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WiMAX 2: The Streamlined Path to 4G

Why current and greenfield WiMAX operators have an unprecedented opportunity to grow subscribers and revenues now while preparing for a cost-efficient migration to 4G

Global demand for mobile data services isnt merely growing. Its exploding. Nearly everyone who uses a mobile phone or device anywhere in the world is demanding faster access to more data. More specifically, theyre demanding that all the applications they love on their tethered computers be available on their mobile devices. From an operators perspective, that demands bandwidth. Today, this exploding need for mobile bandwidth is being met by WiMAX. Tomorrows even greater demands will be met by WiMAX 2.

Bandwidth-Demanding Applications
What are the data applications driving mobile demand? They certainly include e-mail, texting, Twittering and Facebooking. But they are increasingly including more bandwidth-intensive applications like photo sharing, online gaming and perhaps most important of all, video. The rate at which end users are consuming video like YouTube, Hulu, sports clips, TV shows and even movies on their mobile devices is startling. We firmly believe that mobile broadband data is becoming the largest opportunity [for] mobile operators. Mobile data services are contributing an increasing portion of carrier revenue as (they) move from lowbandwidth-intensive messaging applications to bandwidth-hogging multimedia applications.
Wedbush Securities quoted on Barrons website, March 22, 2010

According to The Nielson Company, more than 15 million Americans watched video on their mobile devices in the second quarter of 2009. Thats a 70 percent year-over-year increase. Similar growth is being reported around the world, and the trend is projected to continue at the same or even faster rates. The Internet has taught us that video is going to be one of the prime mobile applications going forward, says Bruce Brda, senior vice president and general manager of Motorolas Wireless Networks Business. The problem for many operators is that the popularity of video and other bandwidth-demanding applications is causing major capacity issues. What technology is here to save the day? WiMAX.

WHITE PAPER: WiMAX 2: THE STREAMLINED PATH TO 4G

WiMAX is Booming
When mobile users cant get video and other applications they want, they tend to get frustrated and impatient. And theyre tired of being told that in just a few years new technology will be available to meet their bandwidth and application needs. A few years? They want their mobile applications now. That urgency is one of the biggest reasons for the impressive growth of mobile 802.16e WiMAX technology. WiMAX is available today. It is currently in use in more than 500 high-profile networks in the United States and other countries, and is proving to be highly successful. Industry analysts note that WiMAX experienced 75 percent to 80 percent subscriber growth in 2009. A good example is Clearwire, which added 87 ,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2009 alone. And WiMAX isnt only being used in consumer applications; it is also powering enterprise systems, institutional networks such as education and healthcare, government solutions that serve remote and underserved populations, and machine-to-machine connectivity for Smart Grid and other networks. The wireless industry is convinced that the growing volume of data [that] consumers are eating up is a bad thing. But for us, our [WiMAX] spectrum position gives us tremendous capacity and the ability to meet the explosive demand for mobile broadband.
- Mike Sievert, Chief Commercial Officer, Clearwire

The Evolution of WiMAX


Most operators would agree that todays revenues and profits are as important if not more important than tomorrows. But that doesnt mean tomorrow should be ignored. Todays choices shouldnt preclude operators from reaping future profits as technology continues to evolve. Although current 802.16e WiMAX technologies are proving exceptionally successful in bringing high-bandwidth mobile service to even the most demanding customers, is WiMAX a technology of the future as well as of the present? The answer is an enthusiastic yes. All operators want to make sure they wont be left behind as mobile standards evolve. The future of WiMAX is assured by WiMAX 2, which is based on IEEE standard 802.16m, the powerful next generation technology that positions WiMAX operators for long-term growth.

The Power of 802.16m


WiMAX, of course, doesnt exist in a vacuum. It is not the only good technology choice for mobile operators. But WiMAX offers a number of strong competitive advantages. For one, WiMAX is established technology with a fast-growing customer base and a track record of reliability, performance and customer satisfaction. In addition, next generation WiMAX 2 solutions are two to three years away, as opposed to other technologies whose evolution to 4G is four to five years away. Whats more, operators can start the migration path to 802.16m right now, rather than years from now.

Profits in the Hand


The bottom line is that there is money to be made right now. WiMAX operators and owners of WiMAX spectrum are in the ideal position to start generating revenues today while other operators are waiting for other standards to become generally available in the next year or two. The proof is in the marketplace. Many operators with WiMAX networks have become so successful they already have a need for added capacity. The good news is they can expand their WiMAX systems right away to quickly provide more bandwidth and gain more subscribers. Greenfield operators that own WiMAX spectrum can also profit from rising demand for bandwidth by deploying now rather than later. WiMAX deployment is simple, quick and affordable, and significant revenue streams and fast ROI are waiting.
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WiMAX 2 Benefits
Industry analysts predict the demand for mobile data services will continue its skyrocketing growth over the next several years, with more subscribers consuming more mobile data on more mobile devices. The new WiMAX 2 standard will provide operators with the benefits to take maximum advantage of this growth. Increased Performance. Current and new WiMAX networks can map a step-by-step path to 802.16m that will increase performance significantly. By 2011, even before WiMAX 2 is fully available, operators will be able to take advantage of a 10-to-20 percent increase in spectrum efficiency. Ultimately, when

