WiMAX device ecosystem is growing – RCR Wireless News
3G cellular is all about data. If WiMax is growing for data, then 3G or 4G cellular may not be needed. Just 2G would be good enough for voice. As iPhone and iPad get popular, concerns grow that wireless internet gets slower. Even voice gets stutter. This is because both data and voice use same network. It makes good sense therefore to separate voice and data in different network. That is, voice for 2G cellular network, and data for WiMax network , rather than both voice and data to 3G or 4G cellular. Voice is THE killer app in smart phone. Data should not compromise it. This is more true for many non smartphone users. In this sense, HTC EVO 4G from Sprint is a very good approach. Sprint may need to lower the cost similar to 3G to make this more popular. Making cell phone for WiFi hot-spot is also a neat feature.
HONOLULU, Hawaii–As WiMAX networks roll out across the globe, device manufacturers and operators are hoping to move beyond the dongle and computer modem to more innovative products, according to panelists at the Global WiMAX Business Development Forum.
Even as Sprint Nextel Corp. gets ready to launch the HTC Evo 4G handset in a few weeks, global operators are hoping that WiMAX chips get embedded in more nontraditional devices. For example, in Pakistan, a WiMAX chip embedded into a television could be a way for the nation’s wireless broadband users to connect to the Internet, said Dr. Tanveer uI Haq, CTO at Pakistani WiMAX operator Wi-tribe. While there are only 7 million PC users in Pakistan, there are about 95 million cellular users and 95 million people who own TVs.
The technology is available to install a chip in a set-top box, said Craig Miller, VP of marketing and business development at Sequans. The trick is getting the consumer electronics manufacturers to include the chip in the manufacturing process.
As the WiMAX ecosystem develops, more products are getting embedded to support the various frequencies WiMAX operates in across the globe, said Kevin Jones, Intel Corp.’s Global 4G evangelist. Intel’s 6250 adapter, for example, supports 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz as well as Wi-Fi and is in more than 200 netbooks.
WiMAX operators also are interested in partnering with cellular providers to sell dual-mode handsets that marry 2G coverage for voice with 4G coverage for data. If operators ink those deals, device manufacturers will build products for them, but the carriers have to be able to sign deals with 2G cellular providers.
WiMAX chips are going to be embedded in a number of M2M devices, including smart-grid modules, said Lars Johnsson, VP of business development and marketing at chip-maker Beceem. “Utility companies want to use WiMAX as a gateway into the home.” Video surveillance cameras are another opportunity, he said. Video apps can’t run on a 2G network so any kind of remote monitoring is another opportunity.
Panelists also questioned why Russian operator Yota failed in its attempt to bring a WiMAX handset to market two years, but a major difference between the Yota handset and Sprint Nextel’s Evo handset is pricing: While the Yota handset, manufactured by HTC Corp., cost $1,000, Sprint Nextel’s Evo handset is being sold at $200.