Posts filed under ‘4G’
Clearwire, the US wireless broadband operator 51% owned by Sprint Nextel, has reported a narrowing of first-quarter losses to USD71.06 million, compared to a pro forma loss of USD76.44 million a year earlier (before Sprint and Clearwire unveiled their USD12 billion partnership to combine their planned nationwide mobile WiMAX networks). Revenue in the three months to the end of March 2009 rose 21% year-on-year to USD62.1 million. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Clearwire provides broadband internet services in at least 50 markets nationwide via fixed wireless networks which utilise a combination of pre-WiMAX and true 802.16e mobile WiMAX technologies. Clearwire, which has so far launched commercial WiMAX in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon, reported that it added 25,000 subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its total base to 500,000 (up 57,000 year-on-year). The firm expects to add 802.16e networks in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle during 2009. The company said yesterday that it still plans to expand its ‘Clear 4G’ WiMAX service to 80 markets covering a potential 120 million customers by the end of 2010 but the plan could be altered depending on the availability of capital.
Also announced yesterday, Clearwire has selected Cisco as its national core infrastructure provider as it expands mobile WiMAX network coverage across the US. Clearwire’s all-IP network will be upgraded and extended under the deal, whilst separately, Cisco is also planning to move into the mobile WiMAX terminal device manufacturing market this year.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) in Japan has reportedly outlined plans to allocate spectrum for so-called ‘4G’ mobile services to up to four carriers, reversing its original policy of selecting just two or three firms for the available frequencies. The licences, which will allow the winners to deliver data communications speeds comparable to those offered by fibre-optic services, could be up for grabs as early as June 2009. Antara News reports the MIC’s change of heart came after it decided to use a portion of the 1.7GHz band for 4G services instead of just the 1.5GHz band. Japan’s four main wireless operators – NTT DoCoMo, Softbank Mobile, KDDI and eMobile – have all expressed interest in the licences and it now seems likely that these four will each receive one of the new concessions.
Hong Kong-based cellco SmarTone-Vodafone on Wednesday switched on an upgrade to its HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA) mobile broadband network, boosting maximum upload speeds from 2Mbps to 5.76Mbps; the network already supported peak downloads of 14.4Mbps. In its press release, the company said the upgraded service is being provided to existing and new customers free of charge. SmarTone followed up the announcement yesterday with a statement revealing a plan to implement ‘4G’ Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, through the reuse of its existing spectrum, after its failure to win 2.5GHz-2.7GHz spectrum in Hong Kong’s broadband wireless access (BWA) auction. As previously reported in CommsUpdate, the company’s domestic rivals Hutchison (3), PCCW, CSL and China Mobile (Peoples) all won concessions. SmarTone said it ceased to continue with the BWA spectrum auction when the asking price ‘exceeded the cost difference between implementing LTE with new spectrum and implementing LTE on existing spectrum.’ The operator recently announced a pilot of multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology for maximising performance and bandwidth as part of its upgrade path to higher speeds and greater capacity with both HSPA+ and LTE platforms. HSPA+ can provide speeds of up to 80Mbps while LTE will further increase peak rates to 160Mbps. According to the statement, customers will also benefit from superior in-building coverage through implementation of LTE at the lower frequency spectrum.
TeliaSonera has selected Ericsson for the initial 4G city network in Stockholm and Huawei for the initial 4G city network in Oslo. The 4G services in Stockholm and Oslo are slated for commercial launch in 2010. In Stockholm, Ericsson will perform network implementation services and will manage the network during the initial operation period. The agreement between Ericsson and TeliaSonera also includes a long-standing partnership where both parties will jointly evolve the way consumers use mobile broadband with LTE. The new 4G networks will offer about 10 times higher data rates compared to today’s mobile broadband network. The contract between TeliaSonera and Ericsson is Ericsson’s first for commercial deployment of LTE. Under the agreement with Huawei, the Chinese equipment maker will provide LTE base stations, core network and OSS covering Oslo. Huawei will also provide services including network design, implementation, systems integration and support.