WI-FI WAR

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					     WI-FI
                                             WAR
                          A battle is brewing between WiMAX and
                          LTE for wireless broadband supremacy

                                                                                                             by Max Bloom



     W
               hen most Americans think of mobile streaming             10Mbps on the uplink. Clearwire, the largest U.S. provider,
               video, they probably think of watching YouTube           promises a more realistic but still speedy 2Mbps–4Mbps
               or Hulu via Wi-Fi in a Starbucks, library, or airport.   coming down and 1Mbps–2Mbps going up.
     Less sedentary mobile streaming mavens might think of                Still in its infancy as a wireless standard, WiMAX
     video streaming through a 3G cellular network to or from           has already been used to solve a variety of video-
     a smartphone. In the former scenario, data rates can slow          data-transport dilemmas where wired lines are impractical,
     to a crawl as users pile onto a local Wi-Fi network, while         satellite or microwave trucks are too costly, and currently
     today’s 3G cellular networks (GSM/HSPA for AT&T and                available cellular networks provide insufficient bandwidth:
     T-Mobile; CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A for Sprint and Verizon)                  • During the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, local
     offer download speeds in the range of 600Kbps to                       ABC affiliate KGMH used WiMAX to feed live video at 1Mbps from the
     1.4Mbps and upload speeds between 500Kbps and                          daily press briefing, freeing up the station’s microwave truck and
     800Kbps—not enough for, say, live video chat. But                      avoiding entanglement in an already stressed telco infrastructure.
     WiMAX, the first incarnation of a new generation of wire-            • TourTechSupport, an IT support services company based in
     less broadband technology, is poised to change the way                 Raleigh, N.C., used WiMAX for an April 2008 live webcast at the
     that both types of users experience streaming video.                   New York red-carpet premiere of the feature film, Made of
        WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave                     Honor. “WiMAX is the fastest and easiest way that we’re aware of
     Access) actually refers to two currently deployed IEEE                 to get good, reliable bandwidth [in urban settings],” says
     (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standards:         TourTechSupport founder and CEO Allen Cook.
     fixed WiMAX (802.16d) and the newer mobile WiMAX                     • Intel, Clearwire, and Livecast partnered in January with
     (802.16e). Originally conceived as a wide-area alternative to          Portland’s MAX Light Rail system for a pilot project in which GPS-
     Wi-Fi, WiMAX coverage is often measured in miles, not feet.            enabled cameras mounted on commuter trains enabled live
     (Proponents refer to WiMAX as “Wi-Fi on steroids” and its              website monitoring of track status and train locations.
     coverage area as “über hotspots.”) “WiMAX is the only
     mobile network out there capable of handling streaming               WiMAX is being deployed in both residential and
     media today,” says Bar
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: When most Americans think of mobile streaming video, they probably think of watching YouTube or Hulu via Wi-Fi in a Starbucks, library, or airport. WiMAX, the first incarnation of a new generation of wireless broadband technology, is poised to change the way that users experience streaming video. WiMAX is being deployed in both residential and enterprise situations to fill gaps in the broadband landscape. WiMAX is the only mobile network out there capable of handling streaming media today, says Barry Davis, Clearwire's executive director of product planning. While WiMAX emerged from the computing world as the next iteration of Ethernet and Wi-Fi, Long Term Evolution (LTE) is being developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project and represents the telecom industry's best shot at dominating the market for 4G. With the proliferation of WiMAX and LTE over the next few years, mobile video applications such as video chat and multichannel video will soon become a reality.
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