Cingular’s 3G Network


Cingular Wireless and Lucent Technologies today announced a four-year agreement for nationwide 3G service rollout. The deployment also includes an enhanced version of UMTS technology, called High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which will ultimately support theoretical maximum peak data speeds of up to 14.4 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Beginning in 2005, the new UMTS/HSDPA network will allow Cingular to offer a wide variety of multimedia services for consumers, such as high-speed downloads of video clips of films, sporting and entertainment events, and advanced multi-player video gaming, and provide its business customers with services such as mobile broadband Internet access. Analysts have estimated that Cingular, which completed its $41 billion purchase of AT&T Wireless in October, could spend about $1 billion a year over the next few years to upgrade its network.

HSDPA employs several technological advances, including higher-order modulation; adaptive modulation and coding; physical layer feedback of the momentary channel condition; and a new transport channel type known as high-speed downlink shared channel (HS-DSCH) that allows several users to share the air interface channel.

Customers using the UMTS network can expect to receive average data connections between 400-700 Kilobits per second (Kbps), claims Cingular, with bursts to several Mbps on capable devices.

Lucent’s UMTS equipment supports HSDPA with a software-only upgrade. It will be deployed in both the 1900 and 850 Megahertz spectrum bands, and will interoperate with Cingular’s existing GSM/GPRS/EDGE network.

Lucent will provide Cingular with a wide array of products including Lucent’s Flexent One base stations (Node Bs), which support HSDPA and will be broadly deployed across Cingular’s network.

Cingular Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless telephone company, said on Tuesday it would also use 3G gear from Ericsson and Siemens.

The GSM world has moved from the typical 40Kbps of GPRS to the 130Kbps of EDGE, and is now moving towards the 384Kbps of UMTS. Though UMTS is supposed to represent the 3G Promised Land for GSM carriers, an upgrade has recently been proposed; High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). Soon the upcoming 3Mbps HSDPA software upgrade to UMTS, could make cellular a de-facto mobile broadband for voice and data.

On the CDMA side, 1XEV-DO Rev. A has an uplink speed of 1.8 Mbps with 3.1 Mbps downstream, making it possible to send voice packets with header information and not cause degradation of voice quality. Although no U.S. CDMA carrier has announced that it was testing or planning to migrate to Revison A.

Verizon Wireless Chief Technical Officer Dick Lynch said at CTIA Wireless 2004 that it was possible the company would continue on its EV-DO path and perhaps at some point offer a type of voice service over their EV-DO service (above).

WiMax will also be able to do voice communications through Voice-over-IP. The 802.16e extension will make it mobile. Cellular carriers and WiMAX ISPs may soon find themselves locked in competition for the same customers, according to new analysis by ABI Research.

Related DailyWireless articles include; Cingular/AT&T Merger Approved, 3G in Dallas & San Diego, Cellular VoIP?, Cellular & WiMax Collide Says ABI, Sprint Plans National EV-DO Service, Cingular 3G Details and Cellular At The Races.

Philly Negotiates a Cloud


The city of Philadelphia and Verizon struck an agreement Tuesday that would allow the city to provide wireless Internet access as a municipal service even if Gov. Ed Rendell signs legislation to give Verizon the power to scuttle the project. It would allow the city to provide city-wide WiFi as a municipal service for a fee, according to KYW-TV and WNEP-TV. According to the AP, lawyers for the city and Verizon came to the agreement, today.

UPDATE: Governor Ed Rendall did sign House Bill 30, allowing incumbent telcos to kill municipal networks. Systems operational by Jan. 1, 2006 will be grandfathered in.

Details of a Philadelphia agreement were not immediately available, but it would guarantee that Verizon waives its right to bar the city from providing the service for a fee, both sides said. “We would waive our right of first refusal,” Verizon spokeswoman Sharon Shaffer said Tuesday, prior to an agreement being reached.

Ms. Shaffer provided Broadband Wireless Access World with this written statement , issued at 5:40 pm, Eastern Standard Time today, November 30, 2004, from Verizon:

“Verizon and the City of Philadelphia have reached agreement that resolves the concerns about the City’s ability to build a WiFi network in Philadelphia. The agreement itself is not being released. The execution of the terms of this agreement will make crystal clear that the City has the unimpeded right to build a WiFi network in Philadelphia as it sees fit. The City has communicated to the governor’s office that an agreement has been reached.”

