Nortel Takes WiMax MIMO

Nortel Networks Ltd. is trying to get a jump on the competition with an "all singing, all dancing" MIMO WiMax base station developed in collaboration with Runcom Technologies Ltd. .

Displaying its new equipment line at the WiMax World show in Boston this week, the firm says the MIMO product has significant performance and cost benefits.

A smart antenna technology that increases throughput by taking multiple "snapshots" of the same signal and combining them to make a more accurate overall picture than the single data stream, MIMO, for "Multiple input, multiple output," has already proven very popular in consumer WiFi products. Enthusiasts argue that it will be more suitable than conventional antenna arrays for multimedia applications like video and wireless VOIP.

With its new product portfolio for WiMax, Nortel hopes to participate in the juicy infrastructure deals that are now starting to emerge in this market. For instance, the vendor would like to get in on the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) deployment of mobile WiMax in the U.S. over the next couple of years.(See Sprint Goes WiMax.)

Sprint initially named Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) as its network equipment suppliers. Further selection, however, is going ahead now and Nortel hopes to be among the chosen.

"It was a bit disappointing in the first round," says Gustafson. "We're cautiously optimistic that we'll be a significant player in their network."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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