Feeds

WiMAX Forum begs for speedy spectrum release

Just give us some UK airwaves

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The WiMAX Forum has called for speedy disposal of the UK's allocated TDD spectrum, so it can take advantage of the standard's ever-decreasing technical lead.

Digital Britain calls for 50MHz of spectrum at 2.57GHz to be effectively earmarked for WiMAX, but that plan releases the spectrum as part of the Digital Dividend mega-auction which is unlikely to happen this year. This delay will erode the already marginal lead WiMAX has over competing technologies.

By 2011 this technical lead - WiMAX's greatest asset - will be entirely gone. LTE (Long Term Evolution - the 4GT standard emerging from the mobile industry) will be deployed around the world by then, making it very hard for a WiMAX operator to compete as equipment costs rise and its competitors enjoy international and national roaming agreements.

WiMAX can't match LTE, but it is slightly faster than 3G. More importantly WiMAX until recently had the distinct advantage of being commercially deployed in the USA and Russia, among other places. But that advantage vanished when the first commercial LTE network was switched on in December, and many more will follow during 2010.

The mobile industry is driven by economies of scale, so LTE kit will be cheaper than its WiMAX equivalents and that disparity will increase as LTE gains ground.

The UK is planning to auction off the 50MHz band as a single chunk to prevent existing operators chipping away at it and ensure that a new player has enough room to work. The band will be technology-neutral, but the government expects to see Time Division Duplexing* (TDD) deployed, which right now means WiMAX, though in theory a TDD variant of LTE could be deployed there.

So the WiMAX Forum is desperate to get that 50MHz chunk onto the auction block ahead of the Digital Dividend mega-auction, to give a UK WiMAX operator a first-mover advantage.

Such an operator will, however, have to build a network while the incumbent operators strap LTE antennas to their existing base stations. This risks pushing a UK WiMAX network into providing second-path connectivity to business and building-to-building LAN extensions, while existing operators continue to dominate the wide area wireless, with LTE the technology of choice. ®

*Users take turns speaking (switching very rapidly), as opposed to Frequency Division Duplexing where both speak at the same time but require twice as many radios.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.