Sunday, June 15, 2008


Sprint and Samsung today declared Mobile WiMax ready for commercial service. Sprint plans on launching commercial WiMax in Washington and Baltimore “later this year”.

Washington and Baltimore joined Chicago in a “soft rollout”, in which Sprint workers use and test the technology, a Sprint spokesman said last week. A Clearwire Mobile WiMax rollout is also planned, likely later this summer, in Portland, Oregon.

Despite today’s announcement about Washington and Baltimore, no commercial rollout projection for Chicago was mentioned. When asked about Chicago, a Sprint spokesman said “there will be further progress to report at another time.”

It’s a Motorola party in Chicago and Portland.

Sprint and Samsung said testing of overall performance, including successful wireless handoffs between cell towers without delay, had met Sprint’s “rigorous commercial acceptance criteria.” Testing was conducted in laboratories, as well as in the Baltimore-Washington area, the companies said.

Samsung has been working with Sprint since June 2007. There were lab tests, followed by field tests in October and then interoperability tests with “multiple” other device vendors in April.

Those devices included a Nokia’s WiMax tablet, a Samsung WiMax express card for laptops and a Zyxel WiMax modem. Intel has been developing chip sets for use in laptops and ultramobile PCs.

Clearwire is planning to move onto Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Grand Rapids, Mich., with mobile WiMax deployments after it launches in Portland, Ore., in the second half of this year, the company said during its first quarter earnings call this week. Clearwire ended the first quarter of 2008 with 443,000 users, up 72 percent on the previous year’s first quarter.

Maravedis forecasts WiMAX subscribers to exceed 100 million by 2014.

Meanwhile, there are more than 45 million cellular-based HSPA users worldwide, delivering consistent data rates in the range of 500 kbit/s to 1.5 Mbit/s, reports Unstrung. The GSM family will account for fully 89% of the global market in 2011, according to Gartner Inc. In the U.S., AT&T is a GSM provider, along with T-Mobile, which many believe will eventually announce intentions to support LTE and has launched AWS service in New York City.

Alltel has committed to LTE but any significant network upgrades are still three to five years out, the company said today. The No. 5 carrier has just over 13 million customers. Alltel is the second major CDMA carrier (after Verizon Wireless) to switch tracks and select LTE. Sprint, of course, is going the Mobile WiMAX route (and may get a 3-5 year lead over the competition).

Late to the party, AT&T and Verizon had to pay a premium for their spectrum, will wait years for LTE infrastructure, and could be left with scraps for their microwave backhaul.

It’s what I call the elephant in the room that nobody talks about,” explained Clearwire CTO John Saw, to Unstrung. “The backhaul is probably the highest cost of deploying the network… Anyone who wants to roll out a real wireless broadband network nationwide needs a cheaper solution.”


Intel has delayed the next generation “Montevina chipset until mind-July, with a formal launch in mid-August says PC Magazine. “Montevina” is the next-generation Centrino chipset, used in laptops and will include enhanced wireless capabilities with WiMAX and 802.11n.

The new laptop design was originally expected to be launched in a week. Montevina-based notebooks will be known as Intel Centrino 2.

Intel kicked off day two of its Spring IDF with some announcements about its next Centrino platform, codenamed Santa Rosa, and its successors.

As we all know by now, Santa Rosa is the 2007 Centrino platform, which will officially start shipping in May. Santa Rosa is composed of Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, the mobile Intel 965 Express chipset, Intel's Wireless-N networking, Intel's Gigabit Ethernet as well as optional Intel Turbo memory. The latter is now the official marketing name for Intel Robson technology, which is on-motherboard NAND flash memory that can be used by Vista to speed up the OS via ReadyBoost or ReadyDrive.

In the first half of 2008, Santa Rosa will get a refresh to support mobile Penryn processors. Currently Intel is only indicating updated processor support with the Santa Rosa refresh; the rest of the components may remain unchanged.

After the Santa Rosa refresh, also currently scheduled for 1H 2008, is the Montevina platform. Montevina will also support Penryn but it will be equipped with a mobile version of Intel's P35 chipset, codenamed Cantiga. Cantiga will bring about DDR3 memory support which may actually be attractive in notebooks due to lower power consumption. The real killer in Montevina is WiMAX support, which will hopefully enable very wide area wireless network access on notebooks in areas where there aren't localized 802.11 networks. Montevina will also bring updated Ethernet controllers and a second generation Robson technology.

