead they sat on it for two years, let NIH truimph, go into a flurry of engineering & new design - and squander the lead.
UMB is not Flash-OFDM; it is a new air-interface. A very clever one no doubt, but who on earth needs yet another air-interface?
Too little, too late - and a majot sdtrategic blunder.
Well, they are both using the same channel and both are OFDMA, with 64QAM and 2x2 MIMO
The difference will not be significant.
I am talking about "difference in reality" of course. Difference in powerpoint is a wholly different thing - after all, 'WiMAX can do 70Mbps at 70 miles and 70mph', according to powerpoint, ho ho ho :)
What will be significant is the size of the eco-system, supply & variety of sexy terminal, economies of scale and hence cost.
That is what always wins.
Technology is constrained by the law of physics.
User friendliness and market parameters determine which technology to prevail, proven many times since VHS vs Betamax days.
Who all are in contention.... ?
I really don't think this is a technology issue. WiMAX, UMB and LTE more or less supporting the same technologies. There's no secret sauce.
Even if there was a significant technology difference, it's still not all about technology. Look at what happened in the GSM vs. CDMA battle. CDMA provides a better capacity (and spectral efficiency) than GSM on paper. Yet, over >80% of the world's mobile phones are GSM.
I agree with El Rupester. Volume is a major enabler for consumer electronic products, such as handsets, smartphones, laptops, etc. The GSM ecosystem is huge. That may be the only reason why LTE could succeed, even though it's really late compared to WiMAX. It may just be able to surf the GSM/UMTS installed base. That is surely not the case for UMB. The two largest CDMA networks in the world are changing direction (Sprint with WiMAX and Verizon with LTE, or maybe even WiMAX). Where will the volume come from for UMB?
Didn't Qualcomm's CEO Paul Jacobs say a couple of years ago that WiMAX was dead? IMHO, UMB is dead. Qualcomm should realize it and hurry up to develop WiMAX and LTE chipsets.