Last month, we discussed an interview that Information Week had done with Motorola's VP Bruce Brda, in which Brda confirmed that Motorola is very much committed to both LTE and WiMAX - the two 4G technologies that will eventually compete with each other. Yesterday, Motorola further reiterated their commitment to participating in the development and buildout of WiMAX and LTE networks in a press release that discusses their latest WiMAX and LTE involvement:
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Home & Networks Mobility business of Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today reiterated its commitment to both WiMAX and Long Term Evolution (LTE) as the leading technologies that enable the media experiences that people want, while delivering the lowest cost per bit for operators. Motorola believes there are distinct markets for WiMAX and LTE, and both will co-exist as operators work to meet the ever-increasing demand for fixed, nomadic and mobile data.
"Wireless broadband is the utility of the 21st century, and Motorola has the solutions in both WiMAX and LTE that will meet consumer demand and operator requirements for network efficiency," said Bruce Brda, senior vice president and general manager, Wireless Networks, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility. "Motorola's legacy of expertise in wireless broadband, IP networking, video and services, coupled with our portfolio of proven solutions, can help operators go to market quickly to maximize their competitive advantage as they deploy new networks or evolve their existing networks to 4G."
Motorola's 4G progress in 2009 was marked with accomplishments in both LTE and WiMAX that have positioned it well for further momentum in 2010. In addition, Motorola has stated its commitment to WiMAX 802.16m as it expands its product portfolio and customer base to maintain its leadership position in WiMAX. The company also continues its active participation in numerous standards bodies as they refine specifications for various technologies that will enable faster broadband access.
According to Motorola's 2009 Media Engagement Barometer, a study recently commissioned by the Home & Networks Mobility business to gain insights from American consumers, the need to stay connected and to have access to personal content transcends generations. The overwhelming desire to be constantly connected was expressed by 80 percent of the Millennials and 78 percent of both the GenXers and Boomers who participated in the survey. The barometer findings clearly show how networking technologies have had a powerful impact in integrating the different facets of people's lives, and why delivering on the promise of 4G is so important to Motorola's Wireless Networks business.
Motorola's LTE Solutions
Motorola's early commitment to WiMAX has given it vast experience and expertise in designing, planning, optimizing and managing Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) mobile broadband networks. It also has yielded tremendous insight into perfecting the 4G network scheduler, the master controller of the radio access network that prioritizes voice and data traffic. Motorola is leveraging this extensive OFDM, multiple-in/multiple out (MIMO), all-IP wireless broadband experience, and expertise in the 4G scheduler to deliver a complete award-winning LTE solution that will support both FDD and TD-LTE. Its first commercial LTE deployments will be based on third-generation WiMAX products that have been proven and field-hardened and for which algorithms have been optimized to deliver best performance in a real-world environment.
"With our experience from WiMAX we can get our LTE customers to market faster and with less risk," Brda said. "Our deployment, management and optimization of many large-scale commercial WiMAX networks around the world gives us operations-level experience which our research and development teams use to make better and more stable LTE solutions."
Motorola's 2009 LTE Highlights
- Selected by KDDI as a key development vendor for its nationwide LTE network
- Selected by China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC) as the primary TD-LTE solution partner to provide indoor coverage for all major pavilions at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai China, a significant event that runs from May 1 - Oct. 31 and is expected to attract 70 million visitors
- The only vendor able to complete all radio access network (RAN) test cases in CMCC's TD-LTE trial including reaching the TD-LTE theoretical maximum data rate in 20MHz and successfully running multiple user equipment devices
- Conducted LTE live drives in 2.6GHz demonstrating handoffs and video streaming at Mobile World Congress and in Sweden
- Launched its state-of-the-art LTE trial network in Swindon in the United Kingdom
- Announced enhancements to its LTE product portfolio including its eNodeB that is both FDD and TD-LTE compatible, evolved packet core (EPC) and advanced self-organizing network (SON). Motorola's complete LTE solution is now commercially available
- Added to its list of industry firsts including:
- First company to successfully complete and pass the TD-LTE key functionalities test initiated by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
- First TD-LTE dongle that will be unveiled at World Expo 2010 Shanghai China
- First live drive demo of TD-LTE at ITU World Telecom in Geneva in October and demonstrating 82Mbps in a real-world environment (maximum theoretical data rate in that TD-LTE configuration)
- First real-world LTE network with SON capability at its LTE trial network in the United Kingdom
- First demonstration of LTE in 700MHz during a live drive demo at CTIA in Las Vegas in April
In addition to the KDDI and CMCC announcements, Motorola is actively involved in many Tier 1 and Tier 2 operators advanced field trials around the world in both FDD/TDD and in different LTE spectrum bands.