The close proximity of the Santa Rosa refresh and Montevina launches does confuse us a bit, and we're skeptical of whether or not Intel will stick to this schedule. Two new Centrino platforms in a 6-month window just doesn't seem like a good idea.

The Centrino 2 “Cantiga” chipset, their integrated Intel graphics chip, is causing other delays. Intel has decided not release a chipset initially with Intel integrated graphics.

“There were two minor issues we found during final testing – one with our integrated graphic chipsets, which we have found a workaround for but need to re-screen our parts, and second around our wireless wi-fi chip, which was a paperwork and certification mistake we made,” said Bill Kircos, a spokesman for Intel, in an email to PC Magazine.

“Both of these led us to establishing a launch date for our mobile processors and discrete chipsets of the week of July 14th, and taking a couple of weeks to get the right readiness and volume for the rest of our components,” Kircos added. “We’re looking at early August for that.”

The Echo Peak wireless module will support both WiMAX and 802.11n technologies and will be available in prices ranging from US$43-54, depending on specifications. Meanwhile, the Shirley Peak module will support only 802.11n technology with prices between US$19-30.

However, regulatory delays also affected the Montevina chipset, according to Doug Freedman of American Technology Research, who published a report last Friday claiming that the chipset had suffered “hiccups,” as a “mis-step” in the FCC certification process would prevent the chipset from being sold within the U.S. Freedman also claimed that Montevina also suffered from errors within the integrated graphics portion of the chipset.

Freedman also wrote that it was possible that notebooks would ship with older 802.11a/b/g radios, instead of the newer 802.11n technology.


Nortel Networks now plans to focus on LTE, with WiMax products being dropped in favor of working with Alvarion for WiMAX products, the company announced today.

Nortel Networks has been a world-class leader in WiMAX, especially high-speed OFDMA and MIMO technology, but missed out on being a tier one provider for the big Sprint/Clearwire network, which is going with Motorola, Samsung and Nokia to execute their multi-billion dollar vision in the United States.

But the development of LTE (Long Term Evolution) has accelerated and Nortel’s expertise in COFDM and MIMO can largely be tranfered to that technology. Motorola says it will reuse 85 percent of their WiMax research in its LTE products.

Most major wireless carriers are skipping WiMax and planning to build out networks using LTE, which is a successor to current cellular technology.

Nortel’s WiMAX offering will combine Alvarion’s advanced radio access network technology with Nortel’s core network solutions, including backhaul, applications and professional services. Nortel’s network consulting, design and network management software will also be included.

Two group of vendors have announced patent-licensing plans recently, notes RCR News.


