802.11 Insider

Wi-Fi, WLAN, WiMax

24% Increase in WiMAX Patents Anticipates Rapidly Accelerating Market Expansion

Research and Markets has announced the addition of WiMAX IP and Patent Report to their offering. The WiMAX IP & Patent Report analyzes the intellectual property ownership and development of companies in the emerging Wireless Broadband segment in order to track early strategic and technology shifts in the marketplace. This report includes both granted Patents and Patent Applications as well as contact and company affiliation information for each patent. The report also tracks the development of WiMAX-related IP and patent litigation.

Patents are tracked for mobile and fixed WiMAX and related technologies such as WiBRO. Both US and worldwide patents are evaluated by company with a focus on fundamental network architecture, enabling software, and RF chipsets. Detail is extensive and the 1,340 page report is both comprehensive and accessible, organized with an easy-to-use interface; patents to claims are hyperlinked within the document.

This new Report analyzes 628 WiMAX patents and demonstrates strong growth and expansion. Intel and Samsung dominance in patent activity continues.

The substantial increase in patent activity in the last two years is a key to understanding the potent growth possibilities in WiMAX success. Intel and Samsung continue their predominance in WiMAX patent filings.

“I was surprised by the level of activity in the WiMAX IP and patent sphere in the last year,” says Dr Kirsten West, Principal Analyst of WTRS. “IP filings are moving to application-based patents, indicating a maturing of the WiMAX market.”

The WiMAX IP & Patent Report findings include:

1. Patent growth accelerating in WiMAX area to 628 patents, 24% increase over 2007 research.

2. New research focuses on interaction and handoff between WiMAX and WiFi networks.

3. Dominance of Samsung and Intel in new patent filings continues.

4. Strong growth in IEEE 802.16e -related IP development.

5. Evolution of WiBRO patent filings to application, and end-product related work.

Using only publicly available information, meticulously gathered from public patent sources, company information, and other research this report is truly an invaluable resource for any company participating in the WiMAX sector, or planning a potential entry into this market.

Each purchase of this entitles the customer to one hour consultation time with the principal analyst in this field. We also offer extended consultative assistance on this subject which supplements the referenced Market Report.

Mobile WiMAX Faces a Diminishing Time-to-Market Advantage

Service providers with the right spectrum, available capital, and access to enough sites to place base stations are in a great position to take advantage of WiMAXs headstart on the 4G market. But LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) are vying for 4G as well and even though mobile WiMAX has a time-to-market advantage over LTE, delays in certifications by the WiMAX Forum (coupled with delays in network rollouts) could narrow that window of opportunity. ABI Research is confident that UMB will not gain traction, as the true battle for 4G blossoms between mobile WiMAX and LTE.

The biggest opportunity for mobile WiMAX is the chance to develop a wider device ecosystem and worldwide subscriber base before LTE starts to do the same, says ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis. However, LTE remains a potential threat to WiMAX since 3GPP-backed LTE will become the dominant 4G technology and is progressing quickly toward standardization. Additionally, LTE is seeing early trials take place while moving into TDD (as well as FDD) spectrum territory.

GSM-based networks represent the primary radio access network technology deployed, with over 80% of the installed base of base stations worldwide; so WCDMA networks generally will migrate to LTE (with Verizon Wireless being a notable exception). Eventually, this will translate to wider deployment at a faster rate than WiMAX. ABI Research forecasts that LTE subscriber numbers will surpass mobile WiMAX subscribers after 2015.

Around the same time that LTE rolls out, 802.16m, or WiMAX 2.0, will make its way into products. Just like LTE, 802.16m will be part of the IMT-Advanced set of technologies.

One main differentiator for 802.16m will be its backwards-compatibility with a developed OFDMA ecosystem derived from 802.16e, continues Solis, whereas LTE will be not be backwards-compatible with anything except through the inclusion of 2G and 3G radios. 2G/3G compatibility can and will be achieved with WiMAX in the same way.

Swedish City’s Adoption Gives 802.11n a Boost

Even though it’s still not a standard, 802.11n is starting to take off. The Swedish city of Lund has decided to build wireless hotspots using the technology. Larger carriers are also starting to get interested.

“It will be exciting to see what the technology can offer,” said Peter Mellvé, CEO at the city-run Lunds Municipal Housing Company.

Lund, with 100,000 inhabitants, is the 12th largest municipality in Sweden.

Via: PC World 

Iberbanda and Alvarion Expand WiMAX Networks in Spain

Alvarion Ltd. (NASDAQ:ALVR), a provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband solutions, and Iberbanda, Spains leading WiMAX carrier and subsidiary of Telefonica, announced the deployment of Alvarions BreezeMAX system at 3.5GHz in Navarra, an autonomous community in northeast Spain. The network provides voice and data services to residential customers in rural and semi-rural areas throughout the region. This expansion is expected to add thousands of subscribers to Iberbandas constantly growing customer base, and has helped them meet Navarras government requirements to bridge the digital divide. Alvarion and Iberbanda are long-term partners and have built successful WiMAX networks in other autonomous communities of Spain, including Catalunya, Andalucia and Castilla y Leon.

