According to Light Reading, Intel says the increasing pressure from LTE is “not a nail in the coffin” of WiMax, and that those operators looking to shift investments away from WiMax and toward LTE are doing so only for unique spectrum reasons.
Speaking in a conference session here in Singapore, Ramprakash Alluri, business development director, South Asia, at Intel’s Wireless Program Office, says the WiMax ecosystem — around 588 service providers, more than 20 infrastructure suppliers, and about 90 device/client developers globally — is strong, stable, and growing.
He claimed that WiMax is offering better wireless data performance than 3G in many markets, including Japan, for lower monthly fees, and that further technology developments, including the availability of enhanced 802.16e (additional MIMO antenna, improved modulation and fractional frequency re-use) later this year, and 802.16m (or WiMax 2) in 2012 or 2013, will further strengthen the technology’s appeal.
Some vendors are even predicting 2011 availability for WiMax 2, which, as it will conform to the ITU’s requirements for IMT-Advanced specifications, will be a proper 4G technology. (See Samsung Targets WiMax 2 in 2011.)
But TD-LTE is now on the front burner. Enthusiasm for Mobile WiMAX appears to be cooling down (see Dailywireless: India’s Broadband Auction: It’s Done).
- India’s spectrum winners are going with TD-LTE deployments, with Infotel and Qualcomm winning major spectrum and cellular providers expected to follow along.
- Russia’s Yota is abandoning WiMAX for LTE.
- China’s Mobile is looking towards TD-LTE in their future rollouts.
- Clearwire wants freedom to choose between LTE and WiMAX going forward.
But Intel’s Alluri denies that this amounts to any sort of trend, and says each of those instances is because of “unique” situations in terms of the type or amount of spectrum held by the operators. “Yota is still a poster child for WiMax,” he says.