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Friday, December 12, 2008

WiMAX Forum chief hits back at LTE over-optimism

Source: Rethink Wireless
WiMAX Forum chief Ron Resnick has hit back at the recent wave of excitement about imminent LTE launches, telling a recent conference that the 3GPP standard is at least three to four years from the commercial mainstream, and that it would be just as big an undertaking to deploy as WiMAX.

"We need to set the record straight," he told the WiMAX Forum congress in Rio. "LTE is not an evolution. It's a complete forklift, just like WiMAX." It has been a common misconception that, because LTE has emerged from the 3GPP, it will be backwards compatible with that body’s 3G standards, or at least offer a simpler migration path. In fact, WiMAX and LTE are far closer in technology terms than LTE and W-CDMA or CDMA2000, making the shift from 3G to 4G similar in either case. The main elements that will make the migration easier for existing mobile operators will be effective hand-off and core network elements that allow for internetworking and overlays, plus cost effective dual-mode devices. Efforts to achieve these are ongoing for both 4G standards, but the market availability of WiMAX gives it an obvious headstart.

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