Wimax Watch Us54 30 Sep05


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Wimax Watch Us54 30 Sep05

  1. 1. WIMAX WATCHThe authoritative source of WiMAX information: real data, no hype Volume 2, issue 6: September 30th 2005AT&T bets on WiMAX in the large enterprise market 2Broadband wireless rivals vye for mushrooming 3G backhaul market 10Alcatel first to show WiMAX in an IMS 16Standards process shows its failings in QoS 19News Highlights: 22DirecTV and Comcast pursuing WiMAX interestsAperto kit deployed in Saudi ArabiaTelabria and BBC make live news broadcast over WiMAX“The reality is that WiMAX wireless link encryptionis actually more secure than traditional T1 andDSL circuitsSandy Brown, AT&T ”
  2. 2. WiMAX WatchAT&T bets on WiMAX in the large enterprise market• Large enterprise market for WiMAX has not attracted high attention• AT&T largest carrier to center strategy on corporate sector• Claims WiMAX beats leased lines on cost and availability• Even sensitive issue of security is addressed• Challenge to avoid conflicts with future parent SBC’s T1 business Among the various markets touted for WiMAX, the large enter- prise is the least talked about. For early stage WiMAX, the most immediate markets are seen as last mile in underserved regions, public safety, plus backhaul for cellular operators (see separate item) and small to medium businesses (SMBs); while in the me- dium term all the attention is on mobile access applications. Large corporations are naturally cautious of new technologies and have complex and high performance requirements that first generation 802.16 may not meet, argue many. At least one major operator begs to differ, and is seeking to build a significant busi- ness around WiMAX for the enterprise – this is AT&T, which in the run-up to its acquisition by Regional Bell operator SBC re- mains as enthusiastic as ever about broadband wireless, although its strategy has shifted somewhat to accommodate the priorities of its parent-to-be. Early adopters of pre-certified WiMAX technologies have been heavily focused on the SMB sector. Until a low cost subscriber unit emerges, and standards drive overall network costs down, it is hard to create a business model for WiMAX as a consumer ac- cess technology outside of areas that lack any cable or DSL build-out. But large enterprises require capacity, support levels and guarantees of quality and security that may be beyond the scope of start-up providers, especially using first generation kit, or that eat heavily into profit margins. The SMB, which is typi- cally outgrowing DSL but daunted by the cost of leased lines for its backhaul and access requirements, is a far more attractive 2 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  3. 3. WiMAX Watch market in the short term, especially as premium rates can be charged for services like VoIP and VPN. Companies like Tow- erstream, NextWeb and Airband in the US or Libera in the UK are examples of the importance of focusing early efforts on SMBs. AT&T’s plans: For larger operators, of course, the grander scale of the big en- terprise requirements is more appealing than selling to and sup- porting large numbers of SMB clients, and the major providers already have the skills and support systems in place for big pro- jects. But their target customers remain cautious about new technologies, particularly wireless ones, which always carry the association – real or perceived – with poor security and reliabil- ity. AT&T, in a recent briefing on its WiMAX strategy, came out with the most aggressive statements of any operator to date on the critical topic of security, claiming 802.16 lines are actu- ally more secure than T1, and seeking to squash other percep- tions of enterprise WiMAX that it believes are outdated or wrong. This is important for the carrier, which generates a large pro- portion of its business from national and international enterprise The focus on SMBs: customers, offering them a wide range of managed services early WiMAX markets based on its extensive and modern fiber network, from redun- Source: WiMAX Forum dant back-up to backhaul to high speed access and VoIP. All of these, AT&T believes,Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 3
