IP Wireless gets its chance with Sprint

Race towards LTE

3GSM Still seeking a new CEO after the abrupt departure of Chris Gilbert a week ago, IP Wireless has announced the first of its global partners to trial its next generation of wireless broadband - Sprint Nextel.

The new technology will be tested as part of the ongoing UMTS TD-CDMA trial in the Washington DC area that was announced in June 2005.

It is part of what the 3G world has been working towards as part of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) defined by the 3GPP organisation.

However, it's not likely to please those operators who have already informed shareholders of plans to go for HSDPA for high speed packet data. IP Wireless reckons its technology is considerably cheaper.

"The next generation of UMTS TD-CDMA technology is designed to offer operators a progression to the LTE standard currently being defined by 3GPP as the evolution for both WCDMA and TD-CDMA for deployment by GSM operators most likely in the 2.5GHz extension bands in Europe and Asia," according to today's announcement at 3GSM.

"Having a common platform with Europe and Asia in the 2.5GHz band would bring a number of benefits," Sprint Nextel chief technology officer Barry West said. "The potential of IPWireless's solution to deliver a viable path to the Long Term Evolution of UMTS is relevant to our analysis of candidate technologies."

Only a month ago, IP Wireless revealed that upgrading base stations using its technology (for mobile TV) could save $10,000 per base station, compared with HSDPA. This new LTE technology offers operators the same dilemma; to go for HSDPA, and then go for IP Wireless as well, or pull back on current plans for upgrading standard WCDMA base stations and endure the scepticism of the investor community.

The official announcement says: "IPWireless LTE Progression Platform is based on an evolution of the 3GPP TD-CDMA standard.  The platform supports Antenna Multiplexing, which significantly increases overall performance throughout the cell through multiple antennas in both the base station and devices.  The platform also includes Intercell Interference Mitigation that dramatically improves cell edge performance as well as the average sector capacity.  The platform supports the seamless transition between paired and unpaired spectrum bands, which has been identified by operators globally as an essential requirement for LTE.  This means that a user could move between a network deployed in unpaired spectrum in one city and a network deployed in paired spectrum in another."

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