This in-depth phone interview with Shaffer (about 20 minutes .wma) covers many details and implications.

Dianah Neff, the city’s chief information officer who is overseeing the wireless project, said the governor’s office had asked last week that Verizon and the city settle its differences over the bill.

House Bill 30 would have likely killed Philadephia’s “city cloud” project without a “grandfather” clause. November 30th was the final day he could veto it.

Verizon helped draft House Bill 30 [markup of bill], which would have essentially banned wireless “hot zones” run by municipalities in the state. Both Verizon and the city of Philadelphia have been discussing a compromise that would allow the city’s Wi-Fi plan to go forward, but would still ban other similar efforts in the state. Pittsburgh, apparently, will have to obey the Verizon Law — along with other cities in the state.

The Pittsburgh Wireless Neighborhoods Cooperative was formed to provide advanced network services to traditionally underserved communities. No cloud for you! Pittsburgh Wireless is the community lan group there (although pghwireless.com no longer seems to work).

Initiatives like ConnectKentucky.org, Kentucky Governor Fletcher’s prescription for a comprehensive broadband deployment statewide could come under fire if carrier lobbyists get there first. A Report of the Oregon Telecommunications Coordinating Council was presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on Information Management and Technology on November 16, 2004 for the Seventy-Third Legislative Assembly.

Other states have similar broadband plans. Most were created by legislators and carriers with the best of intentions. But the cost/effectiveness of WiMax and other wireless technologies is rarely factored in.

Philadelphia’s $10M Wi-Fi plan would expand access to the entire city — and to charge for it in some cases. The city projects a full deployment date of June 2006 with $1.5 million annually for upkeep.

Philadelphia’s Wi-Fi plan has received worldwide press attention along with some some bad press for Verizon and Pennsylvania legislators.

George Burrell, a top advisor to Mayor Street, says if Rendell signs the bill, some compromise with Verizon would likely be worked out:

“This is clearly an idea whose time has come, and it doesn t serve anybody well to be in the way of trying to create opportunities for people who would otherwise not be able to get access to technology. And I think Verizon recognizes that.”

Verizon, stung with bad publicity over House Bill 30, the bill to block Philadelphia’s WiFi “city cloud”, has marshalled their well oiled PR machine with a counter-attack:

Contrary to misleading claims by competitors, a recent telecommunications bill [House Bill 30] passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly represents the most aggressive, comprehensive broadband network deployment plan in the United States, providing significant benefits for the state s consumers, as well as its educational and business communities.

House Bill 30 provides the right incentives and mechanisms to foster telecom competition, accelerate broadband deployment to meet customers needs and stimulate economic development, said O Rourke. We will continue to invest in broadband as aggressively as we can to help Pennsylvania become a national leader in technology deployment and telecom policy.

… This bill recognizes the ongoing changes in our industry and provides for fair and open competition for all broadband providers, said O Rourke. House Bill 30 brings the recently expired Chapter 30 statute in line with the competitive marketplace and creates a framework that encourages investment, innovation and risk-taking by the state s telecommunication providers.

The bill began 19 months ago as a proposal drafted by lobbyists for telecommunications companies. Wall Street Journal reports, House Bill 30 was originally prompted by the fiber deployment of a small town called Kutztown in Pennsylvania. But people involved in the legislative process say the provision took on added importance for legislators and the state’s big phone companies after Philadelphia announced its Wi-Fi plans.

The Information Communications Technologies Working Group — a 25-member committee composed of public officials, local telecommunications providers and non-profit advocates — say the question is not when but if the city should jump on the bandwagon.

State-Wide Initiatives

Will the Pennsylvania legislation impact state-sponsored broadband initiatives and Regional Fiber Backbones? Michigan, North Carolina, Utah and Kentucky, to name a few, have Broadband Authorities that make ubiquitous broadband a priority.