  4. 4. WiMAX Watch could be enhanced in price/performance, in many scenarios, by in- cluding WiMAX in the technology mix. In particular – and despite potential conflicts of interest with SBC – it is interested in WiMAX as an alternative to T1 in the middle mile between its fiber and the access. Just like the cellcos (see separate item), large enterprises are trying to reduce their high outlay on leased telco lines for backhaul, back-up and dedicated links between sites, at the same time as their data bandwidth needs are exploding and they are getting serious about VoIP. Some will start to consider making a capital investment in wireless equipment themselves, but most will be more interested in a man- aged service from an operator that can access licensed spectrum for improved quality of service (especially when access services are included in the mix); can promise to upgrade its technology as Wi- MAX goes through its rapid development curve of the coming three years; and can integrate broadband wireless with other platforms such as fiber and even emerging options like free space optics and wireless fiber, to deliver the best cost/performance combination for different sites with different priorities. This is what AT&T aims to offer, ahead of most of its major rivals, though other companies with significant international enterprise services business are taking a similar interest – from European fiber provider Colt to incumbents like British Telecom. AT&T’s advan- tage while it remains independent from SBC is that it has few local copper lines and so does not have the conflict of interest that the Bell operators or a company like BT suffers by introducing wire- less, which could cannibalize the highly profitable T1 business. Indeed, AT&T’s original fascination with WiMAX sprang mainly from its desire to cut the huge sums it spends itself each year on paying Bell operators for access to their last mile networks. This motive may be diluted by the SBC acquisition – even though AT&T’s enterprise services business is likely to be run quite inde- pendently – but it still holds true in non-SBC territories in the US and abroad. And SBC, which is heavily focused on increasing its large enterprise revenues, will appreciate that the sacrifice of some T1 business may be a necessary corollary of providing a more inte- grated and all-round service, based on a combination of technolo- gies, to high value customers – and a means of preventing these sites dumping T1 anyway and going to another provider altogether.4 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  5. 5. WiMAX Watch Sprint Nextel, although its public plans for its 2.5GHz WiMAX network are mainly focused on consumer access, will also see opportunities to bolster its already significant enterprise presence through broadband wireless, combined with its long lines. But for now, AT&T is blazing the trail in this sector and highlighting many important issues that need to be addressed before the enter- prise is fully confident about WiMAX. Security: Most important of these is security. After the bad experiences that companies had with Wi-Fi, which only this year achieved corporate class security – with the addition of critical authentica- tion and encryption mechanisms like AES – there is a general assumption that wireless networks are unsafe. On the contrary, says Sandy Brown, AT&T’s vice president for product manage- ment – “the reality is that WiMAX wireless link encryption (AES-CCM), coupled with end-to-end network security tech- niques and Layer 2/3 encryption makes this connectivity actually more secure than traditional T1 and DSL circuits.” “ The reality is that Wi- MAX wireless link en- WiMAX is more inherently secure, in the base standard, than cryption (AES-CCM), Wi-Fi was and supports essential standards like AES from day coupled with end-to- one. Its main security issues revolve around the fact that AES end network security and other key methods are optional, rather than mandatory, in the techniques and Layer fixed version of the standard, although this will change with mo- 2/3 encryption makes bile 802.16e. However, this concern is not one for the large enter- this connectivity actu- prise, which will have the knowhow, internally or through its ser- ally more secure than vices provider, to ensure that only equipment with the maximum traditional T1 and security levels is employed. The main problem for enterprise Wi- DSL circuits Fi, now that AES-compliant access points are widely available, is Sandy Brown, AT&T ensuring that all the client devices are up to date in security terms. This is not an issue for WiMAX, since first stage sub- scriber equipment for business needs to be corporately pur- chased. By the time end users are bringing in their own WiMAX kit in laptops or phones, the Forum should have made AES and ” other key technologies mandatory. Of course, 802.16 only specifies security for the physical and media access portions of the network and, as with any network, threats remain at the higher layers, including denial of service attacks and viruses. This is one of the key selling points on whichCopyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 5
