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SK Flashes Cash for Flarion

SK Telecom's (Nasdaq: SKM) investment in Unstrung 25er Flarion Technologies (see SKT Invests in Flarion) has left us with more questions than answers. Sure, it is more good news for the company, but just how good is difficult to quantify.

The South Korean operator started trials of Flarion's Flash-OFDM base-station technology last month (see Flarion Cookin' Up Seoul Food). According to Flarion's senior director of marketing and strategy, Ronny Haraldsvik, SKT has invested cold, hard cash in his company -- and the investment was made after the trial was underway.

But how much cash, Unstrung wonders? Flarion isn't revealing any financial details.

And what do the two companies mean by calling the cash influx a "strategic" investment? "SK Telecom is a leading operator with first-hand experience of existing wireless data technologies," says Haraldsvik. "Their investment relationship with Flarion gives them insight into Flarion-class mobile broadband. Beyond that, I cannot comment any further."

Guess we'll have to wait a while to see how this one pans out.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com
lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 9:22:40 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion "Who would seriously support any propertiary system these days?"

1) not everyone shares your feelings about standards. There are many carriers out there that consider standards to represent inefficient, sub-optimal,overly complex, and overly political solutions. Some prefer a market-based solution

2) the boy who cried wolf. But in this case its the consortium that cried standard. GSM and UMTS backers have hurled the "we are standard" BS at qualcomm for a long time. In the meantime, GPRS, which should have been easy, was repeatedly delayed and problems persists with compatibility. UMTS keeps getting delayed, and it still does not work properly. Carriers may be timid but they are not blind. It pretty clear that the we are standard routine doesn't mean much when the standards keeps failing to meet expectations or if they fail to provide carriers with a viable business model.

3) Qualcomm. They have done quite well despite starting as a proprietary technology. Right now QUalcomm is executing far better in data than the GSM/UMTS crowd. That will fortify Flarion's position. It also means FUD regarding standarization and performance of flash OFDM is likely to fall on deaf ears. We've seen how the GSM crowd played the game before and now we see the cost (a rather unpleasant upgrade scenario).

<<<where does="" expect="" flarion="" get="" it="" standardised?="" system="" their="">>>

Sounds like flarion is addressing several standards organizations. Some standard organizations have turned into puppets of the leading vendors but not all. Regardless, the standards organizations are losing a good deal of credibility with the fiasco that is UMTS.

<<<<<who a="" adapter="" applications="" block="" chips="" flarion="" get="" going="" is="" make="" motherboard?="" oma="" on="" or="" pc="" sexy="" terminals="" the="" tiny="" to="" usb="" with="">>>

The point of flarion is to make PCMCIA cards that work in laptops. The other point is to give users access to the real internet as opposed to some rewritten, and mainly nonexistent, content like the OMA.

<<<how and="" be="" going="" industry="" is="" second="" sources?="" the="" third="" to="">>>>

That could be a problem but it looks like the alliance program is growing nicely so it should be taken care of. I believe, in fact, that TI and philips semiconductor are already part of the program.

<<<<in "yet="" about="" another="" cares="" new="" nice="" other="" radio="" system="" who="" words:="">>>>

carriers care because they need to keep spending down while differentiating themselves in the market and creating new revenue streams. W-CDMA and cdma2000 don't represent the best ticket to doing that anymore. Moreover, the carier market is extremely competitive.

</in></how></who></where>
standardsarefun 12/4/2012 | 9:23:05 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion Who would seriously support (i.e pay big bucks to install gear and then try to sell the service - not simply let some guy stick up a few test cells) any propertiary system these days?

Where does Flarion expect it get their system standardised?

How is going to be the second and third industry sources?

Who is going to make the sexy terminals with OMA applications or a tiny USB adapter block or get Flarion chips on a PC motherboard?

In other words: who cares about "yet another nice new radio system" when what counts is how can an operator make more money with this system compared to another standardised solution and how can a vendor survive selling propertiary gear? (Gee, even Qualcomm finally got CDMA standardised in the early 1990 and remember their years of press and trials and crazy product ideas back in the 1980s)
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:23:24 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion >Are you serious? You shouldn't sling that much mud unless you have some hard evidence to back it up. Otherwise, we just have to assume that its just unpleasant FUD.

