....JUST STATING THE FACTS - I'm not spooked because Sprint is only carrier with Wimax. Big frigging deal!! Sprint has 5 TIMES the Spectrum compared to ATT and Verizon. They have options to do whatever the Heck they want to; Wimax or LTE or BOTH. READ BELOW, and make your call>
"Future merger of LTE and WiMAX into a single 4G standard isn’t as far-fetched as it once seemed"
The idea of one combined 4G standard made a comeback during last week's CTIA Wireless 2010 in Las Vegas. It came from keynote speaker Bill Morrow, CEO of WiMAX operator Clearwire, who advocated one 4G standard in the future to drive down equipment costs and enable worldwide roaming.
Morrow always has said that Clearwire — which has aggressive plans to roll out major WiMAX markets this year — always has the option of adding LTE onto its WiMAX network and eventually deploying LTE. ***"My engineers tell me 80% of WiMAX and LTE overlap," he said. We're not going to fight a war.*** We are going to provide customers access. ... We can add on LTE if we want to. Once [LTE] reaches the equivalency to WiMAX, we can do that."
Merging the two technologies hasn't been seen as a feasible move. For starters, WiMAX has had the first-mover advantage and generally has settled into the Greenfield market, where operators are looking to make their push now with high-speed data services. In contrast, LTE has been reserved for existing mobile operators who are looking to make the transition to an all-IP network. Moreover, a different standards group is developing each technology— the IEEE for WiMAX and the 3GPP for LTE.
However, a merger makes more sense in the next generation of these networks, i.e., when WiMAX moves to the 802.11m standard and LTE moves to the LTE Evolution standard. WiMAX operators looking to make the move to the next level will be spurred to consider both technology choices. Meanwhile, LTE is moving toward the TDD (time-division duplex) platform, which historically has been reserved for WiMAX deployments.
In addition, silicon vendors are moving toward supporting both technologies in their chips. For instance, Beceem recently introduced the BCS5000 chipset that combines WiMAX and LTE and incorporates both TDD and FDD (frequency-division duplexing).
Morrow cited Beceem's chip as a way to bridge the two technologies, and said that Clearwire has been in discussions with players like Vodafone and Intel to help push this concept along. However, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone said during a press conference last week that he couldn't see the two different standards bodies coming together.
It won't happen overnight, but I do see a number of WiMAX operators re-evaluating their positions regarding LTE in three to four years, especially since a giant WiMAX player like Clearwire is open to it. Should they choose the next-generation of LTE, it likely will be because they no longer have a need to be first to market. And should that occur, the implications on roaming and equipment costs will translate into substantial benefits for public-safety LTE networks in the long run.
Don’t be surprised a single world standard for 4G technology eventually emerges. The pathway to such an event is less cluttered than it used to be.
Let's establish the WiMax advantage over the current 3G networks operated by all major carriers. Clearwire's WiMax network has at least four major advantages over HSPA (AT&T and T-Mobile) and EVDO (Verizon and Sprint):
1. Speed. Upload and download speeds are higher. How much higher? Here is where it gets tricky. On paper, Clearwire is quoting numbers that are only approximately double that of the 3G networks. That's not the whole story, however. Which brings us to the next point.
2. CAPACITY. The real speed experience is similar to that of a freeway. What matters is not how fast ONE car can go, but how fast ALL cars can go when the freeway is near capacity. In the case of Clearwire, it has a lot more spectrum at its disposal than its competitors. Clearwire has 120 MHz on average per market. Compare this to what most operators purchased near 700 MHz some 2-3 years ago: around 20 MHz, or 1/6th. This means a 6x wider freeway for Clearwire. So you can fit a lot more subscribers - or have the subscribers do more things simultaneously. This is the bandwidth tonnage that matters in a battle.
3. TDD vs. FDD. Imagine if on a freeway you could dynamically, every fraction of a second, allocate the direction of any given lane. This would mean allocating the width of the freeway to the direction where there was more traffic. Effectively, this increases capacity materially. As a result, Clearwire's 6x advantage over the old networks may feel more like a 10x.
4. Latency. Speed of uploads and downloads is important, but latency is often even more important. You don't want that initial two-second "wait" before things start happening, after you click or press. IN MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A CLEARWIRE CUSTOMER, I GET LATENCY AROUND 70MS, COMPARED TO 140MS-280MS WITH MY PREVIOUS EVDO AND HSPA CONNECTIONS. THAT'S A 2X-4X ADVANTAGE FOR WIMAX, and makes it "feel" like a cable modem as opposed to a second-class wireless citizen.
Technically both LTE and WiMax are souped up 3G technology. 4G is a convenient label used to separate them. Neither one performs anywhere near lab standards when they're loaded down with subscribers. The defining parameter for 4G is supposed to be 100 mps minimum. LTE is even derived from the 3GPP, the 3g Partnership Project.
WiMax 2 and LTE Advanced may be true 4G technologies but is it really important when current backhaul and IP can't come close to matching their delivery speeds? So many other things are far more important, like latency, shuttering, beam patterns, persistence, antenna separation, snr, and the frequencies they operate on.
LTE started as a GSM switching tech originating with the telcos and moved to packet based, while WiMax started with broadband. They've both moved toward each other. Is LTE better? I believe it may be slightly better because it employs dual channels, and silver's a better conductor than copper but you won't find it being used much because the cost is just too prohibitive. LTE has a lot to prove while WiMax has been running successfully in the field for more than a year. They both have a lot to offer and it's likely some day both will be replaced by something better.