  6. 6. WiMAX Watch a managed network provider like AT&T seeks to attract cus- tomers, promising not only an inherently secure network link based on WiMAX, but the end-to-end security services a corpo- rate provider can deliver, including IPsec secure tunnels be- tween the customer premises and AT&T network edge. Enterprise needs: With that sensitive issue dealt with, AT&T turned to the rea- sons why enterprise customers need to be thinking beyond T1. It said the key demands of its corporate client base are higher bandwidth for less cost because of exploding data access and backhaul requirements. The main necessities are, it says: • Cost effective access diversity for mission critical applica- tions • Reduction of costs without giving up bandwidth, or getting more bandwidth. • Fast provisioned access for disaster recovery. • Shorter installation times for new lines. • Reliable, secure access. • A wider choice of technologies, both to increase price com- petition and support a wider diversity of applications and con- figurations. WiMAX can support all these requirements in certain scenarios, although, of course, its performance is limited compared to fi- ber or wireless fiber alternatives. However, AT&T feels that, even in a configuration that achieves 10Mbps over a range of five miles from customer site to AT&T network, WiMAX ful- fils the needs of a large proportion of customers. Fiber to the premises may therefore be an expensive but unnecessary luxury for many sites – a conclusion Colt has also come to, as it seeks to broaden its access base by using WiMAX for the middle and/or last mile, in effect stretching its fiber reach to more cus- tomers without further build-out. According to AT&T, 50% of enterprise customer access cir- cuits are less than three miles from the point of presence, and a huge 98% are 10Mbps or (more usually) far less. Therefore Wi- MAX would offer better performance than current circuits for less cost than T1 leasing.6 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  7. 7. WiMAX WatchFor those requiring backhaul over longer distances or at veryhigh data rates, AT&T is also looking to integrate various otheroptions into its mixture with WiMAX and fiber. WiMAX canbe stretched to 25 miles in point-to-point mode for backhaul,matching Type II DS1/DS3, and other broadband wireless tech-nologies can go even further. For high data rates, broadbandwireless networks in high frequencies such as 18GHz get up toaround 200Mbps, and the millimeter wave spectrum supportsso-called ‘wireless fiber’ links at near-fiber speeds, with com-panies like WiFiber promising 1Gbps rates moving up to multi-gigabit in the coming year.Another technology attracting renewed interest as a comple-ment to WiMAX and fiber is free space optics, which achievesup to 155Mbps though over relatively short distances of a fewmiles. AT&T was one of the first companies to carry out exten-sive R&D in free space optics, which uses light rather than ra-dio waves, and particularly in combining this with microwavein a highly reliable dual system. Since both radio and optics suf-fer from different vulnerabilities a dual network can use the linkthat is most robust in a certain situation, and then switch if con- WiMAX positioning inditions such as weather change. The initiative in this area has the enterprise Source: AT&TCopyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 7
  8. 8. WiMAX Watch been snatched by start-up LightPointe, but we can expect to see AT&T gradually incorporating a host of different approaches into its enterprise platform. Trials: In terms of its real world progress with WiMAX so far, AT&T has been running two trials in Middletown, New Jersey and a larger one in Atlanta, Georgia, with a view to assessing real world performance and applications and evaluating enterprise reaction to the services. In New Jersey it is using an experimen- tal license in 700MHz and 2.5GHz to deliver line of sight ser- vices to outdoor antennas; in Atlanta it has an experimental li- cense in 3.5GHz and is testing non-line of sight configurations with roof-mounted and window mounted subscriber equipment. Here it has installed four base stations, all linked by wireless backhaul. Equipment from several vendors is being used and the services include voice over IP, private data networking and internet ac- cess. The company says that corporate customers are also inter- ested in the potential of WiMAX to provide a back-up network for the wired system, and for creating temporary and ad hoc networks to support conferences or meetings, for instance. "Our WiMAX trial in New Jersey is off to a great start," said Hossein Eslambolchi, chief technology officer and CIO, in June. "Feedback is helping us increase the value of the technol- ogy for our enterprise customers." The next stage will be to test indoor equipment and then mobil- ity. AT&T is a key part of the growing Intel R&D ecosystem forming around WiMAX, and has a joint development with the chip giant focused on smart antennas to improve rate, range and mobility. Sprint Nextel is also a partner in this program, along with various equipment vendors such as Alvarion, NextNet and Nortel. AT&T’s strategy looks strong, even with the uncertainties of how it will be affected by the SBC takeover. The nature of its business means it does not need to be distracted by issues of mass consumer devices and roll-out, where the major question8 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  9. 