Rumors are galore in Seoul about the nature of Flarion's trial and funding. Either way hats off to Flarion.

>You might remember they did the same thing with CDMA...they lead the adoption curve. That strategy paid off. This might be more of the same.

Agreed. But is Korea ready for a proprietary tech.. Flarion/Wi-lan/others?

GLW
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:23:25 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion Flavors of OFDM I:

VOFDM: Clarity->Cisco
MIMO-OFDM: Iospan
Flash-OFDM: Flarion
WOFDM: Wi-lan
??-OFDM: Nextnet
**-OFDM: Malibu
*-OFDM: ETRI

I am sure I have missed few variants
angelseye2000 12/4/2012 | 9:23:45 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion Wall Street Journal: Chinese developers discuss 3G patent with Qualcomm
RELATED SYMBOLS: (QCOM)

Nov 7, 2002, (Wall Street Journal /FT Information via COMTEX) -- China's Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group and partner Siemens AG of Germany have sought talks with Qualcomm Corp. to resolve the question of whether the latter's patented third-generation technology material is included in their own 3G standard, called TD-SCDMA. Industry insiders have said that licensing fees for Qualcomm's techniques amount to between 2% and 6% of the price of every compatible handset and network infrastructure sold. The San Diego-based company stands to lose between $860m and $1.4bn in royalty payments, if it loses the patent dispute.

Abstracted from: The Wall St Journal (US Edition)
Copyright 2002: Financial Times Information. All rights reserved

angelseye2000 12/4/2012 | 9:23:48 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion "This test and even the deployment of flash ofdm in korea represents very little risk to korea by any measure."

There is more OFDM development besides Flarion guys. I know Unstrung is supporting Flarion but when a company collaborates with the non-profit government-funded research organization from Korea called ETRI then we hear nothing???? That's weird to me.....

ETRI AND Wi-LAN COLLABORATE ON DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE MOBILE WIRELESS SYSTEMS BEYOND IMT-2000
http://www.wilan.com/news/pres...

ETRI, 4th broadband radio connection watch (BWA/WMAN) technique: Flarion and Wi-Lan
http://www.etri.re.kr/etc/view...
http://www.bmws.or.kr/BWA_pro....

Session II BWA/WMAN:
The broadband radio transmission technique

13:30-14:00 The WOFDM the broadband radio transmission technique which uses a technique Hatim (Wi-LAN).
"The Future of High Speed Wireless"
http://www.bmws.or.kr/pdf/05.p...

16:00-16:30 IP base the roller watch technique which it will count and service introduction. Trillion mobilization department heads (Flarion).
"Make the Internet Move"
http://www.bmws.or.kr/pdf/09.p...

A Study on Systems Beyond IMT-2000 in Korea
http://www.itu.int/osg/imt-pro...

ciao
lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 9:23:54 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion "gottaLoveWireless "

Are you serious? You shouldn't sling that much mud unless you have some hard evidence to back it up. Otherwise, we just have to assume that its just unpleasant FUD.

How about this scenario. Little south korea is turning into a wireless power house but the European/japanese run UMTS alliance is sure to keep korea in a second class role, as is the european run GSM alliance. Perhaps korea is not so happy with that situation. Perhaps korea would like to play a larger role in the market and wants to support a solution/business model that will let them do that.

This test and even the deployment of flash ofdm in korea represents very little risk to korea by any measure. S. Korea is a very small country. More importantly, if flash-ofdm sticks and proves itself, then the potential advantages to S. Korea could be immense. You might remember they did the same thing with CDMA...they lead the adoption curve. That strategy paid off. This might be more of the same.

The UMTS boys really only have japan and western Europe locked up. The rest of the world remains. That is a huge market, especially for a country as small as S. korea.

joset01 12/4/2012 | 9:23:58 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion Well I asked them directly if they had paid for trial and they absolutely denied it (http://www.unstrung.com/docume.... Do you have anything that proves they did pay for it?

DJ Unstrung
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:23:58 PM
re: SK Flashes Cash for Flarion How about this scenario?

1. Flarion pays for the SKT trial including SKT staff.
2. In turn SKT coughs up $$.

3. Flarion claims strategic investment!

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