on January 27, 2010   |   1 comment

GoingWiMax.com was granted an interview with Berkeley Varitronics Systems CEO of 10 years, Scott Schober. BVS has provided design and consulting services for the wireless telecommunications industry for over 37 years. Most recently, BVS has introduced a line of WiMax and LTE testing tools and analysis software to meet the demand for network build out and optimization. In this interview, Mr. Schober offers his valuable knowledge and insight on a variety of current trends and topics in the wireless world today.

1) In light of WiMax trends in the past 3 years, in what way has your company been influenced and affected?

Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) has seen significant WiMAX growth over the past three years greatly because of our diverse capability and smaller size. The initial business we appreciated was greenfield testing with our stimulus transmitter “Gator” and the “Coyote”, a modular receiver system. This combination allowed carriers such as Sprint and their respective partners to drive a particular area and plot out what type of coverage and signal propagation they would achieve in the 2.5 GHz 4G band planned for future deployment. This was done in all the major markets throughout the US with this system of test equipment. After the initial studies in 2007/2008 the carriers immediately could begin buildout of the actual network. BVS also provides the growing industry with the YellowFin 802.16e mobile WiMAX analyzer. The YellowFin allows 4G buildout to accurately reflect how WiMAX signals will propagate in real world  conditions as opposed to using the traditional 3G propagation equipment and models of the past. Advanced measurements such as (Carrier to Interference Noise Ratio) CINR is measured along with Multipath information that could be problematic to the desired thru-put the carriers are looking to achieve. The fact that our portable test solution is used for in-building and out-door drive studies, coupled with our intuitive (Graphic Users Interface) GUI allows RF engineers around the globe to build out their 4G WiMAX networks rapidly with solid coverage.

2) To what degree do you think the introduction and increasing momentum of LTE will effect WiMax technology?

There are clear opportunities for BVS to grow as both WiMAX and LTE are embraced on a global scale. I continually hear of speculation as to whether WiMAX will survive and be replaced by LTE, but I believe the two competing standards will more likely migrate into an accepted standard that … Read the rest

on January 25, 2010   |   2 comments

When GoingWiMAX.com recently asked its bloggers to forecast WiMAX developments in 2010, I was reminded of the old marketing adage, “Forecasting is difficult, especially of the future.” But expand the horizon from 2010 to the remainder of the decade, and I can spot a WiMAX development that looks sure-fire to me. And I start by looking at the past.

It’s been a trend since the Romans started building roads to move their troops across the Roman Empire: Products invented for war-making purposes eventually find application in commercial civilian use.

As a result of the United States’ lengthy involvement in Iran and Afghanistan, a number of military technologies have begun the trek into commercialization in recent years. Thermal imaging devices are now implanted in luxury automobiles. Virtual training platforms now help train workers in fields as diverse as emergency operations and taxi driving. A new generation of prosthetic devices, whose research was underfunded until unfortunate bomb incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan created waves of veteran amputees, is now being developed.

So it must pique the interest of those advocating WiMAX in surveillance applications to see new video processing technology being developed to analyze the flood of information cascading from drone aircraft in Afghanistan in particular. Within the next five to ten years, the analytical software being developed for the military could propagate into commercial use, launching a wider adoption of broadband surveillance video in police and security settings –and probably in other heretofore unconsidered areas as well.

Recently the New York Times characterized the military surveillance problem. Video collected by drones rose 300% from 2007 to 2009. New Reaper drones have more video capability than the Predator drones they’re replacing, with 10 cameras aiming in different directions, and an upgrade to 30 cameras scheduled for next year. Meanwhile, the military must devote increasing numbers of soldiers to analyzing the video as it arrives. In a military being enhanced to do more with fewer troops, it makes sense to not only automate but to speed up the analysis process.
Other requirements include sharing more data between branches and agencies such as the CIA, and annotating the raw video with graphics, text and other data.

