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Clearwire Corporation (CLWRD) Message Board

  • teamrep teamrep Dec 28, 2012 1:43 PM Flag

    Technology-Smechology.. is important to the industry

    Among the developments that have occurred over the past year has been the introduction of integrated base station units that incorporate multiple-element antenna arrays that can be used in MIMO-AAS 'smart antenna' sub-systems as part of relatively compact units.

    Before there was 3G or 4G or the some 7 billion Wi-Fi equipped devices to saturate the market, the prospects for wireless broadband to become more pervasive loomed on the horizon. The engineering community considered what technologies would be needed to become the nearly universal approach to wireless. About ten years ago I thought that MIMO-OFDMA was needed and that this would require breakthroughs in pricing for multiple element antenna arrays. This type of sub-system had been used in military-aerospace systems. In fact, much of the early stage technology was developed for use in such things as ground-prox radars (My dad had worked on Boeing's AWACS program which uses a radome equipped with a large, and literally gold plated, active antenna array.) The challenge was to develop circuits, RFICs, and antenna elements that could be produced at low enough cost to work for commercial markets. So, I did some research in the patents and had talks with RFIC and antenna suppliers to find out what they were working on and when the volume to price levels might be achieved. There are a number of assembly approaches, but all tend to use high frequency circuit board materials such as PTFE and ceramics similar to what Ericsson uses in their AIR, Antenna Integrated Radio. (Search: Small Cells, Big Deal )

    When we say "Small cells" it can mean anything from a small, largely passive femtocell to a compact unit with much of the capabilities of a tower mounted base station. In many situations the limiting factor on size is the antenna assembly. That also is what determines much of the potential gains in performance.. achieving higher signal gains, more signal paths/bandwidth, and better ability to aim the signal at the user (see the white papers).

    What does this mean for Clearwire? It adds to the argument that Clearwire is being scrapped at a time just before the benefits of these new technologies will spring forward to reveal the benefits of better coverage, higher bandwidth, through the use of small cells that are enhanced to become more powerful than the previous generation of equipment multiplied by the higher density of the cells and layering of multiple frequency bands or sub-bands.

    That is the way the '1,000X' improvement in performance must be achieved... which is at the heart of the argument that CLWR is the bride who ran off with rock band leaving the groom at the alter. Investors have every right to feel ripped off... they are being ripped a royal new one. However, this has been forming for a long time so that it is now a legal argument in a fight for some recoupment in the 'value' placed on the business. Clearwire is a business, not a technology.

 

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