Motorola's WiMAX Commitment: Delivering Today and Investing for the Future with 802.16m
According to the WiMAX Forum®, there are 519 WiMAX networks deployed in 146 countries worldwide with more than 10 million subscribers. WiMAX is supporting a range of diverse business models including retail and wholesale access, smart grid applications, and retail-only broadband connectivity for users at home or on the go.
"WiMAX is a robust solution for providing broadband today in emerging markets as well as in more competitive developed markets. For example, WiMAX has the ability as a platform to meet the unique needs of operators like Clearwire in the United States and Imagine in Ireland," Brda said. "We believe WiMAX will continue to grow and its future path to 802.16m provides a way of delivering more bandwidth even more efficiently. In addition, we are planning new products in 2010 that will be geared for regional operators."
Motorola continues to be the leading WiMAX vendor since it entered the market in 2005. It now has contracts with more than 35 operators in more than 20 countries, the majority of whom have launched commercial service. In a report issued by Infonetics Research they stated that "Motorola takes the lead in the fast-rebounding WiMAX equipment and device market."
Recently, Clearwire deployed its CLEAR(TM) 4G WiMAX service in Chicago, the latest of a number of markets across the U.S. using Motorola's network infrastructure, deployment, services and devices. Another Motorola customer, Time Warner Cable, launched its Road Runner Mobile 4G network service in several markets this month including: Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina, and Dallas, Texas. In the UAE, integrated telecom service provider 'du' launched its mobile WiMAX network for the Dubai Metro. Motorola's WiMAX equipment provides mobile connectivity and effective backhaul for Wi-Fi traffic on the Dubai Metro transport system train carriages as well as in the Metro stations.
Motorola's 2009 WiMAX Highlights
- Stated its commitment to 802.16m including membership on the IEEE 802.16m leadership team and its contribution to the standard proposal submitted to ITU for inclusion into the IMT Advanced definition
- Hit milestone shipments of 1 millionth CPE and 10,000th WiMAX access point
- Motorola's public key infrastructure (PKI) Center of Excellence in San Diego was selected by the WiMAX Forum to be a root certificate authority for WiMAX devices worldwide
- Launched WiMAX Device Partnership Program, a service that helps device providers qualify their WiMAX products through Motorola's comprehensive interoperability testing (IOT) laboratories. This program supports a healthy WiMAX ecosystem by providing operators with greater access to WiMAX devices
- Introduced four new CPEs and one WiMAX Access Point (WAP):
- CPEi 775 that combines WiMAX and Wi-Fi, for the 3.5GHz band with support for the 5MHz, 7MHz, and 10MHz bandwidths
- CPEo 450, an outdoor unit that has integrated Voice over IP (VoIP), for 3.5GHz band with support for 5MHz, 7MHz, and 10MHz channel bandwidths.
- CPEi 725 for the 2.5GHz band
- USBw 200 for the 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz bands
- WAP 650 with 4x4 antenna coverage
- Received WiMAX Forum certification on the following products:
"Motorola's Home & Networks business has had a very productive and profitable year in 2009. With our proven experience deploying WiMAX systems, combined with an increasing portfolio of LTE products, we look to continue our leadership in both WiMAX and LTE as the promise of wireless broadband access becomes a reality for people around the world," Brda said.
For more information about Motorola's 4G solutions please visit our 4G Digital Press Kit. For more information about Motorola's WiMAX solutions please visit www.motorola.com/wimax. For more information about Motorola's LTE solutions please visit www.motorola.com/lte
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With the launch of ten new markets in the last couple months alone (Seattle, Chicago, Honululu and Maui, Austin, and more), CLEAR has upped the number of markets where they have a WiMAX presence to 27 - and that number should be expanding to 80 by the end of next year, according to Clearwire. While launching an additional 53 cities in 2010 may seem like a lofty goal, it is worth noting that Clearwire did indeed succeed in launching each of the markets they promised in 2009, so would-be WiMAX users across the country should be optimistic about CLEAR's potential.
In addition to the building of their network this year, Clearwire has also added more devices for customers to choose from - users can access the CLEAR network via a USB modem, a "home" modem, a 3G/4G modem that also provides access to Sprint's 3G network in non-4G markets, netbooks, and a unique "mobile internet device", the Samsung Mondi. To go along with their promise of 50+ more markets in 2010, Clearwire has also promised to offer a WiMAX-enabled smartphone by the end of next year, too!