Iberbanda issued a tender last October 2007 to all major WiMAX vendors with rigorous demands for quality of service and advanced technology. Once again, the experienced WiMAX carrier chose Alvarions BreezeMAX system over others because of its proven track record and delivery capabilities.

As always, we are committed to bringing broadband services to Spain’s rural areas,” said Mr. Luis Miguel Garcia Sanchez, CEO of Iberbanda. “For several years now we have been enjoying a beneficial customer-vendor partnership with the WiMAX expert. Alvarion offers us more than just superior technology; it has a proven track record of network deployments, and has emerged from among the new telecom equipment leaders. We rely on BreezeMAXs performance as the ideal product for answering Navarra governments requirements for an excellent solution. We are confident it has the ability to provide extended coverage now, and lead to next-generation technologies in the future, as well.”

We are pleased that Iberbanda has once again selected us for this major expansion of their network,” said Tzvika Friedman, President and CEO of Alvarion. We value Navarra governments confidence in WiMAX. Our BreezeMAX used by Iberbanda one of the most innovative carriers and leading service providers dedicated to WiMAX services enables overcoming digital divide and realizing the vision of WiMAXs capability to bring broadband everywhere. We look forward to the large potential of mutual business growth as Iberbanda enters the world of mobile with exciting trials of our 802.16e solution.

Is a free global Wi-Fi network possible?

WeFi is hoping to do for Wi-Fi connectivity what Facebook has done for social networking.
WeFi, a software company headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and in Tel Aviv, Israel, creates software that can be downloaded for free onto laptops or mobile devices that the company says will enhance Wi-Fi connectivity and provide mobile devices with more powerful connection tools.

Once the software is installed, it begins searching for Wi-Fi hot spots in a user’s area and allows them to map all the hot spots in their vicinity through the Google Maps application. The eventual goal, WeFi says, is to create a global map of wireless hot spots that can be used as a reference for members of the WeFi community who want to find Internet access in new locations. In this Q&A with WeFi CEO Zur Feldman, we discuss how WeFi works, how it enables Wi-Fi connectivity, and how the company plans to make money from creating a virtual global Wi-Fi network.

Via: Techworld 

Wi-Fi devices offer communication options

Perhaps it was wishful thinking, but I thought by now I’d be able to sit at any city cafe, park bench or airport bar across the country and jump on the Internet via a free Wi-Fi connection.

Such ubiquitous Wi-Fi is still years away.

But several companies are betting enough people have wireless routers at home or use public hotspots to support a hand-held Wi-Fi device that doesn’t double as a cell phone.

Via: The Buffalo News 

Fujitsu’s Compact Mobile WiMAX Base Station Selected by UQ Communications

Fujitsu Limited today announced that its outdoor base station for mobile WiMAX, BroadOne WX300, has been selected by UQ Communications Inc. for the development of the company’s nationwide WiMAX services infrastructure in Japan.

UQ Communications is a mobile WiMAX operator in Japan that is jointly owned by KDDI Corporation, Intel Corporation, East Japan Railway Company, Kyocera Corporation, Daiwa Securities Group Inc., and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Fujitsu is positioning its mobile WiMAX base station equipment as a premier solution for the rapidly emerging wireless broadband market as the company aggressively expands its business in this market both inside and outside of Japan.

The mobile WiMAX operator UQ Communications intends to begin offering commercial WiMAX service in Japan starting in 2009. As a critical part of its infrastructure, the company has selected the Fujitsu BroadOne WX300, the world’s smallest outdoor WiMAX base station, for its outdoor base stations. The BroadOne WX300, which was developed by Fujitsu to be light, energy-efficient, and the smallest base station in its class(1), will accelerate the spread of wireless broadband access throughout Japan.

Tempe, Ariz., CIO faces Wi-Fi reality check

Dave Heck, CIO for the city of Tempe, Ariz., remembers when municipal Wi-Fi advocates talked four years ago about wireless networks as shining beacons that would bring the Internet to the masses. Today, in Tempe, that optimism is nearly gone. Tempe’s city-wide Wi-Fi system went live in 2006, offering some 900 access points installed on city-owned poles for the city’s 160,000 residents and businesses; now, it’s basically dead.

Via: Computer World 

Free Wi-Fi set to go full-time at Sydney libraries

Over the past four weeks, the City of Sydney Council has been trialling the provision of free Wi-Fi services in its libraries. With only a fortnight to go before the hotspots are switched off, a spokesperson has said that users won’t have long to wait before access becomes a permanent fixture.

The council initiated the trials at five of its eight suburban branches in the City of Sydney area, including local libraries in Glebe, Newtown, Haymarket, Ultimo and the CBD branch at Circular Quay.

Via: ZDNet 

WiMAX to Complement - But Not Replace - 3G/4G Networks?

This story reflects a recent Pioneer study that looks at the effects of upcoming fixed-wireless technology like WiMAX and how this will compete with established 3G (and upcoming 4G) networks. We’ve said before that WiMAX has the potential to become a very disruptive force in the wireless voice and data industry. It’s hard to believe that the mobile operators would let anything come in the way of the cellular-based networks they’ve spent a decade building and tens of billions creating and upgrading. Doesn’t matter. Customers are smarter than you think and if there is a superior alternative, well then, you know.

Via: The Wireless Report