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WiMAX by

http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/edevices/microelectronics/broadbandwireless/faqbroadbandwireless/

Frequently Asked Questions

WiMAX in General

Q1. How many different standards are in existence for WiMAX today?
Q2. Please describe the importance of WiMAX.
Q3. How far can WiMAX cover?
Q4. How many different bands (licensed and license-exempt) are there within the 2 – 6GHz RF spectrum?
Q5. When will WiMAX deployment occur?
Q6. Will WiMAX replace fiber? If so, when will this replacement occur?
Q7. Will WiMAX displace the existing landline and wireless technologies (e.g. WiFi)?
Q8. What are the major differences between WiMAX and WiFi?
Q9. Is Plugfest the only gating factor for WiMAX deployment in 2005?
Q10. What does NLOS (Non Line of Sight) do?
Q11. What are the major applications for WiMAX technology?
Q12. What is Fujitsu's position in the WiMAX Forum?
Q13. Why does Fujitsu focus on WiMAX? How big will your WiMAX business be in five years?
Q14. How big does Fujitsu think the WIMAX market will be?
Q15. Where (which geographic locations) do you expect WiMAX-certified equipment to do well in its early stages?
Q16. Which region or country will be the biggest market? How about Japan, Korea, EU, and BRICS?
Q17. When will the first 802.16-e product come to market? And when do you think carriers will start their 802.16-e services?
Q18. How about the competition with 3G services? In Japan, NTT DoCoMo announced a plan to begin HSDPA service in FY2005, while 802.16-e standardization is delayed. The theoretical speed of HSDPA and 802.16-e is nearly same, so doesn’t this mean that 802.16-e has a disadvantage?

Q1. How many different standards are in existence for WiMAX today?
Currently, there are two WiMAX standards - a fully rectified IEEE 802.16-2004 fixed WiMAX standard and a yet-to-be rectified IEEE 802.16e standard.

Q2. Please describe the importance of WiMAX.
WiMAX, a data-on-the-go alternative to cable and DSL, is a standards-based broadband wireless access technology for enabling the last-mile delivery of information. WiMAX will provide fixed, nomadic, portable and, eventually, mobile wireless broadband connectivity without the need for direct line-of-sight connection between a base station and a subscriber station. In a typical cell radius deployment of 3 to 10 Km, WiMAX-certified systems can be expected to support capacity of up to 40Mbps per channel, for fixed and portable access applications. This is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support hundreds of businesses with T-1 speed connectivity and thousands of residences with DSL speed connectivity. Mobile network deployments are expected to provide up to 15Mbps of capacity within a typical cell-radius deployment of up to 3 Km. It is expected that WIMAX technology will be incorporated in notebook computers and PDAs starting as early as the end of 2006, enabling urban areas and cities to become "MetroZones" for portable outdoor broadband wireless access. WiMAX technology has the potential to enable service carriers to converge the all-IP-based network for triple-play services such as data, voice, and video.

Q3. How far can WiMAX cover?
In a typical cell radius deployment of three to 10 kilometers, WiMAX Forum Certified™ systems can be expected to deliver capacity of up to 40 Mbps per channel, for fixed and portable access applications.

Q4. How many different bands (licensed and license-exempt) are there within the 2 – 6GHz RF spectrum?The WiMAX Forum will start the process of certifying initial equipment in the 3.3 to 3.8 GHz and 5.7 to 5.8 GHz bands. These profiles cover both TDD and FDD systems. The WiMAX Forum has developed system profiles addressing the 5.8 GHz license-exempt band, and the 2.5 and 3.5 GHz licensed bands to get the market started. The WiMAX Forum is working with service providers and equipment manufacturers to expand the frequency allocation to cover all the key spectrum bands that its member companies identify as interesting to potential WiMAX service providers.

Q5. When will WiMAX deployment occur?
WiMAX is not a new technology per se, but a more innovative and commercially viable adaptation of a proven technology that is delivering broadband services around the globe today. In fact, wireless broadband access systems from WiMAX Forum members are already deployed in more than 125 countries around the world. That said, WiMAX Forum member companies will be the first to bring standardized solutions to the marketplace, making broadband services more cost-effective to deploy on a wide scale. The first WiMAX Forum Certified systems should begin shipping in 2005 and demand is expected to grow exponentially.

Q6. Will WiMAX replace fiber? If so, when will this replacement occur?
Fiber and wireless will co-exist in the last mile. Wireless deployment will grow significantly over fiber due to ease of deployment and lower cost. However, in the near term, fiber will still be adopted for mission-critical applications that require near-zero interference and latency performance.

Q7. Will WiMAX displace the existing landline and wireless technologies (e.g. WiFi)?
WiMAX and WiFi will coexist and become increasingly complementary technologies for their respective applications. WiMAX is typically not thought of as a replacement for WiFi. Rather, WiMAX complements WiFi by extending its reach and providing a "WiFi–like" user experience on a larger geographical scale. WiFi technology was designed and optimized for Local Area Networks (LANs), whereas WiMAX was designed and optimized for Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). In the 2006 -2008 timeframe, it is expected that both 802.16 and 802.11 capabilities will be available in end-user devices from laptops to PDAs, as both will deliver wireless connectivity directly to the end user – at home, in the office and on the move.

Q8. What are the major differences between WiMAX and WiFi?
WiMAX technology theoretically supports a coverage radius of 30 miles and a data rate of up to 75 Mbps, while WiFi currently supports a much shorter radius and lower data rates.