CLEAR currently has around a half million subscribers, but with their major expansions and additional equipment options planned for next year, they are poised to make a big splash next year.
Discuss CLEAR's coverage on the 4G Forums
A five-hour outage affected CLEAR WiMAX users in Seattle, Chicago, Salem and Portland, Ore., Las Vegas, Boise, Idaho, and eight markets in western Texas on Tuesday, as well as subscribers to CLEAR resellers like Sprint, Time Warner, and Comcast. In Seattle and Chicago, the outages affected only a single cell site, but the other outages were widespread due to software issues Clearwire encountered when performing maintenance on Motorola equipment.
Clearwire issued the following brief statement about the outage: "During network maintenance we encountered a software glitch that impacted service for Clear and MSO customers alike in certain markets. The issue has since been resolved and service has been restored. This was a network issue and customer equipment was not affected."
Were you affected by the outage? Discuss on the 4G Forums
As we discussed last month, Sprint has been in the process of acquiring iPCS, an Illinois-based Sprint affiliate. iPCS was causing trouble for Sprint by trying to block Sprint/Clearwire from deploying WiMAX in the markets they serve, citing exclusivity clauses, but that won't be a problem any longer: Sprint announced today that they have completed their acquisition of iPCS. While it is too early to speculate on if or when Sprint and Clearwire will be able to launch WiMAX networks in markets previously controlled by iPCS, it is certainly a step in the right direction and would-be 4G lovers in those areas should be optimistic about an eventual WiMAX launch in their area!
Below is the official press release from Sprint:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2009-- Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) announced today that it has successfully completed its acquisition of iPCS, Inc. (NASDAQ:IPCS). Under the terms of the transaction, announced in October, Sprint Nextel acquired iPCS for approximately $831 million, including the assumption of $405 million of net debt. Sprint Nextel acquired all of iPCS’s outstanding common shares for $24.00 per share in an all-cash transaction.
As a result of the completion of the merger, iPCS is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sprint Nextel. iPCS shares will cease trading on NASDAQ as of the closing of the market today and will be delisted. The completion of this acquisition also allows Sprint Nextel and iPCS to resolve all the litigation pending between them.
More than 700,000 former iPCS wireless customers will now be counted as direct Sprint Nextel subscribers. As part of the acquisition, Sprint also expanded its direct service territory to cover an additional 12.6 million people. Since iPCS’s services were sold under the Sprint brand name and in Sprint-branded stores, iPCS customers should not experience any change in their service as a result of this transaction.
ABOUT SPRINT NEXTEL
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2009 and the first and only 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the proposed acquisition and related transactions that are not historical or current facts and deal with potential future circumstances and developments, in particular, information regarding the acquisition of iPCS. Forward-looking statements are qualified by the inherent risk and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally and may materially differ from actual future experience. Risks and uncertainties that could affect forward-looking statements include: the failure to realize synergies as a result of operational efficiencies, unexpected costs or liabilities, and the risks that are described from time to time in Sprint Nextel’s and iPCS’s respective reports filed with the SEC, including the annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2009, June 30, 2009 and September 30, 2009 of each of Sprint Nextel and iPCS. This press release speaks only as of its date, and Sprint disclaims any duty to update the information herein.
Discuss the iPCS acquisition on the 4G Forums.
As is typically the case with new technologies, there aren't currently many WiMAX-capable devices available on the market. CLEAR subscribers have a choice between a couple of modems and a netbook or two, but Clearwire hopes to change that next year by offering smartphones that are WiMAX-enabled. Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow has announced that his company plans to offer WiMAX smartphones by Christmas of next year, and if the phones Clearwire ends up selling are anything like the vision Morrow shared at 4G World back in September, we are all in for a treat: Morrow stated that the CLEAR smartphone will be similar to a computer, with 64 GB of memory storage, 1Ghz processor and high definition video capable, will include mobile VoIP and voice and object reorganization.
And don't forget, wherever CLEAR goes, their partner Sprint follows - if Clearwire succeeds in getting a WiMAX phone to the market next year, we can assume that Sprint will also have some 4G (or 3G/4G) phones available!
Discuss the future of WiMAX-enabled phones on the 4G Forums
CLEAR's WiMAX network went "live" in the Chicago area back in early November, but today CLEAR held their official launch at CLEAR retail stores throughout the city. Chicago is the largest 4G market so far, with 1,700 square miles of WiMAX coverage, and despite the chilly weather the launch was a big success - and 4Ginfo was there!
