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WiMAX is on its way to obsolescence


legion125
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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 5 January 2012

 

Heres a short article about the future of WiMAX and how worldwide carriers are switching to TD-LTE.

 

http://www.phonearen...ownhill_id25437

 

 

TD-LTE adoption to grow substantially by 2016, WiMAX going downhill

 

According to a recent analysis conducted by the guys at ABI Research, over 500,000 TD-LTE towers will be operational worldwide by the end of 2016, and the majority of them are expected to be on the territory of China. At the same time, WiMAX usage will be going downhill due to the increasing number of carriers abandoning the technology.

 

What is TD-LTE you ask? Well, it is basically a variant of LTE technology, and the TD part stands for Time-Division Duplex. The LTE flavor that carriers in the U.S. and Europe use today is known as FD-LTE, which is short for Frequency-Division Duplex. Currently, TD-LTE service is commercially available in Brazil, Japan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. However, there are plans for the deployment of TD-LTE networks in Australia and Scandinavia, as well as in the U.S. and India.

 

But what does the future hold for WiMAX? Well, here is what Aditya Kaul, practice director of mobile networks at ABI Research, has to say:

 

 

“It was only two years ago that nearly every WiMAX operator, including operators with unpaired TDD frequency spectrum, were planning to deploy WiMAX 2,... Today, almost all of them have switched plans and are deploying TD-LTE instead.”

 

So, we now have more evidence that WiMAX is on its way to obsolescence, while LTE and its various flavors are what will dominate the wireless spectrum. And just wait until LTE-Advanced comes along – now that is what will knock your socks off with those 1Gbps download speeds.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 6 January 2012

 

Poor WiMax. I remember around 1998 or so you would hear about Intel pimping this new wireless technology that "was just around the corner" and like having "an ethernet connection in the sky". Nobody gave a damn about it again until some South Korean and Japanese ISPs used it as a wireless option and then of course when Sprint jumped on the bandwagon. I only wonder what the modern cellular/WISP industry in the US would look like if someone like Cingular or Time Warner had thrown money into it back in 2000....

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 6 January 2012

 

If Cingular had thrown money into it WiMax might have survived for a while longer, but LTE is probably still a better technology. Does anyone know how many WiMax networks are deployed worldwide, and do they use the same frequency that Clear uses?

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 6 January 2012

 

The number that use WiMax? The last time I heard it was over 200. But I think it's in a steady decline now. It's not so much that LTE is a better technology, IMHO, it's that it offers WirelessCo's more control over their network (which is a good and bad thing) and, more importantly now has economies of scale behind it. LTE is cheaper than WiMax now. And it will be far cheaper next year. LTE prices are going down, while WiMax is trending up. And WiMax2 will be released before LTE Advanced.

 

However, none of that matters now. WiMax is dying. Someone just needs to pull the plug.

As for WiMax frequencies, about half the world uses 2.5-2.6GHz, like Clearwire. The other half are split between 2.3GHz, 3.3GHz and 3.5GHz. Some of those places that use higher frequencies use beamforming to transmit their signal. So, a 3.5GHz signal beamformed actually produces a stronger signal that penetrates walls better than Clearwire's 2.5GHz signal.

 

In fact, if Sprint used beamforming on Clearwire's spectrum, it wouldn't even need any more 800MHz spectrum. Beamforming a 2.5GHz signal would produce a usable signal pattern better than 1900PCS, nearly equaling 800MHz. Beamforming takes a lot more engineering and signal planning though than a conventional deployment, and also more antennas. So there is some cost associated with it. But to be able to cover more area with 2.5GHz, deliver better results (and higher speeds), have happier customers and not have to buy expensive spectrum at auction all more than counteract the additional costs associated with beamforming.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 6 January 2012

 

Agreed! WiMAX would have been the dominate 4G standard if the carriers hadn't decided to make a push for the LTE. After doing a little light reading on Wikipedia, it looked initially that WiMax and its future variations were going to be superior to LTE, its just the carriers got behind LTE and pushed for critical mass so it became the new standard. It would have been cheaper all around because the equipment and infrastructure was already developed and maturing. When the bandwagon rolled on for LTE, the industry had to stop and start over.

 

If LTE continued to be a pipe dream, Sprint may have been the leader in 4G in the U.S. and would have most likely begun deploying WiMAX 2 by now.

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  • 1 month later...

Here are some fresh numbers on the state of WiMax compared to HSPA and LTE. WiMax is going down the slow path to oblivion.

 

Not surprisingly, then, 62.9 percent of "4G" smartphones sold in the quarter were of the HSPA+ variety, followed up by 20 percent from LTE devices, and 17.1 percent from WiMAX phones. The numbers suggest that WiMAX, once championed by Sprint as an alternative to LTE, is on its way out — only 6 percent of all smartphone sales for the quarter used the technology compared to a high of 10 percent the quarter previous.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/13/2868326/4g-smartphone-sales-numbers-lte-wimax-q4-2011

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Here are some fresh numbers on the state of WiMax compared to HSPA and LTE. WiMax is going down the slow path to oblivion.

 

 

 

http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/13/2868326/4g-smartphone-sales-numbers-lte-wimax-q4-2011

I'm rather surprised that they were that close to LTE phones. Att and Verizon were selling LTE phones during Q4. As far as HSPA+, ATT and T-Mobile were both selling them and I wonder if all the iPhones count in that number.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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I'm rather surprised that they were that close to LTE phones. Att and Verizon were selling LTE phones during Q4. As far as HSPA+, ATT and T-Mobile were both selling them and I wonder if all the iPhones count in that number.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

 

I would sure think that at&t iPhones were part of that count, but I guess it could be possible that they aren't. I'm surprised that WiMax still has that much life left after all griping and complaining people have done because Clearwire stopped rolling it out like they should have.

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It may be why Verizon is going to start selling all LTE smartphones in order to force migration onto LTE in order to clear up the CDMA side. They will have to eventually if they are serious about pushing VoLTE at the end of the year. Although a good share of WiMax phones still on the market, I'm sure most of them are on contract with a small percentage of off-contracts waiting for LTE. The 6%'s were probably sales for people who don't have a clue about NV or broke/damaged their phone.

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