Feeds

Intel chums up with Huawei for Oriental style flexible 4G push

Eastern fancy for time-duplexing not so inscrutable

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Intel will set up an interoperability testing site in China, with local firm Huawei, to ensure its TD-LTE kit will work properly even if no-one seems very interested in using it.

The two companies will work together on the testing site to be focused on ensuring compatibility with the Time Division Duplex variant of the LTE standard. TDD LTE will be deployed in China for 4G telephony, and US operation Clearwire will be switching to the standard next year. It also has spectrum allocations in India, the UK and elsewhere despite overwhelming (and unfathomable) industry preference for FDD technologies.

This deal is primarily intended to get Intel chips into Chinese phones, in the radio stack if not the central processor, but is also indicative of Intel's continuing move away from the WiMAX standard it backed so heavily, and at such cost.

Intel's spending on WiMAX was justified by its patent holdings in the technology; if WiMAX had triumphed the return would have been considerable, but that battle is over and last week the chip giant spent $75m on the patent portfolio of Aware Inc to shore up its interest in LTE.

Huawei is providing TD-LTE infrastructure to India's Bharti Airtel amongst others, so compatibility with the emerging standard is worth having even if western operators remain largely wedded to the FDD version of the standard.

Frequency Division Duplexing uses separate, and equally-sized, frequency bands for sending and receiving signals. That works well for voice where the traffic is roughly equal, but for data services an asynchronous rate becomes more sensible and can be delivered using TDD which uses a single channel swapped between sending and receiving as required.

It might seem an obvious improvement - dynamically-adjusted asynchronous speeds in less-ridged blocks of spectrum at the cost of some latency (~20ms as opposed to the 12ms possible with FDD) - but the telecommunications industry is firmly locked into the idea of separate channels for sending and receiving. The UK mega-auction, still planned for later this year, will see huge amounts of radio spectrum sold off, most of it paired into FDD blocks which, given the nature of most data services, end up nearly half empty.

Network operators, and many regulators, even measure radio spectrum in paired blocks - referring to 2x15MHz rather than 30MHz or even just claiming to only own 15MHz of spectrum despite that being only half of a pair, to the confusion of outsiders.

But TDD lets companies deploy mobile data into less-structured blocks of spectrum, as demonstrated by UK Broadband. The firm is currently hawking TD-LTE networks around Southwark and Swindon, slotted into its unpaired 3.5GHz band. The UK will see 50MHz of spectrum (around 2.6GHz) reserved for TDD services, but the rest will be bundled up into pairs as preferred by the incumbent operators in a pattern replicated around the world. In that context TD-LTE could prove to be an interestingly-disruptive technology, and one which Intel will be pleased to take advantage of. ®

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.