9. WiMAX Watch marks still hang over WiMAX and where mobility – a year away – is critical. Although there will be strong applications for mobile broadband in the enterprise, this sector has short term needs that are more urgent and that AT&T is well positioned to address. Just as the start-up WiMAX operators have found that focusing on the business customer’s backhaul, VoIP and access needs is more profitable in the short term than trying to address the consumer space too early, so AT&T is making the same as- sumption at the high end of the market. By reducing its own costs to provide enterprise services, and passing on some of those savings to the customer along with new performance lev- els and configuration flexibility, it stands to exploit its advanced fiber network more effectively and bring a rejuvenated corpo- rate services business to its new parent.Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 9
  10. 10. WiMAX WatchBroadband wireless rivals vye for mushrooming 3G backhaul market• WiMAX one technology competing for wireless backhaul sector• 3G carriers increasingly look to avoid leased line costs• Their backhaul needs multiplying with denser networks and more traffic• Shift from opex to capex, so away from leasing• Resurgence for Harris, Alcatel and other microwave specialists As the telecoms majors fix their sights on mobile WiMAX, the biggest revenue stream in the first year will come from the fixed technology operating as a backhaul option for Wi-Fi hotspots and hotzones, enterprises and 3G carriers. Although the attention of the WiMAX Forum has shifted away from early interest in point- to-point backhaul towards point-to-multipoint and access, many WiMAX vendors remain heavily focused on distribution uses, in- cluding Redline and Aperto. For relatively short distance backhaul requirements, WiMAX is likely to provide a low cost option that will see strong opportuni- ties as the cellcos’ needs explode, but it will certainly not have the field to itself. The microwave backhaul specialists are determined to dominate a market that is really starting to mushroom with the advent of 3G, while other parties are also looking to replace the conventional leased T1 option, including cable, ‘wireless fiber’ and new approaches to tower layout. Whatever the solution, the demand is rising steadily. Enterprises are looking to replace expensive T1 lines or to have redundant back-up networks (see separate item), and this is boosting pre- WiMAX providers like TowerStream as well as established tele- coms service providers. Hotspots and the growing breed of mu- nicipal hotzones are also looking for backhaul options that are more powerful than DSL but less costly than T1 multiples. But the biggest opportunity lies with the cellular carriers, which are facing a huge hike in backhaul capacity because of the smaller cells typi- 10 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  11. 11. WiMAX Watchcal of 3G networks, and the increased bandwidth required by newapplications.A typical GSM operator deploys one or two 2Mbps backhaulconnections per cell site, which is clearly insufficient for dataintensive 3G applications. Many carriers believe between fourand eight E1s will be needed for each 3G base station, and up to16 once the HSDPA upgrade is implemented too. Cingular be-lieves its backhaul costs will rise by 25% once it deploys HSDPAon a wide scale.Of course, few carriers have a clear idea of how rapidly the usageof their data services will rise and so how much backhaul capac-ity will really be needed. Apart from lower operating costs, mi-crowave options such as WiMAX and proprietary platforms havethe added attraction of greater flexibility when bandwidth usageis unpredictable or fluctuating. The new breed of microwavebackhaul systems – such as the Harris TruePoint 4000 – are soft-ware configurable in terms of the operating bandwidth, modula-tion and frequency, so that changes in the network usage do notrequire a hardware upgrade to the backhaul, and capacity is moreeasily scalable.All of this means the 3G operators represent a huge market op-portunity. Xtend Networks, which believes cable operatorsshould start to poach T1 business (as Cox Communications, in Microwave vs leasedparticular, is starting to do), estimates that the sector is worth line costs 4xT1 shorthaul Source: HarrisCopyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 11