  • ConnectKentucky.org, Kentucky Governor Fletcher’s prescription for a comprehensive broadband deployment statewide.
  • Michigan’s Broadband Authority improves the deployment and utilization of broadband service in the state. They offer low-cost loans to telecommunications companies willing to make investments in broadband networks and services, such as fiber, DSL, cable, and fixed wireless.
  • North Carolina’s e-NC is a grassroots initiative to encourage all North Carolina citizens to use technology, especially the Internet, to improve their quality of life and their economic prospects.
  • Smart Utah is a nonprofit corporation that was formed by Governor Leavitt to provide a coordinating function between business, government and education. Their UTOPIA Project will provide cable, phone and broadband service to some 723,000 residents in 248,000 households and 34,500 businesses via fiber.
  • The Oregon Telecommunications Coordinating Council recommended an Oregon Broadband Authority in their November, 2004 Report to the Oregon Legislature.
  • The Pittsburgh Wireless Neighborhoods Cooperative was formed to provide advanced network services to traditionally underserved communities.
  • Earlier this year, BellSouth and Qwest attempted to push for severe restrictions on municipal broadband service in Louisiana and Utah. Those bills ended in compromise, in some cases with existing plans being allowed to continue but new plans limited. Telecommunications companies are worried that hundreds of other municipalities will provide cheap, municipally provided Internet, both as an alternative for public service users [who now use cellular phones], as well as providing “digital divide” services as a social leveler.

    “We looked at it as a way to be a city, literally, of the 21st century,” said Barbara Grant, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street. “We wanted to bridge the digital divide for residents who wouldn’t have access to the Internet, particularly schoolchildren.” A variety of high-speed access providers for its Wi-Fi offerings would be available through MCI, Sprint and Level 3, among others.

    Comcast, headquartered in Philadelphia, is raising rates again. Cable subscribers in Southwest Washington and Oregon will see their monthly bill increase in January by 6 percent. The 71- channel standard cable package will go to $44.04 a month, up from $41.55., a move necessitated by increased services and offerings, according to a company statement. Changes to other packages will vary.

    Verizon has announced fiber rollout in nine states. Verizon will spend $800,000 this year and $3 billion by the end of 2005. But NTT in Japan will spend $47 billion on expanding fiber to the home for nearly half the Japanese population. NTT’s plan covers some 30 million homes and apartments, in a country where double digit megabit per second speeds can be had for the same price many Americans are paying for dial-up AOL, says Broadband Reports.

    Muniwireless has a follow up. Broadband Reports has all the news. Here’s a critical deconstruction of the bill.

    NPR, which covered the Philadelphia story yesterday, is beginning a five-part series called, “Digital Generations”. It begins with a report on how some rural communities are installing their own high-speed Internet connections. New research indicates that speed is the determining factor in who uses the Internet. Hear NPR’s Rick Karr. Rick Karr profiles the Kutztown Community-Owned FTTH Deployment in Pennsylvania, which is where this whole mess began.

    As everyone knows, cable television did NOT begin in Pennsylvania. It started with Ed Parsons in Astoria. He demonstrated reception of a Seattle television station, some 150 miles south in Astoria, Oregon, on Thanksgiving Day, 1948.

    Today, entrepreneurs are ready to roll with Fiber To The Home. The Muni Consortium provides services to Municipalities and Utilities who want to roll their own. Optical Solutions was selected by Oregon-based Molalla Communications Company (MCC) to deploy its FiberPath 500 FTTP system in a new residential subdivision of Molalla, a community of 5,700 residents located at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, approximately 30 miles south of Portland.

    DailyWireless has more on Philly’s Fight, Verizon Blocking Philly Cloud?, the Philadelphia Cloud, Low Income Housing Connection, Digital Divide Solutions, SBC Fiber Plans, Taipei Unwired, Unwired Countries, and the DailyWireless City Cloud Report

    Other U.S. cities that are building city-wide clouds include Athens, GA, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Boston, Bellevue & Kirkland, Cerritos, Charleston, South Carolina, Durham/Raleigh, North Carolina, FreeBeeAtlanta, OneCleveland, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Datona Beach, Hermosa Beach, Indianapolis, Louisville, Long Beach, Kennewick, WA, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Washington, Hermiston, OR, Medford, OR, Louisville Kentucky, Washington DC and others. WiFi Planet’s Hotspot Hits keeps tabs.

    Will 802.20 Challenge WiMax?