Q9. Is Plugfest the only gating factor for WiMAX deployment in 2005?
This really depends on each company's business model. Some equipment vendors may not require WiMAX certification for their systems since their end markets don't require it. In any event, WiMAX paves the way for interoperability between systems and helps realize economies of scale as a result of mass network deployment. With the first plugfest scheduled in July 2005, system vendors who are eager to launch their WiMAX-certified products before the end of 2005 will be gearing up to submit their products to CETECOM in Spain to maximize their time-to-market advantage. CETECOM is the first test lab chosen by the WiMAX Forum to support interoperability and compliance testing of WiMAX-compliant systems.

Q10. What does NLOS (Non Line of Sight) do?
This "last-mile" market is, by nature, a Point-to-Multipoint (PMP) architecture utilizing Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) RF propagation. Millimeter bands are generally most suitable for very high-data-rate, line-of-sight backhauling applications (major pipelines), while centimeter bands are well suited for multipoint, NLOS, tributary and last-mile distribution.

Q11. What are the major applications for WiMAX technology?
A major application is backhauling the existing broadband access solutions such as xDSL, cable modems, and so on. In addition, WiMAX itself can be an alternative last-mile solution.

Q12. What is Fujitsu's position in the WiMAX Forum?
Fujitsu Microelectronics America, Inc. (FMA) is a founding member of the WiMAX Forum and has been a board member since 2003.

Q13. Why does Fujitsu focus on WiMAX? How big will your WiMAX business be in five years?
We focus on WiMAX because it can potentially be a disruptive technology with tremendous business potential for Fujitsu. Our longstanding design and manufacturing experiences in complex SoCs makes us the ideal candidate to participate in, and contribute to, WiMAX. This is evident in our early adoption of WiMAX from a SoC contender's standpoint. It is critical that WiMAX trials occur within 2005. Fujitsu is helping this to happen by launching our WiMAX SoC this April.

Since this market is still in its nascent stage, it is somewhat difficult to predict how big the market will be in five years. However, judging by the fervor and excitement seen from operators, system makers and other semiconductor companies around the world, it is not difficult to predict that the WiMAX market will grow dramatically in the years to come. Being an early adopter and participant in this market, Fujitsu is well positioned to reap the benefits as adoption grows over the next five years.

Q14. How big does Fujitsu think the WIMAX market will be?
It is premature to estimate the overall market size for fixed WiMAX (IEEE 802.16-2004), including base stations (BS) and subscriber stations (SS). There are many unknowns, such as the end-user adoption rate, collaboration between operators/service providers and equipment builders, the available spectrum, and governmental BWA (broadband wireless access) policies in each country.

The 802.16e (mobile WiMAX) standard will include various mobile devices (e.g., cellular handsets, notebooks and other multimedia-based wireless gadgets). Hence the market will be substantially larger than the fixed WiMAX market.

Q15. Where (which geographic locations) do you expect WiMAX-certified equipment to do well in its early stages?
We believe China will adopt WiMAX-certified equipment in an early stage, as will other areas, such as India and South Asia, where the communications infrastructure is not as developed as in the U.S. or Europe. There has been interest from organizations in Spain, Russia, Scandinavia and Latin America for the same reasons. And one of the early system developers is located in Canada.

Q16. Which region or country will be the biggest market? How about Japan, Korea, EU, and BRICS?
We have seen interest emanating from Asia, the Americas and Europe; hence, it is difficult to pinpoint a particular area or country that will drive the initial WiMAX adoption and growth. Nevertheless, countries with many rural areas and where their networking infrastructures are still in the developing stages will tend to benefit more from WiMAX. Bearing this in mind, it should not be surprising to learn that countries like China, India, Russia, Canada or even Brazil are prime candidates for embracing the WiMAX technology.

Q17. When will the first 802.16-e product come to market? And when do you think carriers will start their 802.16-e services?
This is a billion-dollar question. Judging by what we have learned from the market and industry so far, most semiconductor companies will launch their first 802.16e chips in 2006. Systems that will be based on these chips will follow after that. Needless to say, carriers and operators can only start their network deployments after 802.16e-based systems become available.

Q18. How about the competition with 3G services? In Japan, NTT DoCoMo announced a plan to begin HSDPA service in FY2005, while 802.16-e standardization is delayed. The theoretical speed of HSDPA and 802.16-e is nearly same, so doesn’t this mean that 802.16-e has a disadvantage?
HSDPA (also dubbed 3.5G) follows the evolutionary path of 3G while WiMAX is designed from the ground up to become the disruptive force in broadband wireless access. It is true that 3G and HSDPA deployments will continue around the globe, but the sheer technical benefits (e.g., further reach, higher data rate, robust QoS, and flexible channel bandwidth) of both fixed and mobile WiMAX will enable WiMAX-powered networks to complement the cellular networks by extending their data reach further.

Another point is that the network build-out costs based on WiMAX are lower than 3G-based networks. This cost advantage will provide the operators an opportunity to offer more cost-competitive voice + data service packages to their WiMAX-subscribed customers. Naturally, the jury is still out on the future impact of WiMAX on HSDPA but judging by the buzz generated by WiBRO (the Korean version of mobile WiMAX), we should always be on the lookout for any dark horse technology such as WiMAX to appear and usurp 3G’s and HSDPA’s market position.

 


 

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