  12. 12. WiMAX Watch $20bn over the next five years in the US alone. Backhaul spending among US wireless carriers totals about $2.1bn, or about 11% of opex budgets, a figure that will rise to as much as 25% once data services are fully deployed (US figures are lower than many other countries because the major cellcos tend to be owned by wireline carriers with their own backhaul infra- structure). As a global average, about 18% of cellco’s opex now goes on backhaul leasing and maintenance, and the figure increases threefold once the network is all-3G, according to Nortel. The situation is improved by moving to packet-based backhaul, no- tably IP, which can aggregate more traffic per leased line, but the combination of owned wireless lines and IP switching can have a dramatic effect on opex, bringing backhaul down to un- der 10% of the total if spectrum is owned (operators that are not using all their spectrum can even lease capacity to enterprises or other players to add a new revenue stream.) Many large cellcos that have relied mainly on T1 connections are now looking at wireless alternatives, including Sprint Nextel, which is expanding its network not just because of its merger and upgrade to CDMA EV-DO, but also because it will be building a parallel pre-WiMAX network in 2.5GHz.Microwave vs leasedlineSource: Alcatel 12 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  13. 13. WiMAX Watch Vodafone: Vodafone is to build its own broadband wireless backhaul net- work to replace leased lines at most of its 8,000 base station sites in the UK. Like all 3G operators, Vodafone is facing mushrooming backhaul requirements and is under increasing pressure, as it sees its more optimistic hopes of 3G return on investment dissolving, to cut operating costs in order to pre- serve margins. Vodafone currently leases backhaul lines from BT and some smaller fixed line providers such as Kingston Communications. The operator’s original 1985 license terms barred it from build- ing its own fixed infrastructure links, whether wired or wireless, but this ban was lifted in 2002. The UK cellcos have been mov- ing rapidly towards wireless backhaul, partly because BT’s leasing charges remain high by European standards. T-Mobile (then One-2-One) and Orange were encouraged by Ofcom to build their own microwave backhaul networks when they en- tered the UK market in the mid-1990s, and were given some spectrum to support this, as a way to stimulate competition to BT. Orange relies on wireless for 90% of its backhaul capacity. The holding of spectrum is a significant advantage, which Vo- dafone will not have – Alcatel, which claims 35% market share of cellular wireless backhaul equipment, estimates that micro- wave options are 40% cheaper than leased lines if the carrier rents its spectrum, but 80% if the frequencies are owned, on average. In the UK, backhaul leasing costs are based on distance, and range from typically range from £2,000 for less than 10 kilome- ters, to £6,000 for 30 kilometers. About half the sites will re- quire the longer lines, making a total cost to a company like Vodafone about £32m a year for just one country, a sum that will grow with greater data requirements, multiple backhaul links per base station and the introduction of HSDPA. If a mi- crowave network of the scale and robustness required by a cellco takes five years to break even, and typically has a work- ing life of 10 years, the lure is, of course, five years of ‘free’ backhaul or about £150m in savings. In the US, a cell site fed by four T1s can cost an average of $1,600 monthly, while a mi-Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 13
  14. 14. WiMAX Watch crowave link might cost $100,000 upfront for equipment, li- cense and installation and then a minimal amount to operate. Carriers including Sprint and Cingular are looking to cut cost and improve efficiency by redrawing the network architecture – and a popular strategy these days is to create aggregation points that draw in traffic from individual cell sites. One way to reduce backhaul costs is to consolidate cell sites and feed them with a wireless or wired backhaul pipe that is equivalent to 10 T1s, for instance, rather than several sites with three T1s. Higher capac- ity equipment is generally cheaper to maintain. Some vendors are reporting demands for huge capacity prod- ucts. NEC, for instance, offers a microwave top end product that delivers the equivalent of 16 OC-3 fiber connections or over 1,300 T1s. "We see in certain geographical areas now, there are places where planners want to see 16 T1s or even a DS3 [44.756Mbps] worth of capacity at each cell site," says the company. Site consolidation: Aggregation is the basis of the business model for FiberTower, which uses 155Mbps wireless radio links to combine traffic from multiple towers to central exchange points, whence it is forwarded via leased fiber optic links to the local telephony switch. FiberTower is investigating the potential of point-to- point WiMAX for some applications. The company is building a backhaul system from scratch, dedi- cated to enabling wireless base stations to avoid T1s. Impor- tantly, new microwave radios can be added in just a few days, compared to months for copper lines. It says its system, which it runs on behalf of tower owners and their tenants, reduces ser- vice outages by 50-60% for lower costs than leased T1 lines. Each exchange point takes in traffic from 15 to 20 towers, thereby eliminating the need for multiple T1s at each cell site. "Whats attractive certainly in the conversations that we have had with [carriers] is that its really prohibitively expensive to bring high capacity to every cell site in the US," says the com- pany.14 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  15. 15. WiMAX Watch FiberTower recently has raised a fourth round of funding worth $150m, one of the largest of the year, and bringing the com- pany’s total backing to $225m. Its major backers include three tower majors, with Crown Castle leading the new round along- side existing investors SpectraSite and American Tower (as well as various VC firms).Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 15
