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The business of wimax - Pareek D.

Pareek D. The business of wimax - Wiley publishing , 2006. - 330 p.
ISBN-10 0-470-02691
Download (direct link): thebusinessof2006.pdf
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WiMAX vendors see this technology as an alternative to stationary broadband services such as DSL and cable. Most of the vendors are making steady progress on fixed wireless broadband products but look forward eagerly to a future mobile WiMAX as ‘the opportunity’ (Figure 11.1).
A key to the success of mobile WiMAX will be more unified specifications. Currently the WiMAX Forum industry group defines many implementation options through what it calls ‘profiles’. That may work for fixed WiMAX because the customer equipment for that technology stays at the subscriber’s home, but it will not work for a mobile technology in which a device could be taken to many different countries.
Figure 11.1 WiMAX Forum
WiMAX VALUE CHAIN
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Vendors are also pushing for a harmonized allocation of spectrum for WiMAX, with an eye to 2.5 GHz as a band that could be opened to mobile WiMAX in many countries, allowing for international roaming. However, getting many countries to agree on the use of a spectrum band is a tall order. The 2.5 GHz band is assigned to wireless broadband services in much of the Western Hemisphere but not in many other parts of the world.
11.1 WiMAX VALUE CHAIN
WiMAX is very much a global initiative. We now tend to categorize WiMAX applications into four versions or generations - fixed, nomadic, portable and mobile - the former having more complete IEEE standards than the latter.
The key to success in the widespread market adoption of these standards is fostering cooperation between standards bodies, regulators, service providers, manufacturers, equipment vendors, component vendors, system integrators and every other player in the WiMAX ecosystem.
WiMAX Ecosystem
The WiMAX Ecosystem is where the all players in the WiMAX value chain come together to influence the industry’s evolution, enabling thousands of future wireless networks worldwide, by bringing together leaders in wireless technology to create a common platform.
The WiMAX Forum plays critical part in supporting this WiMAX Ecosystem and achieving its goals. The WiMAX Forum’s principal members tend to be global equipment and component vendors and top-tier operators. Some of the more active members include Airspan, Alcatel, Alvarion, AT&T, BT, Cisco, Clearwire, Intel, Lucent, Motorola, Nextel, Samsung, Siemens, Sprint and ZTE. WiMAX Forum members are dedicated to the delivery of common network architectures and protocols that facilitate consistent deployments of fixed, nomadic, portable or mobile wireless.
WiMAX is an unprecedented globally standardized platform, which even the mighty 3G mobile community was unable to create. For example, a [3G] multimode phone will not necessarily work in Japan or Korea, but a WiMAX device will work anywhere in the world provided the place has a WiMAX network.
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STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS: EQUIPMENT VENDORS
Figure 11.2 Base station component
WiMAX Vendors
WiMAX vendors can be classified broadly as those providing equipment, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), and those providing components (silicon, RF, software, etc.) for this equipment, component manufacturers (CPs).
Among the component manufacturers, the most important players are those providing the chips as, with advent of system-on-chip (SoC) technology, a chip vendor provides the complete hardware and software embedded on the silicon chip.
Further OEMs and CPs can be classified depending on the WiMAX technology segment they serve, the infrastructure, namely base stations, and the CPE (Figure 11.2).
Infrastructure
The infrastructure is are vendors providing equipment or component for base stations. As operators will judiciously launch service in areas in which payback will be quick, the growth in this segment will be slow and controlled. Base station function and its ideal specification differ from those of the CPEs, as does the nature of work going into chip development. BS also cost substantially more than CPE.
Extensive chip-level work is going on in the base-station area. Base-station designs must handle higher aggregate data rates because one base
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Digital board RF Board
Figure 11.3 Customer premise equipment component
station supports many clients. The higher data rates often mean a different integration strategy; for instance, the combination of MAC and PHY layers may no longer be the best path. Moreover, base stations need to have flexibility, especially in the case of a new standard such as WiMAX; flexibility is often a vital requisite.
Much of the base-station-chip development to date is software or IP (intellectual property). Base-station designs will rely on programmable technologies, including DSPs and FPGAs. For the manufacturers the total cost of chipsets will initially vary around a base price point of $10 000. The big DSP vendors will play an important role in the WiMAX base-station space (Figure 11.3).
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