HSDPA and WiMax

Telecom Asia writes that HSDPA may be pulling ahead:

overly optimistic vendor claims and lack of a business case could make HSDPA the technology of choice for cellcos over WiMAX and other wireless broadband technologies.

Dave Williams, CTO of O2 which is evaluating WiMAX and will launch HSDPA on the Isle of Man later this year said his company has been looking at wireless broadband mainly in terms of rollout costs, and HSDPA looks the most attractive option over TDD-based technologies.

However, Siemens Communications president Lothar Pauly sees HSDPA as complementary rather than competitive to WiMAX (which Siemens also supports), and listed three key differences between them.

First, HSDPA is a full mobility solution, which means you can use it when you are moving at any speed. WiMAX is more for nomadic or stationary usage. Second, HSDPA is available today; WiMAX is available tomorrow. Third, HSDPA can use the same frequency and same network as 3G. With WiMAX, you need to build a new network, and you need new spectrum, which hopefully will not be auctioned, Pauly said.

Alcatel chief technology officer Niel Ransom said that stationary WiMAX seemed more appropriate as a rural wireless solution, where DSL and cable broadband are non-existent.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.