  16. 16. WiMAX WatchAlcatel first to show WiMAX in an IMS The IP Multimedia Subsystem may have emerged from the 3GPP standards world, but its fullest potential lies in its ability to help providers integrate multiple network types in order to deliver ser- vices over the most suitable IP medium, transparently to the end user or device. Most early trials and demonstrations have shown IMS improving the ability of 3G operators to create, provision and remove a wide range of applications at low cost and with maximum flexibility. But the real promise is for the multi- network operators, and Alcatel demonstrated the way of the fu- ture last week with the first public showing of an IMS running over WiMAX, 3G and DSL together. This is a combination of technologies that a large operator like Verizon or Deutsche Telekom is likely to support in the medium term, using the different qualities and coverage areas of each technology to maximize the number of applications that can be bundled for one user, and to minimize the cost of supporting such a broad portfolio, by managing them all in a uniform way through the IMS. Although Lucent and Motorola are both in the forefront of incor- porating WiMAX into their IMS platforms alongside cellular and wireline networks, Alcatel is the first to go public. Like the other two, Alcatel provides a wide range of infrastructure solutions in 16 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  17. 17. WiMAX Watchwired and wireless networks and sees WiMAX as a way tostimulate the rise of the converged operator, a base where it canhope to outperform the single-network giants like Ericsson.The demonstration took place at Alcatel’s premises near Parisand showed end users with DSL, UMTS and WiMAX access de-vices communicating as though on the same network. This is vi-tal for WiMAX, in particular. One of the biggest risks to the mo-bile version of the technology is that, in the early years, build-outs will be few and far between and roaming users will be dis-couraged by the sparse coverage.This in turn could deter operators from making investments inWiMAX, unless they can be sure that there will be other net-works for their subscribers to roam on to, granting near ubiqui-tous coverage. If WiMAX users are not confined to talking toother WiMAX users only, this problem becomes far less serious.Dual-mode Wi-Fi/cellular devices are giving end users some ofthis new flexibility to communicate across different networksfrom the same handset, but this does not necessarily benefit theoperator, since the Wi-Fi communication may not be under itscontrol. With IMS, the idea is to offer subscribers multi-networkdevices, but with all the available access options owned by theoperator. Alcatel IMS architectureCopyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 17
  18. 18. WiMAX Watch In the Alcatel example, the end users were able to access their buddy lists and presence information, while communicating with each other via text, voice and video communication modes. The demonstration included typical IMS services such as community management functions combined with audio-video and data mes- saging, as well as video telephony, push to speak and push to show. It used the various elements of the Alcatel IMS platform, including its 5020 softswitch with CSCF, its 1430 MDS sub- scription server, the 5350 IAS SIP application server and the 7720 service aware edge access node. Other equipment makers will be hard on Alcatel’s heels. Marconi plans to demonstate its multi-network, IMS-enabled functionality at next week’s Broadband World Forum in Madrid, Spain. Its latest addition to its core and access ranges is the Access Hub IP MSAN, an IP-based multiservice access node that enables opera- tors to support copper, fiber and WiMAX access on a unified IP- based platform.18 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  19. 