Can you imagine Homeland Security wanting this technology? Police departments? Security details? Paparazzi? OK, I’m joking (a little) on the last one, but the point is that if the technology is available, there will Read the rest

on January 23, 2010  

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) recently announced Teracom, Take Solutions, Adishwar and Ampules as their final partners in rolling out WiMax service on a franchisee model. Under this model, selected companies will have to fund and create the complete infrastructure for WiMax services, with BSNL providing the required spectrum. Though BSNL had WiMax spectrum well before any private opertator, they have yet to truly take advantage of that.

Teracom has been selected in eight circles including Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, UP (East), Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and the North East. It appears that Cisco will be Teracom’s main technology partner.

Adishwar has been selected in Kolkata, Ampules in Chennai, Haryana, West Bengal, and Himachel Pradesh while Take Solutions has been selected in Orissa, UP (West) and Tamil Nadu.

BSNL originally ran into trouble with this franchisee project after it was discovered that some of the bidders existed only on paper and the tender had to be cancelled twice.

Since last month, BSNL offers WiMax services in rural areas. Gemini Communications, ZTE, US-based Harris Stratex, and Alvarion emerged as the four lowest bidders for the supply of 7,000 WiMax based stations to BSNL in rural areas.

This current project plans to cover 250,00 blocks across the country, within which BSNL will set up Common Service Centers.

Photo courtesy of lakshmi.prabhala via FlickrRead the rest

on January 22, 2010  

Alvarion opened two service centers to provide WiMax knowledge and training for people in Nairobi, Kenya and Dakar, Senegal. There are certified engineers at these centers to improve response times to WiMax problems and inform the locals of what exactly what WiMax can do for them.

The company is always considering opportunities to support its African customers and pursue business opportunties. Alvarion Africa GM Daniel Levy stated that Alvarion will foster the technical knowledge and skills locally instead of relying on outside influences.

Alvarion also unveiled the BreezeMAX Extreme 5000. It’s the industry’s first mobile Wimax all-in-one, all-outdoor solution for the 5-Ghz market. It will help launch smart grids for municipalities and help utilities companies streamline the information collection process. It’s built for many applications and business models, offering air-protocol. It also includes 16e solution, allowing for rapid deployment.

The BreezeMax Extreme 5000 was built for video surveillance use providing quality of service and real-time coverage of events. The radio include an automatic repeat request for reliable and efficient video transmission which allows to take an active guard against any possible interference.

Alvarion also presents the BreezeMAX Macro Outdoor, a WiMax mobile certified solution for wireless access at licensed frequencies. In 2010, the company plans to increase the number of qualified partners for its wireless broadband products. They’re trying to include  the increasing demand for robust, high-performance and affordable picture transfer protocol and point-to-multipoint broadband connectivity.

Photo Courtesy of Furyk via FlickrRead the rest

on January 19, 2010   |   1 comment

In looking at the WiMax market at the start of a new year, what better way to gain insight into future trends than by interviewing those who know the topic and technology best? The following piece is a compilation of opinions and foresights from seven experts in the telecom world who are part of the GoingWiMax.com community. According to these experts, a demand for mobile data capacity and more WiMax-embedded devices, increasing WiMax deployment both nationally and abroad, accelerated download speeds, LTE breakthrough, and the broadband stimulus bill will be some of the major factors affecting and influencing the WiMax market in big ways in 2010. You can download the report Wimax 2010 Predictions on Slideshare.

Robb Henshaw, Global Director of Marketing at Proxim Wireless

“2010 is going to be all about dealing with the mobile data deluge – via increased wireless backhaul and offloading existing mobile networks. Analysts and carriers themselves estimate that the demand for mobile data capacity – which is skyrocketing based on massive adoption of smartphones – will increase by at least 10x. As a result, it will become abundantly clear that the current backhaul model (fiber to widely distributed cell towers) no longer works, and cannot cost-effectively scale to meet this ever-increasing demand.  With the cost of fiber and time to deploy being much greater than wireless, wireless backhaul will emerge as the technology of choice for cost-effectively increasing backhaul capacity.  In addition to increasing wireless backhaul, I predict that carriers and service providers will also pursue the deployment of outdoor Wi-Fi networks for 3G Offload – thus encouraging smartphone users to connect via Wi-Fi when utilizing data-hungry apps. AT&T is already utilizing its acquisition of Wayport to offer Wi-Fi to all AT&T subscribers, and Verizon is doing the same via partnership with Boingo – so look for more carriers to advance this “Wi-Fi for 3G Offload” trend in 2010″

