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Wireless

Broadband Fixed and Mobile Wireless


Broadband Strategies for the Fixed Market

Published June 2006
This Report looks at the key technologies, standards, regulatory situation, and market dynamics. It takes as its starting point the growth in broadband access (DSL and cable in particular) and the steady emergence of fixed wireless technology based on IEEE802.16-2004. What are the prospects for alternative carriers, incumbents and mobile operators over the next 5 years?

Broadband Strategies for the Fixed Market Report RR0605 Table of Contents PDF file.
Broadband Wireless Strategies for the Fixed Market Brochure PDF file.
White Paper To order your free White Paper please register, go to the Order Online-Free White Paper section.


Broadband Strategies for the Mobile Market

Published February 2006
This Report looks at the key technologies, standards, regulatory situation, and market dynamics. It takes as its starting point the growth in broadband access using 3G mobile technologies. With new IEEE standards supported by the WiMAX Forum, what are the prospects for alternative carriers, incumbents and mobile operators over the next 5 years and how will that impact the 3G market?

Broadband Strategies for the Mobile Market Report RR0601 Table of Contents PDF file.
Broadband Wireless Strategies for the Mobile Market Brochure PDF file.
White Paper To order your free White Paper please register, go to the Order Online-Free White Paper section.


- Mobile services will increasingly deploy broadband wireless technologies to improve ARPU by increasing the proportion of users accessing data services because of
. the higher speed,
. lower latency and
. basket of services that will be offered.
- These technologies will be a combination of 3G with enhancements like HSDPA, 1xEV-DO Rev A along with WiMAX using IEEE802.16e-2005 standards.
- The reason 802.16e-2005 has a role to play is based on its higher perfomance and lower costs compared with 3G technologies.
. 802.16e-2005 is an all-IP network, using VoIP, hence lower OPEX.
. It uses OFDM which has better performance in larger bandwidths than WCDMA or CDMA, hence greater spectral efficiency and coverage at the same frequencies.
. It will improve performance using MIMO, AAS and other advanced techniques, which will be available before the equivalent from the 3G community.
. 3G will evolve to 4G at the end of the decade. Many of the likely characteristics of 4G are already available in 802.16e-2005.

SOFDMA used in 802.16e-2005 will improve upon OFDM256 used in 802.16-2004 for NLOS applications by:
- Improving NLOS coverage by utilizing advanced antenna diversity schemes, and hybrid-Automatic Retransmission Request (HARQ)
- Increasing system gain by use of denser sub-channelization, thereby improving indoor penetration
- Introducing high-performance coding techniques such as Turbo Coding and Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC), enhancing security and NLOS performance
- Introducing downlink sub-channelization, allowing administrators to trade coverage for capacity or vice versa
- Improving coverage by introducing Adaptive Antenna Systems (AAS) and Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology
- Eliminating channel bandwidth dependencies on sub-carrier spacing, allowing for equal performance under any RF channel spacing (1.25-14MHz)
- Using an enhanced Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm which can tolerate larger delay spreads, increasing resistance to multipath interference

There are some potential barriers to this happening however

- Spectrum availability-will regulators allow fixed line or mobile operators to use spectrum for portable or mobile applications given the investment by mobile operators in expensive 3G spectrum?
- 3G is building a 3-4 year lead in the market in deployment and development of handsets compared to 802.16e-2005.
- 3G operators may decide to wait for 4G rather than use another standard in the interim.

The net effect of this is that TelecomView believes that by 2011 some 16% of broadband mobile subscribers will be using 802.16e-2005 technology-some 130 million out of almost 900 million users. This forecast is based on our analysis that the cost of deploying 802.16e-2005 for high-speed mobile data services is between one half and one fourth of the cost of 3G technologies. This cost differential provides an irresistible opportunity for wireline carriers that want a piece of the mobile action as well as for mobile operators looking to lower the cost of their data networks.

Broadband Strategies for the Fixed Market


With accelerating activity in WiMAX deployment for fixed applications-over 75 operators are now deploying networks-the path for WiMAX to gain ground in developing markets for fixed services is well established.

In developed markets, where DSL and cable has a dominant position, WiMAX will be used as infill in rural areas and also by ISPs wishing to compete without using unbundled loops. WiMAX provides the opportunity to compete with the incumbent in these markets and for fixed services to offer dual use devices that can also be used on a mobile WiMAX network. This could dislodge Wi-Fi from its position as the main portable broadband technology eventually.

Some 88 million subscribers will have fixed broadband services by 2011, using WiMAX, with over 20% of these having a dual "converged" subscription using fixed and mobile WiMAX services.

The outdoor Wi-Fi Mesh and WDS market isn't covered in our latest Wireless Broadband Report. The reason is that we were focusing on point to multipoint systems (using licensed spectrum mostly) rather than WLAN based technologies which uses repeaters and license-exempt spectrum to provide wide area coverage. (Incidentally the US government and others may want to license all spectrum in the future!)