    WiMAX, faces challenges from 802.20, according to a paper seen by the INQUIRER.

    The paper, titled Deploying WiMAX Certified Broadband Wireless Access Systems, written by Cristian Patachia-Sultanoiu and published in the Journal of the Communications Network, examines not only the back end technology of WiMAX but also its relationship within the wider standards sphere.

    WiMAX, IEEE 802.16e is designed for long range broadband access. But competition from 802.20 – nicknamed Mobile-Fi – could shatter the dreams of those backing WiMAX, according to the paper.

    Whilst the data rate and range is only half that of WiMAX, it is inherently more mobile. It has an astonishing latency of just 10ms – 500ms is standard for 3G communications – and can maintain integrity at as much as 250km/h, compared to just 100km/h for WiMAX. Since it uses more common spectrum – licensed bands up to 3.5GHz – it also offers global mobility, hand-off and roaming support.

    Patachia-Sultanoiu goes on to say that he believes WiMAX will end up being the defining standard. Mobile operators, who are generally friendly to WiMAX, see 802.20 as a competing standard that could make their 3G licenses worth rather less than they paid for them. As with any standard, the ability to bring products to market is crucial – and with Intel pushing WiMAX hard, it’s difficult to imagine a situation where it won’t have its way.


    Mobile Data Architectures
    802.16e 802.20 3G
    IP 802.16a mobility (more than 1Mbps) IP roaming & handoff (more than 1Mbps) Circuit-switched cell data (less than 1Mbps)
    Extentions to MAC and PHY from 802.16a New MAC and PHY with IP and adaptive antennas W-CDMA & CDMA-2000
    Backward compatible with 802.16a Optimized for full mobility Evolving GSM or IS-41
    Between 2-6 GHz Licensed Bands below 3.5 GHz Licensed Bands below 2.7 GHz
    Packet Architecture Packet Architecture Circuit Architecture
    Low latency Low latency High latency

    There several hurtles 802.20 will have to overcome:

    • It can only be used in licensed bands below 3.5GHz.
    • It trails the 802.16e standards process by a couple of years
    • Who needs 180 mph handoff?
    • Mobilized 802.16e will be nationalized in Korea.
    • Why should cellular companies undercut their 3G service?

    A workable 802.20 standard might be weighed against the $100B investment in 3G spectrum by European mobile carriers, alone. If Nextel goes with Flarion, and T-Mobile follows, that could mean a proprietary system will be in place for at least 5 years. By then, 802.16e will be backward compatibile with 802.16 fixed services. Licensed or unlicensed. 802.20 won’t be ubiquitous. WiMax probably will.

    WiMAX infrastructure revenues are projected to increase dramatically over the next few years, growing from $15 million in 2004 to $290 million in 2008 according to Research and Markets.

    Related DailyWireless stories include; 802.20: Same O, Same O, Navini Jumps to WiMax, 802.16 Vrs 802.20, 4G Clouds in the United States, 4G War in Sydney, Navini’s Pitch, Dr. Xu’s HPi Love Fest, Supercomputing and 4G, Navin Unwires Douglas County, New Age Clouds, Nextel Scores MMDS and Palace Coop at 802.20. Flarion Alliance Grows, 4G Goes Ballistic, T-Mobile + Flarion, Flarion Does 450 MHz, Mobilizing WiMax, and WiMax World.

    Cisco’s Light Router Tested


    Light Reading, today published the first independent evaluation of the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, the 40-Gbit/s core router platform from Cisco Systems.

    “This test represented an industry first in terms of the scale of traffic, routes, and service involved,” says Dave Bass, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Data Networks Division. “Agilent’s 40G N2X test solution verified that the Cisco CRS-1 could easily manage 640-Gbit/s full duplex throughput across 15 million traffic flows, and scale to 57,000 MPLS LSPs [label switched paths], raising performance expectations for next-generation carrier routers.”

    “The CRS-1 scaled to Terabits per second of bandwidth and tens of millions of IPv4 and IPv6 flows. Software upgrades took only nanoseconds — even on a fully loaded, live chassis.”