Julien Blin,CEO and principal analyst at JBB Research

“1. Scheduled rollout of first LTE networks in Africa in 2010 set to improve user experience and drive mobile entertainment content/service adoption. As African carriers continue to upgrade their network to 4G technologies (e.g. WiMAX, LTE), users will be able to enjoy a better user experience while using mobile entertainment services as those services will run on faster networks like LTE or WiMAX. African carriers in countries like South Africa and … Read the rest

on January 18, 2010   |   3 comments

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Rural Utilities Service made another $4.8 billion dollars in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants and loans for broadband expansion and adoption throughout the United States. It is the second round of funding for broadband expansion throughout the U.S.

The first allocation will be approximately $2.6 billion dollars, $2.35 billion of which will be made available for infrastructure projects. The agencies plan to accept applications from February 16, 2010, to March 15, 2010, and will announce all awards by September 30, 2010. The NTIA’s approach involves giving money to projects that connect municipal institutions like hospitals, community colleges and public safety institutions.

The NTIA will also give $150 million dollars to the Public Computer Center projects, expanding access to broadband connection and increasing capacity at public libraries and other public institutions that service the general public. It will also award at least $100 million for broadband education and training in areas where broadband technology is underutilized.

“In response to lessons learned from the first funding round, RUS is making important changes that will make the process easier for applicants and target our resources toward “last-mile‟ broadband connections to homes and businesses,” said Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. “This draws on our long experience in improving rural networks to the most difficult-to-reach areas of our country that need it most. We’ve streamlined the application process, added support for satellite service for rural residents left unserved after other funds are awarded, and provided ourselves more flexibility to target areas of greatest need.”

RUS will feature funds for last mile projects and will also fund middle mile projects involving current RUS program participants. There will be two funding options – grants up to 100 percent in remote rural areas, and 50/50 loan/grant appropriation. There will also be a base 75/2 grant/loan combination allowing for flexibility for RUS to seek a waiver if additional money is needed for areas that are difficult to serve and a priority for those seeking less money. This strategy will promote rural economic development.

A second funding window will open later this year. It will provide grants for satellite service for people that remain unserved after all other Recovery Act broadband funding is awarded. There will also be Technical Assistance grants for developing plans using broadband for regional economic development, and grants to provide broadband … Read the rest

on January 15, 2010  

In light of the New Year, CES, the rollout of new devices and services, and the constant exchange of rumors, three major developments for Sprint and Clearwire are worth noting as they continue to increase their already impervious presence in the technology world.

Back in May 2008, Clearwire and Sprint first announced their intent to merge, combining Sprint’s 4G WiMax network (Xohm) with Clearwire’s existing pre-WiMax broadband network. In January 2009, the partnership, dubbed “CLEAR”, unveiled Portland, Oregon as its first WiMax wireless broadband market, allowing customers and businesses access to wireless Internet at broadband speeds. Since its Portland launch, CLEAR has expanded its 4G WiMax network to over twenty-five additional locations in major U.S. cities. Now, at the start of 2010, three new wireless devices and services provided by this dynamite partnership will be making waves.

The first is Sprint’s new Overdrive Router, unveiled at CES in Las Vegas just last week and ready for rollout. The nation’s first 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless, it allows the user to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to Sprint’s 4G network simultaneously. Through a single connection via Wi-Fi, laptops, gaming devices, cameras and smartphones can all connect to a network that is up to ten times faster than current 3G speeds from any wireless carrier. The Overdrive creates a connection between the Sprint 4G network and virtually all Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices owned by or available to customers today, leaving no need for consumers or businesses to wait for 4G devices.

“This device delivers the connected lifestyle to our customers in overdrive. The fact that it connects up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices is especially meaningful because at 4G speeds, customers can download and upload more data–gigabytes, not megabytes– in a matter of seconds. The Overdrive on the 4G network is made for the multitude of bandwidth-hungry applications customers want to access wireless, like video streaming. 4G beats 3G for speed and for value,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO.