The Wi-Fi WDS and Mesh approach has had a chequered history, and several proprietary solutions have been spectacular failures. The major change that now makes the approach attractive is the availability of 802.11 chips at low prices and the fact that Intel provides Wi-Fi capability as standard in its chips for laptop PCs.

But, Wi-Fi access points equipped with mesh capability are not cheap. Nevertheless there are several companies investing for the market , with Belair but also InspiAir, Motorola, Cisco, and Alvarion, to mention a few.

We think this market has a future but when Intel and other chip suppliers ramp up the volume on WiMAX we cannot see Wi-Fi lasting in isolation. It may survive if, as seems likely, it is used as part of a multi technology broadband access service, such as FMC. There is a momentum which will keep it going for a number of years-people are unlikely to switch overnight unless there is a tangible advantage in cost, coverage, data rate or other bundled services.

The biggest advantage of a Wi-Fi Mesh or WDS network is its low start-up cost (one or two access points initially) and that is why it has been deployed in city centres and on campuses-you only need to pay for what you want in terms of coverage. But it is labour intensive when you need more than a few access points and data rates fall as more users share the limited number of radio channels.

We have not done any detailed analysis of the business model or technologies. Our view is that these systems will be deployed and supported for as long as there is a large community of Wi-Fi users, and that could be for the next 10 years at least. If the industry offers dual use chips supporting at least Wi-Fi and WiMAX, plus also 3G eventually, then these networks could go on forever. The user would be charged fixed rates when stationary and mobile rates when on the move or away from a series of designated "home" locations which could include an office, home or set of hot spots. The service will use multiple technologies, the user being unaware and caring nothing about what is going on in the networks he is using.

Much of the investment is being paid for by municipal authorities that are using the Wi-Fi infrastructure for public safety and improving public transport, so there is an element of cross subsidisation. Even utility companies are using the technology to automate meter reading, so again, the infrastructure costs are being shared. I think that is the secret-if you can re-use the infrastructure several times for different applications, including public Internet access, it can be made to work.

All things being equal in 2007, would a WISP or municipal authority continue to invest in Mesh or WDS Wi-Fi or install a single 802.16-2004 base station? Assuming that the chips support both Wi-Fi and fixed WiMAX at that time, and the user doesn't care what network he is using, which will be the better investment? It probably comes down to spectrum-a WiMAX base station will need a license in most cases.

Broadband Strategies for the Mobile Market


- Mobile services will increasingly deploy broadband wireless technologies to improve ARPU by increasing the proportion of users accessing data services because of
. the higher speed,
. lower latency and
. basket of services that will be offered.
- These technologies will be a combination of 3G with enhancements like HSDPA, 1xEV-DO Rev A along with WiMAX using IEEE802.16e-2005 standards.
- The reason 802.16e-2005 has a role to play is based on its higher perfomance and lower costs compared with 3G technologies.
. 802.16e-2005 is an all-IP network, using VoIP, hence lower OPEX.
. It uses OFDM which has better performance in larger bandwidths than WCDMA or CDMA, hence greater spectral efficiency and coverage at the same frequencies.
. It will improve performance using MIMO, AAS and other advanced techniques, which will be available before the equivalent from the 3G community.
. 3G will evolve to 4G at the end of the decade. Many of the likely characteristics of 4G are already available in 802.16e-2005.

SOFDMA used in 802.16e-2005 will improve upon OFDM256 used in 802.16-2004 for NLOS applications by:
- Improving NLOS coverage by utilizing advanced antenna diversity schemes, and hybrid-Automatic Retransmission Request (HARQ)
- Increasing system gain by use of denser sub-channelization, thereby improving indoor penetration
- Introducing high-performance coding techniques such as Turbo Coding and Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC), enhancing security and NLOS performance
- Introducing downlink sub-channelization, allowing administrators to trade coverage for capacity or vice versa
- Improving coverage by introducing Adaptive Antenna Systems (AAS) and Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology
- Eliminating channel bandwidth dependencies on sub-carrier spacing, allowing for equal performance under any RF channel spacing (1.25-14MHz)
- Using an enhanced Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm which can tolerate larger delay spreads, increasing resistance to multipath interference

There are some potential barriers to this happening however

- Spectrum availability-will regulators allow fixed line or mobile operators to use spectrum for portable or mobile applications given the investment by mobile operators in expensive 3G spectrum?
- 3G is building a 3-4 year lead in the market in deployment and development of handsets compared to 802.16e-2005.
- 3G operators may decide to wait for 4G rather than use another standard in the interim.

The net effect of this is that TelecomView believes that by 2011 some 16% of broadband mobile subscribers will be using 802.16e-2005 technology-some 130 million out of almost 900 million users. This forecast is based on our analysis that the cost of deploying 802.16e-2005 for high-speed mobile data services is between one half and one fourth of the cost of 3G technologies. This cost differential provides an irresistible opportunity for wireline carriers that want a piece of the mobile action as well as for mobile operators looking to lower the cost of their data networks.