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Summary:

With Sprint’s decision to buy Nextel, at first blush it seemed that Flarion has received a major setback. However that doesn’t seem to be the case and the company is close to annoucing OEM deals with both Nortel and Motorola. The company already has a pre-existing […]

With Sprint’s decision to buy Nextel, at first blush it seemed that Flarion has received a major setback. However that doesn’t seem to be the case and the company is close to annoucing OEM deals with both Nortel and Motorola. The company already has a pre-existing relationship with Siemens for the European markets. Unstrung is reporting that the company might be very close to signing these big partnerships. Flarion has a properitary technology that is based on OFDM modulation which allows an average data rate of around 1.5 megabits per second per user in a standard cell site currently used by mobile carriers. Unstrung says it is “four or five times more spectrally efficient than comparable 3G technologies, such as CDMA2000 or UMTS — and cheaper to implement.”

  1. OFMD is data specific and does not drop data the way that CDMA currently drops data. OFMD is cheaper too since it runs at at 450Mhz in the wireless spectrum. The lower the frequency the wider an area a base station can cover, hence less hardware and people are required lowering costs to implement.

    I know there were trials of OFMD near where I live in Upstate NY in late 2001 but I do not know the results of the trials.

    I imagine even with the better data specs and partnering with much larger players Flarion still has an uphill battle since OFMD is not a world-wide standard like CDMA.

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  2. Flarion’s problem is that they’ve failed to signup any handset mfgs of significance.

    Right now it seems their best prospects are in the European 450 band, which was their original NMT analog cellular band, and perhaps a T-Mobile USA rollout, based on their success/failure to acquire more spectrum.

    Right now Flarion is just another example of the maxim that says, the best technology rarely wins in the marketplace.

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  3. Earle, CDMA has been implemented in the 400MHz band too. When talking about OFDM, CDMA, or any other technology for that matter, it is all about implementation. Flarion’s OFDM standard is better for data than CDMA2000 EV-DO, but that is not because OFDM is somehow fundamentally superior to CDMA it is because Flarion was not burdened with trying to upgrade an older technology base (1xRTT) and could start with a clean slate.

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