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KDDI to offer convergence with a twist

Mobile WiMAX--or rather, as some of our readers point out, mobile broadband (because there is no mobile WiMAX yet)--is on its way to Japan thanks to telecom operator KDDI. The company has just completed field trials of the technology in an area around the city of Osaka to assess how the technology performed in an urban environment. KDDI also tested the technology to measure the high-speed handover between base stations, which it said was satisfactory at travel speeds of up to 120 kmph. The operator also demonstrated handover between mobile broadband and EV-DO.

What is interesting about KDDI's trial is a truly innovative approach: The Japanese operator is working on a system which will automatically select the right radio technology for the customer--cellular, WiFi, or 802.16e--depending not on where the customer is relative to the nearest network (although this is a factor), but rather on what activity the customer is carrying out at the time. Consultancy group Senza Fili predicts there will be 15.4 million WiMAX subscribers in 2010, 41 percent of whom will be based in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more on KDDI WiMAX plans:
- see this report  

PLUS: Bruce McNamara, Joe Hanson and Michael Ji of Stretch, and Michael Leabman of PureWave Networks, show that a software-defined radio (SDR) can be implemented as user-defined extension instructions in a software-only development environment. Now, they take the SDR approach and apply it to 802.16. Report

ALSO: Alvarion has developed the BreezeMAX 3600 platform which operates in the 3.6-3.8GHz range and targets fixed WiMAX operators in Europe and other countries. The platform will be commercially available in the second quarter of this year. BreezeMAX's platform adheres to IEEE 802.16 standards and uses OFDM technology. Article

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