The Overdrive will be of use at home, in the dorm, on the go, or in a mobile office. A Sprint News release put the reality of this device into perspective –

“At home you can bypass your cable provider and stream HD movies from content distribution providers (Netflix, Blockbuster, etc) right to your TV, connect your Xbox 360 and game real-time with someone located across the globe, move

Read the rest

on January 13, 2010  

Clear is rolling out new modems in select markets. The two WiMax modems will have built-in ATA capability for VoIP. Gemtek Series G Home Modem is the first modem, with an omni-directional antenna. It is exclusively for the Las Vegas market and is priced the same as other Clear modems with a 10 dollar service discount. There is also a lease option per month for the device.

Motorola Series M Home Modem (CPEi 725) offers voice and data access ports and a high gain omni-directional antenna for great signal strength. It’s sensitive receiver oversteps the WiMax Forum’s receiver sensitivity requirements and it has quality of service features that will ensure better data and VoIP. It will be available in the Portland market.

Clear is planning on launching many new WiMax networks in major markets including New York and San Francisco, and  currently has networks in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Seattle.… Read the rest

on January 12, 2010   |   2 comments

With endless availability of information and a heightened degree of uncertainty in terms of where the economy is headed, looking forward at the next twelve months and attempting to predict in what direction WiMax is going is a daunting task. This being said, it is also an interesting and exciting opportunity to examine the positive ways in which WiMax will benefit the wireless world in 2010 and the ways in which the wireless world will respond to WiMax expansion.

Globally, a future increase in WiMax deployment can be expected. According to Infonetics Research, the number of global WiMax subscribers is expected to grow from 4 million at present to 130 million subscribers by 2013. Nearly every developing country currently has a WiMax network and this demand for wireless Internet access will only exponentially increase in the future. WiMax’s appeal lies in its ability to offer computer or terminals with enhanced mobility and access to high speed Internet without the need to connect the terminal to any cable network or Wi-Fi hotspot. There are already well over 475 WiMax networks deployed to date in 140 countries worldwide and though exact numbers are debatable, there is no doubt that substantial growth and network expansion is taking off at a very fast pace.

In addition to an increase in the number of networks traced by WiMax, many of the already established WiMax networks continue to rapidly expand. Two prime examples of such expansion include Yota and P1. Yota reached 250,000 active commercial users on its Russian network and passed the breakeven point with more than 2,300 subscribers added per day to its WiMax network. In April 2009, 65 product models from six vendors with WiMax embedded chipsets were introduced to the Russian market and in 2010, Yota expects to add a new GSM + Mobile WiMax phone supporting VoIP over WiMax. Malaysia’s Packet One Networks (P1) is chugging along as well, recently reaching 130,000 subscribers and looking ahead to the New Year with hopes of increased growth.

WiMax deployment and expansion can be expected in Africa as well. Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, is set to become Africa’s first hotspot. The Wireless service will be commercially available in three months and will be based on WiBro, Korea’s own version of WiMax. Korean Fixed-Mobile carrier Korea Telecom is also working on a $40 million project called the Kigali Metropolitan Network (KMN), which … Read the rest

on January 8, 2010   |   1 comment

Clearwire Corp will launch a WiMax network in Malaga, Spain by the end of the month, according to Reuters. The network would cover nearly 600,000 people. It will be the first 4G network in Spain and Clearwire’s first launch outside the U.S. It chose Alvarion as its network infrastructure supplier and ZTE as its supplier for the Spanish city of Seville, where they’re expected to build a network later this year.

So far, there are about 500 WiMax deployments around the world, reaching some 10 million subscribers. Clearwire has launched WiMax networks in major U.S. markets like Las Vegas, Chicago, Philadelphia. It launched networks in Texas, Maui, Honolulu and parts of North Carolina on December 1, 2009. It uses Clear as the service name for the WiMax products and service. They’ve recently sought more funding for expanding WiMax networks across the U.S.

There has also been speculation that Clearwire and T Mobile will form a wholesale partnership to sell WiMax service. Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow hinted in an interview with Reuters that T Mobile is one wholesale re-seller option, along with several other companies. Clearwire currently has 469,000 subscribers.… Read the rest