WHITE PAPER: WiMAX 2: THE STREAMLINED PATH TO 4G

802.16m is fully available, spectrum efficiency will increase by 50 percent, leading to significant gains in capacity and a 200 to 300 percent increase in performance. WiMAX operators can expect to see peak throughputs beyond 100 Mbps up to a hundred times faster than 3G to provide exceptional performance for bandwidth-hungry mobile data applications. In addition, the WiMAX 2 standard can process requests in a few milliseconds, enabling reduced latency and an advanced scheduler technology for optimized prioritization of data services. [WiMAX 2] performance gains will enable WiMAX operators to keep up with the explosion in demand for rich, multimedia mobile applications and devices which increasingly require high speed, on-the-go connectivity.
Taiwans Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)

Robust Ecosystem: All along the path from 802.16e to 802.16m, WiMAX operators have the support of a robust WiMAX ecosystem supported by industry organizations like the WiMAX Forum and WiMAX 2 Collaborative Initiative, as well as a strong global WiMAX community. The 802.16m standard is designed to meet IMT-Advanced requirements (see sidebar), and to meet them up to three years before competitive technologies. Leading WiMAX vendors as well as the Taiwanese research organization, ITRI, have launched the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI). The group will work closely with the WiMAX Forum to accelerate the implementation of interoperable system profiles for WiMAX 2 equipment and devices with the goal of improving the economics of mobile broadband.
WCI Press Release, April 12, 2010

300 Mbps WiMAX Standard to be ready in 2010


dnaindia.com

Peaceful Coexistence
The 800-pound gorilla in any discussion about 4G mobile standards is the de facto competition between WiMAX and LTE (Long Term Evolution.) Virtually every wireless operator is concerned about a tech war in which one technology eventually wins in the race to 4G. Everyone wonders which one will it be. The answer, of course, isnt so cut and dried. The real answer, says Brda, is two technologies coexisting side-by-side and serving the different needs of operators around the world. Though there is a certain degree of competition between the two technologies, it has been misinterpreted as a heated battle where one technology is destined to succeed as the other fails. The reality is that both WiMAX and LTE will play major roles in the future and have the potential to concurrently benefit the wireless world.
Ari Zoldan, CEO, Quantum Networks, LLC

Application Enhancement: WiMAX 2 will also provide mobile data users with significantly enhanced application performance. Handovers will be optimized with improved reliability and reduced interruption time. Security will be heightened through enhanced encryption capabilities and greater efficiencies in integrating key frame management. The standard also prepares for the growth of femtocell solutions by being femto-aware from the start, and by mitigating interference between macrocells and femtocells. In addition, in support of the growing importance of VoIP WiMAX 802.16m will deliver 50 percent more , VoIP capacity than 802.16e systems. Investment Protection: As WiMAX operators evolve their networks to 802.16m technology, they can be assured of a fully backwards compatible technology transition, protecting their previous and current investments. Theres no need to replace 802.16e devices, and they can use a simple network upgrade for 802.16e base stations.

Despite the increased chatter about LTE, WiMAX operators can be certain of one thing. WiMAX is here today; its strong and successful, and its going to be a robust technology well into the future.

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A Business Decision
Its important to remember that WiMAX and LTE are not 4G. They do not meet the IMT-Advanced standards that define minimum 4G performance. On the other hand, 802.16m WiMAX will meet IMTAdvanced standards, making it the first 4G solution to come to market, expected to be in 2012. (LTE Advanced, the 4G incarnation of LTE, isnt projected to be available until 2013 or 2014.) This disparity in time-to-market essentially makes an operators decision less a technology choice and more a business decision. Today, WiMAX operators and spectrum holders have an excellent opportunity to choose action over inaction and profitability and customer satisfaction over the waiting game. Not surprisingly, a growing number of WiMAX operators and license holders are choosing that opportunity. By expanding and deploying now, they can immediately begin to make money and retain and win customers. At the same time, they are positioning themselves for 4G with a clear and cost-efficient migration path to WiMAX 2. After all, this is business.

Technology, Knowledge, Experience


At Motorola, we offer the technology, the knowledge and the experience to help WiMAX operators and spectrum owners take immediate advantage of the escalating demand for mobile broadband data service and applications. If youre considering expanding your WiMAX network, deploying a new network or planning a network that combines 802.16e with 802.16m, Motorola can empower you to meet todays needs today, and to meet tomorrows needs before the competition.

Step-by-Step Migration
Well put you on a well-defined, step-by-step WiMAX 2 4G migration path that will help protect your investment while working with you on your technology requirements, spectrum and capacity planning and feature prioritization. Start by calling Motorola today. Youll find that we are the go-to partner that enables you to leverage WiMAX to provide all the high-speed mobile data connectivity and performance your customers demand today and in the 4G tomorrow.

WiMAX Leadership
Leveraging our 80-year history of wireless innovation and leadership, Motorola is one of the worlds leading suppliers of WiMAX technology. As a charter member of the WiMAX Forum and a leader in the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI) and other industry organizations, we are also one of the worlds leading supporters of WiMAX technology and WiMAX operators.

IMT 4G WiMAX STANDARDS


International Mobile Telecommunications 2000, or IMT-2000, is the term for a family of common global standards for mobile telecommunications that meet specifications of the International Telecommunications Union. Now in effect, IMT-2000 specifies standards for 3G networks. A new set of more stringent standards for 4G systems, known as IMT- Advanced, has recently been approved, and specifies minimum throughputs of 1 Gbps for stationary reception and 100 Mbps for mobile reception. WiMAX 2, or 802.16m networks, will bring true 4G mobile data service to WiMAX operators and their subscribers by mid-to-late 2012, a year or more before LTE-Advanced and other 4G technologies.

WHITE PAPER: WiMAX 2: THE STREAMLINED PATH TO 4G

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