Its all about the O.. OFDM

1 Comment

John Yunker: Yet despite the real or perceived conflicts, WiMAX and FLO have one thing in common: OFDM. OFDM stands for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (sometimes acronyms are better left untranslated). All you need to know is that OFDM is the cornerstone technology for 4G. Even Flarion, the technology that Nextel is currently testing for its next broadband wireless network, is using OFDM.

1 Comment

Glenn Fleishman

OFDM is also in the middle of a patent dispute with Wi-LAN of Canada claiming broad patents on OFDM technology, including some rights they bought from Hedy Lamarr (which are expired, but are intended to be moral rights, I believe).

OFDM is a very simple idea at heart. Instead of trying to encode data at a very fast rate monolithically (across all frequencies), you divide the amount of spectrum you have into small channels that each run much more slowly. It’s a lot easier to deal with signal reflection and synchronization many different slower channels. Combine those channels and you get the full data rate. Make those sub-channels wider in worse conditions and you reduce speed, but not remarkably.

Comments are closed.