See also: Mobile Internet (Aug’11) which is a total update on Aug 26, 2011 with a lot of additions to the original July 19, 2010 content on the following subjects:
– LTE and LTE Advanced — HSPA Evolved (parallel to LTE and LTE Advanced) — Heterogeneous networks or HetNets — Femtocells and Picocells — Qualcomm innovations in all that — Ericsson’s LTE Advanced demo — Current roadmaps on evolutions of current 3G+ broadband mobile networks
Intel’s Bad Bet on WiMAX Pays Off for TD-LTE was the original post on last Friday. The title – for some, not-communicated reason – has been changed later to Intel’s Losing Big Money on WiMAX. Whatever the title is this has got quite a broad replication over the web in 3 days showing its significance.
- Follow-up: Intel dismisses WiMAX Program Office [July 1, 2010]
- Follow-up: 3.9G TD-LTE rollout in 2012 with integrated 2G, 3G and 4G? [July 19]
- See also: Mobile Internet (core infomation), “4G” WiMAX vs. 3.75G HSPA+ [July 24]
- Important addition: WiMax shrinking, LTE has issues [July 22]
… WiMax operators in the U.K. and The Netherlands are closing and … U.S. operators are considering re-applying their spectrum to other technologies.
… but LTE basestations are only just being rolled out in production quantities. “LTE basestations are on 18-month lead times and there is a problem with a lack of suitable sites for basestations.”
Whereas a 3G basestation cell could support 4,000 users, an LTE cell is smaller and can only support 600 users, so seven times as many basestations are needed to support the same number of users …. That means additional sites have to be found and, in addition, placing LTE equipment on the roofs of tall buildings doesn’t always provide street-level coverage as it normally did for 3G basestations.
The result is likely to be an inability to service the demand created by sales of smartphones. …
Comment by alan.varghese: The assertion that a 3G basestation cell can support 4000 users, while an LTE cell can only support 600 is not entirely accurate and needs further clarification.
… What the analyst may be referring to is that if you deploy LTE in the 2.6GHz band, and compare that to 3G in the 850 or 1900MHz bands, the LTE cell size looks smaller. But this is due to penetration and coverage limitations of the higher frequency, and is obviously not a valid apples-to-apples comparison.
To find more information regarding this bold statement one should get a paid subscription from the publisher GigaOM, so I will provide a couple of sources here which could clarify that statement equally well.
First, TD-LTE itself is a quite long discussion worth a more detailed essay on this blog (this is put on my essay plans now). So I will just recommend here a nugget-type brief overview from Mattias Ganslandt on the TalkStandards.com: TD-LTE’s Place in the 4G Wireless Landscape [June 17].
Second, the impetus for such a strong statement has come from the June 11 conclusion of the BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) spectrum auction in India, for which I could offer the view of a leading local analyst, Shiv K. Bakhshi: BWA spectrum auction leaves a changed telecom landscape in India. He is even daring to write:
In an earlier column, I had suggested that the BWA auction in India could finally put to rest the debate whether WiMAX or TD-LTE will triumph in the 2.3 GHz band unpaired TDD spectrum across the world. Unfortunately for WIMAX, this may well be the case. All data points suggest that WiMAX signals – hopes, if you prefer – may be beginning to fade in India.
Worse, this might be a precursor to a similar scenario unfolding across the world.
This is all despite of:
- CommunicAsia 2010: Intel Still Bullish on WiMax [June 15]
- LTE, WiBro to be global 4G standards [June 16, The Korea Herald]
- WiMAX vs LTE: The battle continues [June 28, The Jakarta Post]
Even the latter source is arguing:
Personally, I would still think that, although the worldwide market share of WiMAX is not going to grow as fast as it was first expected and that LTE will become the mainstream, will still have some hope. Let us not forget that Intel throws its weight behind WiMAX.
Just imagine if Intel, the world’s largest supplier of processors for personal computers, comes up with a new specification — akin to the Centrino — then combines the chipset for its processors with a built-in WiMAX module.
Meanwhile the biggest force behind LTE (original FDD variant), NTT DoCoMo is closing his LTE actions (started in 2006 as “Super 3G”) as follows (slide #26 of the June, 2010 Facts presentation):
・DOCOMO introduced its W-CDMA-based 3G service in 2001, and then eventually launched HSDPA(※) for high-speed data communication up to 7.2 Mbps
・DOCOMO’s 3G network is being overlain with HSPA(※), and later LTE(※) (Super 3G), for even faster data speed and greater data volume
・DOCOMO is developing a next-generation network to smooth the migration to a 4G (IMT-Advanced) service offering ultra high-speed communication of up to 1Gps
・DOCOMO to Begin Pre-launch Operation of LTE Network [June 8]
・Focus on the future – views of DoCoMo’s chief strategist on LTE deployment [May 28]
・NTT DoCoMo Achieves 250Mbps Downlink in Super 3G Field Experiment
— Key Step toward Realization of New High-Speed Mobile Network — [March 26]
・Dual W-CDMA/LTE remote radio equipment [introduced in Dec 17, 2009]
With this NTT DoCoMo is actually ahead of even TeliaSonera, launching LTE worldwide first in December 2009, because:
TeliaSonera decided not to conduct LTE trials so that it could be first to launch the next-generation mobile broadband technology, according to Ljunggren. “My advice is don’t make any trials,” he said. …
TeliaSonera’s LTE service, which uses LTE-only USB dongles from Samsung Corp. , is limited to a few thousand users. The operator expects to have soon multimode dongles supporting 2G, 3G, and LTE.
[TeliaSonera on LTE: Just Do It!, May 18; see also the video record of LTE: Tommy Ljunggren, Teliasonera interview]
Verizon Wireless will also launch LTE (FDD version) operations in the US this year:
・Verizon: LTE’s launch on the horizon; not worried about WiMax [March 24]
・A step closer to 4G: Verizon moves to ‘user trials’ in LTE [June 18]
Major rival AT&T will “… upgrade its 3G network to provide [3.75G] HSPA+ network access to 250 million people by the end of the year. AT&T still plans to begin its LTE roll out in 2011 [Feb 10]” as per:
・Exclusive: The Details on AT&T’s Bridge to LTE [May 17]
・AT&T refreshing backhaul efforts for LTE [June 24]
Other important information:
・Seybold’s Take: Developers need realistic view of LTE data speeds [June 21]
・LTE World Summit Interview Series by James Middleton[May 18 - June 10]
・the actual drivers encouraging carriers to follow the LTE route: Different strokes [25 June]
・Asian 4G developing rapidly but in fragmented pattern [June 2]
・LTE Tutorial – What is LTE? (the rest is quite technical)
・WiBro (Wireless Broadband) on wikipedia: “the South Korean service name for IEEE 802.16e (mobile WiMAX) international standard.”
・IMT-Advanced (4G) Mobile wireless broadband on the anvil
New ITU radio interface standards to revolutionize mobile communication [Oct 21, 2009]