Feeds

WiMAX Forum begs for speedy spectrum release

Just give us some UK airwaves

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.