The first type 2 laptop card, developed by Motorola, has been approved by the FCC for Clearwire Mobile WiMax service. Output power is 1.5 watts – a real powerhouse (and drain) for a laptop.
The new Clearwire card, part of Motorola’s wi4 Expedience solution (the former NextNet), is compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista and XP operating systems. It fits into a standard Type II laptop card slot.
Perry Satterlee, Clearwire president and chief operating officer said, “We expect the new laptop card to broaden our potential customer base with more opportunities for customers to access and experience our fast, simple, portable, reliable and affordable wireless broadband services.”
The company is exercising creative marketing by referring to its new PC Card wireless modem as a “WiMAX-class” product. This product, which won’t even be available until the second half of 2007, is not compatible with the WiMAX 802.16e standard and it never will be. Instead, it operates over Motorola’s proprietary Expedience network.
Sequans says its SQN1110 will exceed WiMAX Forum Wave 2 certification and is shipping now. Intel’s WiMAX Connection 2250 doesn’t talk up Wave 2 compliance but it is further enhanced by Ofer-R, Intel’s single RF System on Chip, a Wi-Fi/WiMAX multi-band solution.
TeleCIS claims their TCW 1620 is the only WiMAX ASIC on the market with dual receive and dual transmit support in a single ASIC, delivering up to 15dB of additional performance as compared to other products currently on the market, for up to 2 1/2 times the range for self installed CPEs.
Qualcomm has acquired the mobile WiMAX capabilities of TeleCSIS Wireless. Using TeleCIS chipsets, vendors can build portable equipment that will operate on Fixed WiMAX networks.
Texas Instruments has also incorporated Wave 2 functions with support for MIMO and beamforming which are defined as part of the WiMAX Forum Wave 2 feature set. TI’s software library is a key component of its 1 GHz, DSP-based wireless infrastructure solution supporting the evolution of the mobile WiMAX standard.
Mobile WiMAX wave 2 uses a 2×2 MIMO system, said to have twice speed as Wave 1, and is said to provide some 60% longer range through beamforming. The WiMAX Forum performs interoperability testing. The first wave of Mobile certification testing is underway. The second wave, involving Wave 2 chips, will include advanced features such as beamforming, MIMO and handoff and will be tested for interoperability later this year.
Clearwire now offers service in 37 metro markets, covering approximately 8.9 million people in more than 350 municipalities including Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin in the United States, as well as 1.2 million people in Ireland, Belgium and Denmark (under the Clearwire name through Danske Telecom).
Research and Markets predicts the global WiMAX chipset market to reach approximately 21 million units in 2011, growing from 300 thousand chipset units in 2006.
According to Sprint, the “right price” is somewhere between $30 and $50 per month. Clearwire WiMAX service costs $30/mo for approx 800 kbps down and 225 up. For $10/mo more you can get 1.5 mbps down. Equipment rental runs another $5/month.