19. WiMAX WatchStandards process shows its weaknesses in QoSThe 802.11e standard for Wi-Fi quality of service, essential forVoIP because it prioritizes voice (and video) packets, is almostcomplete, but uptake of an interim specification published by theWi-Fi Alliance, WMM, has been disappointing. This indicatesthat standards processes are lagging behind real market demands,particularly in critical areas such as QoS. In the data-only world,prioritization of packets was a side issue for Wi-Fi. In a worldwhere the remit of that technology has been expanded to supportvoice services and citywide meshes, QoS is one of the biggestareas of risk.WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia), is a subset of 802.11e and designedto be a stopgap since the demand for services such as wirelessVoIP was seen to be moving more quickly than the IEEE proc-esses. However, Cisco and other key vendors have released prod-ucts that do not incorporate WMM but stick with the vendors’proprietary QoS mechanisms. Some suppliers, notably Meru,which makes voice-optimized Wi-Fi switches, claim their QoS issuperior to 802.11e too, although they will have to support ‘e’ inorder to retain Wi-Fi Alliance certification once this support ismade mandatory, probably in late 2006. Cisco did not includeWMM support in the new firmware for its enterprise 7920 VoW-LAN handset and, although Spectralink does support WMM, itwill also provide its own SVP (SpectraLink Voice Protocol) inthe enterprise.Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 19
  20. 20. WiMAX Watch The issue highlights, again, the problem of standards bodies moving too slowly for real market demands, and now it seems that even the vendor-driven Alliance is failing to keep up with proprietary developments. Increasingly, we may see a ‘fast track’ approach adopted in preference to the broad ranging but slow methods of the IEEE and other bodies. This has already hap- pened by default in the world of UltraWideBand short range net- works, where the WiMedia Alliance’s platform, having been stranded in a stalemated IEEE process, has instead been submit- ted to a fast track standards body, ECMA. Unlike the IEEE - which allows for proposals, even once they are adopted as the preferred route for a standard, to be challenged and debated further – ECMA allows no such complexity once a proposal is adopted (except on grounds of technical malfunction). Therefore it provides a process that is a couple of steps from rub- ber stamping. Though this carries dangers of proposals being adopted without sufficient discussion, or because a major vendor backs them, it certainly looks more appropriate to the timescales of the wireless industry than the fully consultative method, and is likely to be emulated in many areas of technology. The Alliance started its WMM work in early 2004, with Meru chief software architect Joe Epstein in the lead, and with two pro- jects, one for the home and the other for the enterprise. The home case is simpler because only one access point is required, and so little emphasis is placed on roaming. The average number of tra- ditional handsets in the home case ranges from two to four, so security provided via manually entered WPA pre-shared keys should be enough. The MRD (marketing requirements document) for the home case has been completed, and the technical task group is now generating the methodology and producing test cases. In the enterprise, issues such as roaming and battery life are more significant and centralized authentication schemes will have to be devised. The Wi-Fi Alliance is concurrently working on the Simple Con- figuration Security specification, based on one-step security set- up products such as Broadcoms SecureEasySetup and Buffalo’s AOSS.20 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  21. 21. WiMAX WatchAlso available are admission control to prevent too many calls onone AP bringing it down, and APSD (automatic power save de-livery), which allows devices to sleep when not in use. These twofeatures will be certified, as WMM-SA, in the first half of 2006.The Alliance is also working on its WCC (Wi-Fi/Cellular Con-vergence) project, and cooperating with the cellular body, theCTIA, to decide how it should approach dual-mode devices withits certification programs in future. Certification should startearly next year with a simple SOHO case and then move on tothe more complex enterprise case later.Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 21
  22. 22. WiMAX Watch NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: DirecTV and Comcast pursuing WiMAX interests Alvarion and satellite operator DirecTV have pulled back from talk that they were close to a deal for the Israeli vendor to supply a WiMAX network. However, DirecTV, the largest US satellite television provider, is very interested in adding a wireless ser- vice, which would provide an uplink for the one-way satellite platform, according to recent statements from CEO Chase Carey. Speaking at an investor conference in New York, Carey said: "No decision has been made. We are in the middle of it and are aggressively examining it, talking to a wide range of partners.” Many satellite companies see a broadband wireless network such as WiMAX as the most cost effective way to deliver