Photos: WiMax in action

Photos: WiMax in action

Summary: Mobile broadband is on the move. ZDNet UK paid a visit to a trial network where one of the prime contenders is being tested

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TOPICS: Networking
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  • Airspan is conducting its tests on 3.5GHz, although it has licences to use spectrum between 3.5-3.7GHz.

    Product marketing manager Stephen Lightley explained that the company also had a 4.9GHz licence and could use 5.8GHz if telecommunications regulator Ofcom was informed first.

    "When we have 5.8 systems available we’ll bring them up here," said Lightley.

    The site has already been used to test equipment for the Urban WiMax system in Westminster, and Yozan’s WiMax deployment in Tokyo.

  • At the heart of AS.MAX is the MacroMax base station. This one is using DSL supplied by Pipex. 

    It contains a Forum-certified 802.16-2004 fixed WiMax chip, although it is soft-upgradeable to the 802.16e mobile WiMax standard.

    Lightley highlighted this upgradeability as a key strength for WiMax in its fight against the rise of HSDPA (or next-generation 3G), especially as HSDPA will beat mobile WiMax to the marketplace.

    The large size of the base station is due to its built-in power amplifiers.

  • Airspan is also trialling Internet telephony (VoIP) over its network. A multi-protocol iTone Prime gateway (blue and green, top) links the base station into the public switched telephone network via a soft switch (silver, bottom).

    A call-controlling software package called VoiceMax is incorporated into both the soft switch and the base station, ensuring quality of service for voice.

    Airspan plans to have about two dozen trial subscribers using VoIP and streaming video over the network within the next few weeks.

    It has already had success using WiMax to provide the backhaul for Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as Sony’s PSP, Nintendo’s DS and a Sony location-free TV box.

Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Given that glass doesn't impede electromagnetic radiation at 3.5Ghz, why would the people rolling this out be surprised that two sheets of glass, er, don't impede electromagnetic radiation at 3.5Ghz?
    anonymous