Despite the rise in popularity of user-generated videos and other "do-it-yourself" forms of content, when it comes to authentic revenue generation, broadcast television programming is still king. The revenue it generates, regardless of whether it is distributed via ad-supported, "free-to-air" broadcasting, pay television or any other model, dwarfs that of other content types. Telcos and other communications service providers looking to leverage their IP-based networks to offer video as part of subscriber packages recognize the necessity and huge appeal this type of content has in winning and maintaining an audience share.
Similarly, mobile operators are finding that broadcast programming is the key to thriving in an increasingly competitive landscape. As growth rates from pure voice traffic flatten, they are introducing data applications, not the least of which are videos of popular broadcast network programs. Hence "mobile TV" is already proving to be a promising ARPU generator for mobile operators, with several million subscribers to such services worldwide.
Beyond the ARPU increase, mobile distribution of broadcast programming offers such new business opportunities as targeted advertising models. It's not surprising that incumbent operators are investing in infrastructure to meet the consumer expectation for "content anywhere, any time on any device."
WiMAX is emerging as one of the most promising wireless networking technologies designed to meet this demand. However, broadcast-quality video is a bandwidth hog. As an IP-based network, WiMAX faces inherent scalability problems. Each new customer requires more bandwidth, connectivity sessions grow longer and applications such as video require ever more capacity. Serving thousands of such individual "unicast" streams becomes expensive, and there is a seemingly inevitable decline in quality of service at periods of peak demand.
One way to avoid these issues, and take full advantage of WiMAX to meet consumer demand and operator interests, is to implement hybrid broadcast/multicast architecture. This type of architecture is economically feasible because TV viewers tend to aggregate around "peak" viewing times: Despite the huge explosion in the amount of content now available on many networks and the inevitable fragmentation of audiences, in most markets, the bulk of TV audiences are largely served by five to ten major channels or networks.
This is true of fixed TV viewing and is likely to be the same with mobile, with the channels or networks meeting the demand for appropriately produced programming directed at commuting periods and other times in the day or week when mobile viewing is likely to be popular. A WiMAX TV broadcast/multicast solution enables operators to offer the most popular mobile programming at quality reception over predictable bandwidth and without any risk of congestion or contention during these peak-viewing periods.
In addition to nationwide or regional TV broadcasting, WiMAX TV also enables local content insertion and "micro-broadcasting" " the efficient delivery of content within restricted areas during popular sports events or concerts, or within airports, campuses or hospitals.
While viewing habits do tend to aggregate around certain predictable times, and audiences tend to gravitate en masse toward certain shows or programs, the portable nature of mobile TV means there will be a demand for individual streams and so-called niche or long-tailed content. Meeting this demand requires using a mix of broadcast, multicast and unicast technologies.
Typically, this is done by broadcasting the most popular TV channels on bandwidth that is set aside and efficiently managed through dynamic multiplexing. Other TV channels are multicast based on the demand in each particular cell, while interactive services and niche content are serviced over unicast links. How these various services are packaged and sold to the viewers will evolve over time as the market emerges.
Making this hybrid approach to mobile video delivery successful involves not just the use of a WiMAX network itself, but the implementation of an architecture specifically optimized for WiMAX-based mobile video delivery. It is this type of architecture that can transform a typical WiMAX network into a WiMAX TV network.
An optimized WiMAX TV architecture is based on the Multicast-Broadcast Services (MBS) specification, which is part of the Mobile WiMAX (802.16e) standard. MBS supported by Mobile WiMAX (802.16e) leverages the most successful features of such technologies as DVB-H, DVB-SH, MediaFLO and 3GPP E-UTRA. It offers high data rates and coverage using a Single Frequency Network (SFN); a flexible allocation of radio resources; low mobile-station power consumption; support for datacasting in addition to audio and video streams and fast channel-switching.
The Mobile WiMAX Release-1 profile defines a toolbox for initial MBS service delivery. The MBS service can be supported by either constructing a separate MBS zone in the DL frame along with unicast service (embedded MBS) or by dedicating the whole frame to MBS (DL only) for standalone broadcast service. MBS can be accessed when MS is in idle mode to allow low MS power consumption. The flexibility of Mobile WiMAX to support integrated MBS and unicast services enables a broader range of applications. [1]
As this architecture is fully IP-based, it enables operators to use standard network and headend components, as well as their existing terminal applications. A complete infrastructure overhaul or rebuild is not necessary. In addition, the architecture is scalable over a practically unlimited number of users, flexible in content trafficking, and centrally managed and monitored.
The Single Frequency Network (SFN) architecture brings an additional gain of several dBs in the radio channel, thus improving reception quality. "Time-slicing" technology, successfully implemented in DVB-H and other broadcast standards, increases the lifetime of the terminal's battery by receiving the content in short bursts, rather then continuously. The Inter-bursts Forward Error Correction (iFEC) " developed by UDcast -- ensures perfect video quality under difficult propagation conditions, making short reception blackouts totally invisible to end-customers, such as when they are passing under a bridge or tree.
While developing WiMAX TV architecture may not involve a heavy infrastructure upgrade, it is necessary to integrate software to manage the network's operations. UDcast has recently developed three software modules designed to meet this need including a WiMax TV Manager, which ensures the management of the entire WiMAX TV network, as well as the integration of the broadcast/multicast system with content sources, service protection and interactive services. Other software modules include the WiMAX TV ASN/MBS (Mobile Base Station) Module and the WiMAX TV Base Station Module. The MBS module implements the core functions of our WiMAX Multicast-Broadcast Service Controller and ensures the correct level of synchronization of the base stations for SFN operation, plus Inter-bursts Forward Error Correction (iFEC), intra-BS handover and content time-slicing. The WiMAX TV Base Station Module enforces SFN broadcasting and time-slicing and executes procedures for local content adaptation or injection, enabling geographically addressable content distribution.
These modules demonstrate that it is feasible to use WiMAX to deliver broadcast-quality programming to mobile devices. Harnessing the power of WiMAX to enable such a service offers numerous benefits to players across all segments of the industry. IP and telecom infrastructure providers, for example, can use it as revenue-generating extension of their existing WiMAX solutions. Similarly, broadcast TV providers can use it as an innovative WiMAX extension to their existing broadcast operations, or as a direct television distribution channel to the fast-growing community of WiMAX users.
Even though new applications and models won't be discovered until operators and other users began to implement WiMAX as a mobile video delivery tool, there are emerging applications and business models for WiMAX TV today. Many operators already have the existing network infrastructure to do this " they just need to embrace the technology in order to leverage it to its maximum, revenue-generating potential.


