Feeds

Verizon converges on global 3G

Farewell, WiMAX?

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

US giant Verizon Wireless should one day use the same mobile phone technology standard as the rest of the world, Vodafone's chief hinted yesterday. It just might take a very long time.

Today Verizon uses the CDMA-EVDO flavour of 3G, in contrast to the W-CDMA flavour (also called UMTS) used in Europe and Asia. However, Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin told an investor conference yesterday that Vodafone and Verizon would converge.

"It might be the year 2015 or so before complete integration occurs but are we headed toward the same platform? Yes, we are," Sarin told the Goldman Sachs technology conference, Reuters reports. Vodafone owns 45 per cent of Verizon, which is the second largest US cellco, neck and neck with AT&T.

The technology of choice is W-CDMA/LTE (for "Long Term Evolution") - a work in progress that isn't expected to appear in real products until 2010-2011. LTE is based on the OFDM radio technology used in Wi-Fi and WiMAX, rather than the CDMA used by 3G.

Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg blessed the convergence strategy, saying it would "stimulate extensive growth by having a common platform".

No kidding.

It would also allow the US to benefit from global economies of scale, a greater choice of kit, and give the punter the ability to switch provider yet keep the same handset. You can be sure the operators will fight to prevent the latter happening, however.

The decision has a major impact on rival technologies, such as WiMAX, and the vendors with a stake in backing competing standards - such as Motorola, Intel, Alcatel-Lucent. And equally, it's likely to boost W-CDMA backers such as Ericsson and Nokia-Nortel. It will be seen as sidelining Qualcomm, but the San Diego company has a formidable OFDM patent portfolio it acquired with Flarion.

But for some planners at US operator Sprint-Nextel, it may look like Groundhog Day.

Nextel went out on a limb in the 1990s when it became just one of a handful of networks to adopt Motorola's iDEN technology. Now it's plumped for WiMAX, it looks like being the odd-man out once again.

As for US consumers and travellers, the benefits of compatibility and economies of scale won't be apparent until the US uses the same portions of the radio spectrum that the rest of the world uses.

And Google's doing everything it can to ensure that doesn't happen. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.