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Competition for wireless 4G definition takes shape

The official definition of wireless 4G technology is not scheduled until the 2008-2009 timeframe in the form of the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) IMT-Advanced requirements, but market research firm In-Stat reports that there are clear contenders for the designation already: Long Term Evolution (LTE), Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) and IEEE 802.16m WiMAX.

“Companies are extremely uncomfortable talking about 4G technologies, since the ITU has not defined 4G yet,” said Gemma Tedesco, a company analyst.

“However, each of the contending 4G technologies has a cheerleader, with Ericsson touting LTE, Qualcomm preferring UMB, and Intel touting 802.16m WiMAX.”

In-Stat’s research found that two expected requirements are that the technologies be OFDMA-based and that they support 100 MBPS for wide area mobile applications. With dominant worldwide technology being GSM/EDGE and HSPA and EV-DO handsets not expected to be dominant until 2012, 4G roll-outs most likely will start in the 2010-2012 timeframe.

The research The Road to 4G: Will LTE, UMB and WiMAX Just Be Stops Along the Way? examines possible 4G technologies and the drivers that will influence the uptake of each of them. Price is US$2,995 and it can be ordered here.

Control Engineering

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