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HSDPA will beat WiMAX

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The first generation 3G networks are not even fully rolled out and there is talk about the next generation 3G networks, powered by a technology called high speed downlink packet access or HSDPA. It is about four times faster than current generation of 3G networks, also known as UMTS and about 15 times faster than more easily available GPRS networks. HSDPA is the real 3G, for it can really power the broadband apps like streaming music, video mail and video sharing and other such marvels.

“HSDPA is positioned as a data service and data services can best be used on your PC,” Lothar Pauly, president of the Siemens unit Siemens Communications, told IHT. Many expect the technology to be rolled out by this time next year. It is mostly a software upgrade so phone companies won’t have to invest mega-billions.

By being first to the market, HSDPA can upset the fixed wireless apple cart. The so called WiMAX networks don’t get deployed up until 2007 at the earliest. “There are several factors to consider – a new core, increased backhaul costs and new site deployments. From that perspective, HSDPA is more cost-efficient for us than TDD technology because we don’t need a new core and our base stations are already HSDPA-capable,” Dave Williams, CTO of O2 said during a CTO panel at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes reports Telecom Asia.

Others like Alcatel chief technology officer Niel Ransom think that WiMAX seemed more appropriate as a rural wireless solution and quipped, “From a price point perspective, WiMAX will have a tough time competing against ADSL.” While I was down at Qualcomm earlier this year, Paul Jacobs, President of Qualcomm Internet very succinctly put it: “WiMAX is nothing but hype. People can promise all sorts of things when you don’t have a system.”

5 Responses to “HSDPA will beat WiMAX”

  1. Some things to keep in mind:
    1. HSDPA will at best, once deployed and experiencing normal high volume traffic, will deliver 500-700Kbps of bandwidth-download. This is unacceptable for the type content/applications the market will make available: Streaming Video, P2P data & video traffic, Multiplayer Gaming (symmetrical required) VoiceIP.
    2. Both Verizon Wireless & AT&T/Cingular recognized the above and will be shifting their Video/TV type traffic to the new Broadcast Network from Qualcomm-MediaFlo. This will allow their subscribers with proprietary ($$$)Dual mode Phones to get Video/TV Programming while allowing the carriers to focus their Cell efforts on improving their Voice business.
    3. Where the duo WiFi/WiMAX will dominate is in the Metro Area Market where it will deliver real Broadband Data Links to address the P2P, Video, VoiceIP traffic these CellCo cannot handle effectively. Why would one use a Cell Narrowband solution for data that restict usage levels and selection of services at a premium fee when one can get 3-10Mbs Link at a flat monthly low rate with symmetrial Links?
    When the new 802.11n systems (especially the 5Ghz version used in backhaul) start being deployed in these new Metro Mesh Networks last mile capacity and performance will immediately increase and latency and QoS capabilities will increase. Good for WiFI Bad for Cell

  2. IT seems Om is no longer an independant thinker. HSDPA is subsidised by a oligopoly of GSM operators. That much money can make a serious fight against Wimax or iBurst but the technology is certainly worse and cannot support quality VOIP.

  3. I came from the field of telecommunication, from my experience … HSDPA will not beat WiMax … impossible.

    Simply because HSDPA is build on top of 3G, and it is not practical to build 3G infrastructure all around to increase coverage. So … in terms of coverage and implementation cost, WiMax is a very attractive choice.

    Please prove me wrong :)

    By Avatar Ng.