WiMax shrinking, LTE has issues
July 23, 2010 // Peter Clarke
The battle between WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) as the leading supplier of mobile broadband communications is over. WiMax is shrinking, according to Mike Bryant, an analyst with market research company Future Horizons. He pointed out that WiMax operators in the U.K. and The Netherlands are closing and that U.S. operators are considering re-applying their spectrum to other technologies.
"Intel has spent an awful lot of money on one of the worst investments ever," said Bryant speaking at a mid-year semiconductor market forecast organized here by Future Horizons (Sevenoaks, England).
However, despite the apparent momentum behind LTE it does not mean that the technology is without challenges, he added. "Despite all the hype for LTE, 4G, WiMax, Femtocells and so on, the vast majority of data traffic is handled by standard 2G/3G basestations with GPRS or EDGE enhancements," said Bryant.
LTE is being introduced to try and address this demand for bandwidth but LTE basestations are only just being rolled out in production quantities. "LTE basestations are on 18-month lead times and there is a problem with a lack of suitable sites for basestations."
Whereas a 3G basestation cell could support 4,000 users, an LTE cell is smaller and can only support 600 users, so seven times as many basestations are needed to support the same number of users, Bryant said. That means additional sites have to be found and, in addition, placing LTE equipment on the roofs of tall buildings doesn't always provide street-level coverage as it normally did for 3G basestations.
The result is likely to be an inability to service the demand created by sales of smartphones. Already monthly flat rate data usage plans are being dropped by many operators in favor of per-Gbyte charging schemes to increase profits and throttle demand, said Bryant.
However, that is unlikely to worry Texas Instruments, Freescale and Xilinx; the major chip suppliers to the LTE basestation market, he concluded.
IoT Security Foundation formed
September 04, 2015
The Internet of Things Security Foundation has been formed with a large list of associate members having sprung out of discussions ...
Self-sweeping lasers could make LIDAR systems cheaper
DecaWave preps for expansion, next location chip.
These five trends drive automotive innovation
How to increase your engineering value in just 20 minutes a day
Google-led group preempts HEVC
September 03, 2015
Internet giants Google and Cisco have banded together with Amazon and Netflix, two large streaming service players, along ...
IT security is changing: if the SIEM is dead, what's next?
Serdes startup Credo raises $8 million
The future of print and paper: digital hybrids
- High Voltage CMOS Amplifier Enables High Impedance Sensing with a Single IC
- Software-Defined Radio Handbook
- Why Making the Move from a Variable Transformer to a VariPLUS is the Right Decision
- Automating Leakage and Functional Testing
InterviewCEO interview: Ambiq sees broader options for low voltage
Mike Noonen, recently appointed interim CEO at microcontroller startup Ambiq Micro, discusses the focus and opportunities for this pioneering company designing circuits that can operate below the threshold ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Altera is giving away three of its second-generation Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit (NEEK), worth 9 each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
The feature-rich platform provides a fast and simple way for embedded designers to experience the capabilities of a custom embedded processor in a non-volatile FPGA.
MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.