We're not the only ones who like high-speed wireless internet - NFL Hall of Famer and former Bear Dan Hampton
was there, too!
Below is an excerpt from CLEAR's official press release announcing the Chicago launch:
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 2009-- Clearwire Communications, LLC, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR) announced today the expansion of its sales operations for CLEAR’s super fast mobile Internet service throughout the Chicago region. The company also named Jeannie Weaver as general manager for the Chicago market.
With CLEAR, consumers and businesses can access the Internet wirelessly, at true broadband speeds – at home, in the office, and on the go anywhere in the CLEAR coverage area. CLEAR covers 1700 square miles and approximately 6.6 million people. Regionally, service extends as far north as Highland Park, south to Willowbrook, east to Lake Michigan and west to Geneva.
“CLEAR is excited to bring to Chicago residents, businesses and visitors an Internet experience similar to what they’re used to having at home or the office, anywhere around town or on the go,” said Jeannie Weaver, Clearwire General Manager, Chicago. “We're pleased to provide this community a valuable new category of Internet service designed to make people’s lives more enjoyable and more productive.”
Discuss CLEAR coverage on the 4G Forums
CLEAR coverage in Puget Sound/Seattle, WA
Great news for broadband-lovers in the Seattle area: CLEAR and Sprint 4G have launched their WiMAX networks in several markets around Puget Sound and Seattle!
Below is an excerpt from the CLEAR press release for the new markets in Seattle:
KIRKLAND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 2009-- Clearwire Communications, LLC, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) announced today the expansion of its sales operations for CLEAR’s super fast mobile Internet service throughout the Puget Sound region of Washington, including: Seattle and King County, Pierce County, Kitsap County, and Snohomish County. The company also named Brian Carter as general manager for the Puget Sound market.
With CLEAR, consumers and businesses can access the Internet wirelessly, at true broadband speeds – at home, in the office, and on the go anywhere in the CLEAR coverage area. CLEAR covers over 1,300 square miles and approximately 3.1 million people in the Puget Sound market. Regionally, service extends as far north as Arlington, as far south as Lakewood, as far east as North Bend, and as far west as Silverdale.
“CLEAR is excited to bring to Seattle residents, businesses and visitors an Internet experience similar to what they’re used to having at home or the office, anywhere around town or on the go,” said Brian Carter, Clearwire general manager, Puget Sound. “We're pleased to provide this community a valuable new category of Internet service designed to make people’s lives more enjoyable and more productive.”
A CLEAR Difference
The CLEAR customer experience is similar to that provided by Wi-Fi, but without the short-range limitations of a traditional Internet hotspot. CLEAR uses a wireless 4G technology that differs from Wi-Fi called WiMAX, which provides service areas measured in miles, not feet. Furthermore, CLEAR gives you average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 mbps with bursts over 10 mbps.*
As the Internet integrates deeper into daily life, the opportunities to stay connected and be productive are enhanced by CLEAR in numerous ways. For example:
- A mobile professional no longer needs to seek out Wi-Fi hotspots or be constrained by the speeds and limitations of 3G modem cards;
- A college student or retiree can now have affordable Internet service to meet their needs at home, on campus and on-the-go;
- A commuter can now work or access entertainment sites like Hulu or Pandora on the way to and from home;
- A busy parent can now have full Internet connectivity for kids studying or playing games in the back of the family minivan.
For these and many other customers, CLEAR’s simple and innovative pricing provides ultimate flexibility. CLEAR’s mobile and residential plans can be purchased by the day or by the month, with several no-service-contract options available. Home Internet service plans start at $25 (USD) per month. Regular mobile Internet plans start at $35 per month, or, for a limited time, customers can take advantage of CLEAR’s mobile Internet promotion with plans starting at $30 per month for customers that sign-up for service online at www.clear.com. Customers can also purchase a convenient day pass for $10. Additional savings are available for customers by purchasing a combination of services that could include home-and-mobile or mobile-and-mobile Internet plans starting at $55 for both, or by signing up for a two-year service agreement. The dual-mode 4G/3G plan is available for just $70 per month with a two-year service agreement. Customers can find full details about pricing options, business plans and purchasing the service online at www.clear.com, or by visiting other authorized CLEAR dealers. CLEAR service is available online at Clear.com and beginning today at CLEAR retail stores and authorized dealer locations throughout the area. CLEAR retail stores are located at: 1431 Third Avenue, Seattle; 2600 SW Barton at Westwood Village, Seattle; and 575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue. CLEAR service is also available from a number of other outlets including Best Buy.
Discuss the Seattle-area launch on the 4G Forums