back to article French WiMAX is stepping stone to LTE

French wannabe operator Bolloré Telecom will deploy a national WiMAX network in 2010, but admits that it's really waiting for LTE to arrive. Bolloré owns 30MHz of spectrum around 3.5GHz; which is part of the problem, as existing WiMAX deployments and kit operate in the 2.5GHz band. That's already delayed deployment by a year …

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  1. JetSetJim Silver badge
    FAIL

    Expect bollox coverage

    3.5GHz seems far too high to get reasonable coverage from each cell site - so they'll either bankrupt themselves deploying kit and associated backhaul links, or only go for the urban areas.

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Smarter than Sprint then...

    Sounds like they're being smarter than Sprint then... they have a little Wimax deployed (through a joint venture with Clearwire), but no mention of LTE at all -- despite the fact that both the GSM *and* CDMA providers (except Sprint) here in US plan to migrate to LTE.

    Ironically, it looks like Verizon (largest CDMA provider here, joint venture with Vodafone) plans to have AT LEAST a year head start in deploying LTE compared to AT&T (the largest GSM provider here.) They have test deployments already, with plans for 30 markets by end of 2010. AT&T wasn't planning LTE until AT LEAST 2012, but after getting a lot of flack now plan tests in 2010 with commercial deployments starting 2011.

    They both plan to deploy here initially in 700mhz spectrum, probably 1700/2100 next (in areas they need the extra capacity), then lastly if they need MORE capacity, reuse the existing 850 and 1900mhz bands (by then, presumably the CDMA & EVDO or GSM & UMTS usage would be low enough that some channels could be shut off.)

    Verizon has said they don't necessarily plan to keep EVDO around long, pushing as many EVDO users as possible onto LTE, but they plan to keep CDMA 1X until at least 2018-2020 .... 1) They plan LTE primarily for data, i.e. not agressively using LTE for voice. 2) 1X already had very high voice capacity, some claim with CDMA 1X advanced (out within the next year), that 1X may have higher voice capacity than LTE claims to have. 3) I don't think they'd want to piss off handset buyers by selling them a shiny new (CDMA+EVDO) handset then yanking the network out from under them too quickly.

  3. leamingtonspar
    Grenade

    leamingtonspar

    Not sure I would say they were being smart. How do you transition a WiMAX network that is based on TDD onto LTE which will be FDD? Oh and when will this happen exactly? 3.5 GHz is WELL DOWN the priority list for any potential LTE if and when LTE actually arrives here in Europe. I would say Bollore's licence term is likely to run out before there are the economies of scale for any 3.5 GHz LTE devices.

    I hear more about LTE at 800 MHz than at the higher frequencies. The mobile operators are more interested in achieving coverage for more of their voice centric services with a little data capability added for good measure. I don't hear much said about delivering true mobile broadband services with meaningful bandwidths in bands such as 2.6 GHz. I remain unconvinced that LTE will actually be deployed anytime soon. WiMAX has and will continue to be the driving force for 4G services.

    I leave you with this thought, where have we been told that there is LTE imminent. Oh yes where there is currently a mobile WiMAX network such as US, Russia, Japan, Taiwan ................... What a coincidence;-)

  4. leamingtonspar
    Grenade

    The hype surrounding LTE............

    Not sure I would say they were being smart. How do you transition a WiMAX network that is based on TDD onto LTE which will be FDD? Oh and when will this happen exactly? 3.5 GHz is WELL DOWN the priority list for any potential LTE if and when LTE actually arrives here in Europe. I would say Bollore's licence term is likely to run out before there are the economies of scale for any 3.5 GHz LTE devices.

    I hear more about LTE at 800 MHz than at the higher frequencies. The mobile operators are more interested in achieving coverage for more of their voice centric services with a little data capability added for good measure. I don't hear much said about delivering true mobile broadband services with meaningful bandwidths in bands such as 2.6 GHz. I remain unconvinced that LTE will actually be deployed anytime soon. WiMAX has and will continue to be the driving force for 4G services.

    I leave you with this thought, where have we been told that there is LTE imminent. Oh yes where there is currently a mobile WiMAX network such as US, Russia, Japan, Taiwan ................... What a coincidence;-)

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Boffin

      @The hype...

      Mostly I agree with you - transitioning WiMax to LTE is going to be a bugger, even if you use TDD LTE - all the protocols are different, so you need new devices - not popular with the proles. Or you run two networks and wait for one to fall below critical mass and then switch it off.

      LTE bandwidth has the potential to be rather large - the only problem is going to be serving the sites with the necessary transmission links.

      As to deployments - some Scandy country already has at least one "commercial" site and various bid activities are ramping up. Japan are looking to deploy in about a years time, as is Verizon. So there's a WiMax network there too, big deal. How many Wimax devices will also connect to the 2/3G networks in that country to maintain a call when you move out of coverage?

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Stop

        @Hype again, Commercial LTE lauched

        Good old Vikings - Norway & Sweden launch LTE:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/14/lte_deployment/

        Nuff said

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      @The Hype.....that is WhyMAX

      '4G Services' - so please tell me, exactly what are these 'services' that can only be delivered over WiMAX, and not over 'earlier' technologies?

      Subscribers don't care what the technology is, they care about the experience. That is why WiMAX comparing itself to LTE is a farce.

      If you are talking about subscribers using a mobile device to connect wirelessly and roam around at up to 3-5Mbps, and ocasionally 8-12Mbps, that is called HSPA, and there are several hundred million users on those networks and they in turn can fall back on networks used by over 2 Billion. Oh, and they can use voice, SMS, MMS.......etc, etc all on the same network.

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