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3G/HSPA

WiMax vs. LTE

9:15 AM -- Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s global research and development director, professor Michael Walker, compared and contrasted WiMax and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) in his presentation at the operator's Technology Update conference in London last week and criticized the network reliability of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) technologies relative to cellular networks.

"For the IT community, 'five nines' is 45 and nothing more," said Walker. [Ed note: Get it? Five nines? 5 x 9 = 45?]

As it looks at next-generation 4G technologies, Vodafone is exploring both WiMax and LTE. (See Vodafone's WiMax Creep, Vodafone Signs on for WiMax , and Vodafone Plans LTE Powwow.)

Walker described the IEEE and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as two different worlds and said that Vodafone would be a "major force in bringing these worlds together." His comments echo CEO Arun Sarin's call for the WiMax standard to be merged with the LTE standard during his keynote address at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. (See Sarin: We Need 4G Convergence.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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