    Cisco also unveiled more than 20 LAN switching products this week, designed to improve security, availability, performance and investment protection. Among the key additions to the company’s Catalyst line include, Catalyst 6500 and 4500 Series with integrated 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and Catalyst 6500, 3750 and 3560 10/100/1000M bit/sec Power Over Ethernet (PoE) products.

    John McCool, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Gigabit Switching business unit, explains the new products and how they will help corporations increase productivity and reduce costs.

    Cisco’s CRS-1 router is used in the NSF-funded National LambaRail program. Photonic switching is used by Glimmerglass and Calient. Calient s MEMS-based mirror array switching technology, enables hundreds of streams of light to be switched in a volume the size of a sugar cube. Photonic switches are being utilized to deliver dedicated fiber (or light frequencies) to end users, as needed.

    When every city block wants hundreds of Mbps of wireless services, perhaps MPLS and optical switches/routers such as these can deliver the goods more cost/effectively than traditional backbones. BellSouth, SBC, Qwest and Verizon are targeting the mid-market with their MPLS services. The MPLS Resource Center and the MPLS Forum have more news.

    Broadband Reports offers this insight on fiber plans by telcos in the United States;

    “SBC in 2010 will be offering slower speeds than France and Japan in 2005,” notes industry analyst Dave Burstein, who chimes in on “Project Lightspeed”, the company’s effort to offer ADSL2+ to residential users. Wall Street is apparently more impressed with Verizon, since they’ll eventually be offering fiber right to the user’s door – as well as spending $29 billion more on their next generation network.

    GigaBeam Corporation is deploying Gigabit/second “virtual fiber” throughout the New York metropolitan region. GigaBeam says next year their products will be capable of 10 Gigabits-per-second, and utilize the 10 Gigabit Ethernet protocol standard.

    The point-to-point wireless system uses very high radio frequency at 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz to transmit at multi-gigabit- per-second speed. This portion of the radio frequency spectrum recently was authorized by the FCC for wireless point-to- point commercial use and can utilize Gigabit Ethernet protocols.

    Low Power WiFi


    CommASIC announced commercial availability of its LP1071 and LP1072 integrated circuits (ICs), the industry’s most energy-efficient 802.11a/b/g baseband processors today. The chips are designed specifically for VOIP handsets, wireless PDAs, digital cameras and other high volume portable consumer applications.

    The chip set draws only 50 mA during active receive mode at 54 Mbps. For end-users, CommASIC claims more than doubling talk (and usage) time with no compromise on range.

    Samples of both chips have been beta tested with several key Asian OEM/ODMs.

    D-Link Automates Office Installs


    D-Link’s new DWL-2210AP 802.11g Access Point is targeting small businesses with self-managing APs, Automated Clustering and Self Provisioning, along with captive portal welcome screens and a built-in RADIUS Lite Server.

    The AirPremier DWL-2210AP (MSRP $349.99), delivers new adaptive features to automate and simplify configuration, installation, and maintenance. With embedded clustering and self-managing capability, the new D-Link access point allows simultaneous management of up to eight adaptive access points as a single unified system allowing configuration information. Administration policy is automatically distributed and shared.

    The DWL-2210AP is said to offer true plug-and-play setup by detecting an existing cluster, automatically receiving configuration information, selecting an optimal channel, and serving wireless users within seconds of being out of the box. The clustering capability enables automated self-configuring of new access points joining the network. The adaptive intelligence features of the DWL-2210AP enable self-monitoring and self-healing of the network by enabling wireless users to reconnect to the network through any clustered access point.

    Additional features include Power over Ethernet (PoE), a Wireless Distribution System (WDS), adjustable transmit power, and auto channel selection. IEEE 802.1x user-based authentication and WPA support with AES encryption. WPA can be supported with an onboard RADIUS Lite Server that supports up to 100 users and eliminates the need and expense of an external RADIUS platform.

    The built-in RADIUS Lite function centralizes and simplifies user administration for the entire cluster. The access point is also capable of supporting a powerful wireless guest access functionality along with captive portal welcome screens through the use of multiple Basic Service Set ID’s. The out-of-the-box guest access functionality allows you to provide isolated wireless connectivity to visiting vendors and customers without compromising the security and integrity of your internal network.

    The D-Link AirPremier DWL-2210AP Wireless Access Point is available now through authorized reseller and distribution partners at$349.99.