Mobile Applications

The 802.16e WiMAX standard generates the most discussion about mobile WiMAX applications as it is positioned as an alternative to cellular services, with full support for handoffs and roaming. All Azurecomm WiMAX base stations fully support the 802.16e standard for mobile WiMAX operation. New revisions to the 802.16e specification will be supported via simple code uploads.

Beyond WiMAX, there are multiple protocols competing in the marketplace. Qualcomm still stands behind CDMA with EV-DO and Flash-OFDM and Ericcson is pushing the latest version of HSPDA - LTE (Long Term Evolution).

LTE is similar to WiMAX in that both standards utilize OFDMA. Some industry analysts refer to LTE as "WiMAX with single-carrier uplink". The two standards are so similar that there are discussions of merging the two standards. While LTE boasts peak download rates of 326.4 Mb/s for 4x4 antennas, WiMAX next generation follow-on to 802.16e-2005, called 802.16m or WiMAGIC (4x4 MIMO), will push the standard to 1 Gb/s and mobile speeds of 300 km/hr.

Verizon has announced their commitment to LTE/HSPDA yet recently announced that they have not altogether ruled out WiMAX. AT&T announced in April, 2008 that the B Block they won in the 700 MHz auctions and and their Aloha spectrum will go to LTE. AT&T also has WiMAX (including TV commercials - embedded video below) running commercially in Alaska.

Youtube video with AT&T's Alaska WiMAX commercial

Azurecomm's Role in Protocol Wars

While protocol wars pose a vexing problem for operators, Azurecomm's 4G products are designed and positioned to support both WiMAX and LTE. Azurecomm had the vision to foresee the need for a software-defined, multi-protocol radio and Azurecomm's 4G base stations will be enabled for both WiMAX and LTE. A simple firmware flash will convert from one protocol to the other.