a triple play bundle of television, internet and VoIP to compete with similar moves from DSL and cable providers. DirecTV has so far relied on partnerships with BellSouth and Verizon but these operators, as they upgrade their own networks to offer a full triple play themselves, are backing away from such deals. Similarly, cableco Comcast said, at the same investor conference, that it is also looking into adding a wireless service, possibly in collaboration with other cable providers. CEO Brian Roberts said he was not interested simply in partnering with a cellular opera- tor to offer basic voice and data but also in exploring next gen- eration technologies that could deliver Comcast’s services wire- lessly and so target new customer bases as well as adding mobil- ity functions. The cableco’s interest in WiMAX is seen as a key opportunity for Sprint Nextel, which can offer both a cellular MVNO and will build a WiMAX system too, or for pre-WiMAX network owner Clearwire.22 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  23. 23. WiMAX Watch Aperto kit deployed in Saudi Arabia WiMAX may see very gradual expansion in some developed telecoms markets, but it is experiencing a rush of deployments in its most natural early stage territory, developing economies with limited broadband infrastructure. The latest example is Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second GSM operator, which is using Aperto pre- WiMAX equipment in four large cities to deliver fixed broad- band services to complement its mobile offering. The Aperto networks are now deployed in the kingdom’s four largest cities, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Khubar, and in Dah- ran, the gateway city to Bahrain, and are accessible by 6m resi- dents plus key business districts. As well as expanding into the home market, Mobily also sees its 2.5GHz network, once mobil- ity is supported, as a way to improve its coverage and the pre- mium services it can offer in urban areas. Khaled Al-Kaf, CEO of Mobily, said: “The platform’s ability to support VPNs and VLAN, integrated routing functionality and strong scalability fully supports our plans for expansion and busi- ness applications over IP. We have a large and growing footprint, and must have efficient, robust links throughout to meet the needs of our corporate customers.” Mobily is majority owned by Etisalat of the United Arab Emir- ates.Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 23
  24. 24. WiMAX Watch Telabria and BBC make live broadcast over WiMAX One of the possible WiMAX applications that attracts the great- est operator excitement, but also the greatest uncertainties, is broadcasting. UK broadband wireless operator Telabria has taken a step towards boosting WiMAX’ credibility in this area, con- ducting – with the BBC – the UK’s first live news bulletin over the network. Telebria, which is rolling out pre-WiMAX services in the UK’s suburban and rural south east regions, moved to the west of the country for its latest activity, working with BBC Bristol to make a broadcast from a mobile WiMAX vehicle, a specially con- verted Land Rover Defender with a 10 meter telescopic mast, to the television studios, using a 20Mbps bidirectional link. “Essentially we created our own giant WiMAX wireless hotspot which covered most of the city,” explained Andy Butterworth, the BBC technical coordinator for the project. “This meant that we could broadcast live into our evening news programme at the same quality we’d usually achieve using a standard satellite truck. Although Telabria’s WiMAX link provided us with 20Mbps of throughput, we only needed 8Mbps for the single feed. In future scenarios, the remaining bandwidth could be used by multiple camera feeds at the same location.”24 Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005
  25. 25. WiMAX Watch To order further copies of WiMAX Watch, or to enquire about site pricing or our other services, please contact us at the addresses below: Published in the US by: Trendsmedia, Inc. 4 West Main Street Suite 201 Northborough, MA 01532-1995 Tel: +1 (508)351-6553 x 101 fax: +! (309) 410-1286 Email info@trendsmedia.com Editorial is provided by: Rethink Research Associates Research director and lead wireless analyst: Caroline Gabriel caroline@rethinkresearch.biz Tel: +44 (0)207 403 3292 Trendsmedia provides a complete mobile and wireless advisory service con- sisting of weekly newsletters, monthly in-depth research papers, analyst query and industry events focused on WiMAX, cellular or fixed wireless issues WiMAX Watch is part of Rethink Research’s full WiMAX service for operators and service providers. This provides in-depth market sizing and breakdown and a regularly updated analysis of business models and projected ROI as markets evolve rapidly. It also offers the opportunity for customized queries and research on behalf of subscrib- ers.Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2005 25