Another WiMax Operator Converts to LTE
P1 has been developing its WiMax services and customer base for a couple of years, and currently boasts more than 280,000 users, but now intends to migrate to LTE TDD once the ecosystem of devices and supporting technologies is more mature (end of 2012). (See WiMax Still Hot in Malaysia, ITU Day 2: WiMax Brings It and P1 Expands With ZTE.)
Now here's the interesting thing. In 2010 P1 brought on board a very influential investor in the form of South Korean mobile giant SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM). (See SK Telecom Takes Stake in WiMax Operator.)
And just recently, SK Telecom, as well as developing plans to evolve its WCDMA 3G platform to the FDD flavor of Long Term Evolution (LTE), has been checking out LTE TDD with one of the nascent technology's biggest supporters, China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL). (See China Mobile & SK Telecom Joint TD-LTE Trial Drives Commercialization of TD-LTE Forward and SK Telecom Picks LTE Vendors.)
Coincidence? I don't think so.
P1's move comes in the wake of Russian WiMax operator Yota 's plans to migrate to LTE, the decision by leading wireless broadband license-holders in India to opt for LTE TDD deployments instead of WiMax and growing support among mobile operators for the TDD flavor of LTE. (See Yota Moves Forward With LTE, Russian Ops to Share LTE Network, India's Reliance Secures LTE TDD Partner, WiMax Set for 'Junior Partner' Status in India, Global TDD Initiative Launched at MWC 2011, Going WiMax to LTE Down Under and BWA Auction Is Bad News for WiMax's Future .)
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading