Mobile WiMAX Gets Hearing At CES

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 30 2006 - 8:00am

Samsung Telecom demonstrated Wireless Broadband (WiBro) infrastructure and handheld devices that promise to deliver wireless video calling and wireless data at average downlink speeds of 2Mbps per user at vehicular speeds up to 75 mph.

WiBro is a Korean-spectrum 2.3GHz-band technology based on the mobile Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) standard, but Samsung will re-band the technology for use by Sprint Nextel for trials this year in the U.S. 2.5GHz spectrum owned by that carrier.

Samsung provided 2.3GHz equipment to Sprint Nextel in December for lab trials and will deliver U.S.-market 2.5GHz infrastructure and handheld devices in mid 2006 for Sprint's second trial phase, said Hung Song, telecom-network global marketing VP for Samsung Electronics in Korea.

Mobile WiMax is based on a broad IEEE 802.16e standard from which the WiMAX Forum has selected key elements to ensure interoperability of devices and generate economies of scale. In a lab, Samsung has demonstrated peak per-user WiBro speeds of 4Mbps down and 2Mbps up, with average users experiencing 2Mbps down and 1Mbps up, Song said.

At International CES, Samsung demonstrated a WiBro equipped PDA-phone, cellular phone and wireless PC Card. Service demos will include VoIP telephony, simultaneous voice and data, video calling, video-on-demand, and push-to-all, or simultaneous push voice, data and video.

Mobile WiMAX's average data speeds exceed those of other finalized wireless standards, including the W-CDMA High Speed Downlink Packet Acces technology that Cingular is rolling out. That technology promises average download speeds of 550kbps to 1.1 Mbps, according to 3G Americas, the trade group that represents GSM manufacturers and carriers in the Americas.

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