The famous Nokia 810 WiMax Edition is released final.

Technical specifications

* Weight: 8.06 oz
* Length: 2.83 in
* Width: 5.04 in
* Depth: 0.63 in
* High-resolution 4.13” WVGA touch screen display (800 x 480 pixels) with up to 65,536 colors
* TI HS OMAP 2420, 400Mhz
Memory Functions
* Flash 256MB
* 2GB internal memory
* Support for compatible miniSD and microSD memory cards (with extender). Supports cards up to 8GB. (SD cards over 2GB must be SDHC compatible.)
Operating Times
* Battery: Nokia Battery BP-4L
* Music playback: up to 10 hours
* Standby time off-line: up to 14 days
WiMAX operation times*
* Standby. always online: up to 4 days
* Internet browsing time: up to 3 hours
Wi-Fi operation times*
* Standby, always online: up to 5 days
* Internet browsing time: up to 4 hours
*Operating times may vary depending on the radio access technology used, network configuration and usage. The availability of the product and its features depend on your area and service providers, so please contact them and your Nokia dealer for further information.
Other characteristics
* Smooth slide with integrated QWERTY keyboard
* Built-in GPS receiver
* High quality stereo speakers and sensitive microphone
* High-resolution widescreen touch display
* Integrated desk stand
* Integrated VGA web camera
* HW key to lock touch screen and keys
* Ambient light sensor
* WiMAX 802.16e / 2.5GHz
* WLAN standard: IEEE 802.11b/g
* Bluetooth specification v.2.0 . +EDR (profiles supported: HID, FTP, DUN, GAP, SPP, ,SAP and OPP)
* USB high speed for compatible PC connectivity
* 3.5 mm stereo headphone plug (Nokia AV Connector)
Language support
* QWERTY keyboard: English
* User interface languages: Danish, Dutch, English, British, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
* User guide languages: British English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, American English, Brazilian Portuguese, Canadian French, Latin American Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic

Internet Tablet OS: maemo Linux based OS 2008 feature upgrade
* Seamless software update
* Seamless update functionality allows software updates over-the-air.
Web Browsing
* Browser powered by Mozilla with state-of-the-art web standard support including AJAX
* Page navigation with scrolling, panning or using hardware buttons, zooming in and out of web sites.
* Full desktop Adobe® Flash® 9 plugin, including video and audio streaming
* In-built media player for viewing and listening to downloaded, transferred or streamed media content and easy-on-device management of media library
* Direct access to shared media over Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
* Supported video formats: 3GP, AVI, WMV, H.263, H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, RV (RealVideo)
* Supported audio formats: MP3, VMA, AAC, AMR, AWB, M4A, MP2, RA (RealAudio), WAV
* Supported playlist formats: M3U, PLS, ASX, WAX, WVX, WPL
* Internet messaging and calling with video
* Effortless and automated presence and contacts application for centralizing communication tasks
* SIP support and interoperability with industry standard services
* Integrated GPS with pre-installed US and Canadian maps.
* Wayfinder turn-by-turn car navigation available on purchase.
* Car holder included in the sales pack
* Browser access to familiar webmail services
* E-mail application with easy setup for personal e-mail usage with IMAP, STMP, and POP3 support
* Full-screen image viewing and slideshow functionality
* Supported Image formats: BMP, GIF, ICO, JPE, JPEG, PNG, TIF/TIFF, SVG, Tiny, WBMP
RSS Reader
* Reader for subscribing, managing and keeping up-to date with web feeds
* Support for RSS 1.0/2.0 and Atom 1.0
* File manager
* PDF reader
* Clock
* Games: chess, blocks, mahjong and marbles
* Backup and restore