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September 08, 2014

Improved Network Speed Nudges Carriers from WiMAX to TD-LTE

A mobile network infrastructure provider announced this past week that it has upgraded its portfolio of TD-LTE-Advanced technology that will reportedly give WiMAX operators even more of a reason to switch platforms.

Nokia Network recently announced its newest 3.5 GHz carrier aggregation capable radio, the Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station, alongside several other TD-LTE-Advanced features and services that will allow carriers to reuse much of their old infrastructure -- and therefore able to continue to support their smartphones and tablets -- while offering improved capability to their customers as a result of network upgrades. Zhang Qi, vice president of TD-LTE at Nokia Networks, spoke about the prevalence of TD-LTE technology and the benefits the new base station can offer operators.

"TD-LTE is now a globally deployed technology with a rich ecosystem, and its convergence with FDD-LTE makes it more attractive for many mobile operators," Qi said. "Our Single RAN Advanced Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for TDD and FDD makes a strong case for WiMAX operators to migrate now and reap the benefits from their existing investment in spectrum, backhaul, cabling, towers and energy. It will also help them be ready for TDD-FDD carrier aggregation."

Stephane Teral, principal analyst at Infonetics, weighed in and spoke about the reality of the situation for WiMAX operators. Many have already purchased much in the way of infrastructure -- the spectrum, backhaul, cabling, towers, and energy that Qi referenced. However, the technology is giving way to TD-LTE, so they are losing money by holding on to a suffering market. Teral indicated that migration from WiMAX to TD-LTE will allow them to capitalize on the infrastructure in which they have already invested while experiencing improved broadband for their customers.

This is not to say that migration will be simple. Operators must scan their systems to make sure that their respective infrastructures can handle the new technology, and if necessary, they may need to invest in infrastructure upgrades to smooth the transition to allow not only acceptance of TD-LTE but also make sure that the new technology is able to provide the improvements it promises. Nokia Networks indicated that it will be displaying a migration plan at the 11th Global TD-LTE Initiative Workshop in Hinschu, Taiwan, on Sept. 17 and 18.




Edited by Rory J. Thompson




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