Motorola, Trendsmedia survey reveals predictions for WiMax applications

MUMBAI: As interest continues to build for WiMax, industry participants report that interoperability and last-mile data connectivity will be leading factors in accelerating the technology's widespread adoption.

In a survey conducted by Motorola and Trendsmedia, 45 per cent of respondents predict that the ability to achieve seamless mobility through interoperability among various devices and networks will be the 'tipping point' to WiMax success.

Motorola and Trendsmedia conducted the survey with attendees from WiMax World event in the US. This was a gathering of service providers, equipment manufacturers, operators and software makers meeting to further the understanding and advancement of WiMax, the wireless broadband technology standard 802.16.

The survey also revealed that more than half of the respondents -- 57 per cent -- believe that the principle reason a service provider would wait for 802.16e instead of deploying 802.16d or proprietary solutions is the technology's ability to support mobility as well as fixed or nomadic services.

According to the research and analyst firm Maravedis, WiMax is one of the fastest growing emerging sectors within the world's telecommunications industry, with the global market for fixed and mobile broadband solutions estimated at up to $1 billion in 2007 and $4 billion by 2010.

To prepare for this growth potential, Motorola has deployed several strategic initiatives. In addition to already being the second largest fixed wireless broadband equipment provider through its Canopy product line, earlier this year Motorola announced its focus on 802.16e with its MOTOwi4 product line of fixed and mobile broadband solutions.

The company recently announced both that it will team with Intel to advance the use of mobile WiMax technology, based on the proposed IEEE 802.16e standard for both fixed and wireless broadband applications, and that the companies have committed to work together to ensure that network and device interoperability issues are addressed adequately.

Motorola CTO Dan Coombes says, "Service providers, component vendors and system manufacturers face several issues in bringing the promise of WiMax technology -- and seamless mobility -- to businesses and consumers around the world. These survey results provide a view into the opinions of early adopters and others interested in WiMax technology, and appear to support Motorola's drive to deliver 802.16e solutions that offer improved quality of service as well as fixed and mobile wireless broadband."

More than 50 per cent of survey respondents believe that the most attractive or breakthrough application that will drive this use of Wimax will be last-mile data connectivity. Although it will be used to quickly bring Internet access to communities that are not yet served, Wimax also will augment or replace existing cellular and wireline assets. Although some confusion exists on the role the technology will play within existing

infrastructures, 63 per cent of the respondents anticipate that WiMax will serve as a complementary technology to networks such as 3G and Wi-Fi.

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