LTE and WiMAX: The Best of Both Worlds

 |  Includes: ALVR, S
by: Ari Zoldan

The Financial Times rolled out with an article earlier this week telling Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) that investing so much money in WiMAX was a mistake. It goes on to support LTE technology over WiMAX and reported older news on the numerous companies that are either ending their agreements with WiMAX or running test trials with LTE. It’s old news with the same, wrong approach to the situation. Towards the end of the article, there is intelligence displayed in mentioning that WiMAX is unlikely to disappear completely. There is no reference to the fact that there are different versions of LTE and some of them shouldn’t even be comparable to WiMAX.

TD-LTE, the latest standard of LTE, operates on TDD, or time division duplexing, the same way that WiMAX does. This would mean that they would share a bandwidth and spectrum. TDD is superior to LTE’s previous usage of FDD, or frequency division duplexing, because TDD uses unpaired spectrum channels and is able to split up work from uplink to downlink. This is much better for data because uplink/downlink rates [of action] are not fixed. FDD is better for mobile operators because uplink/downlink occurs on a paired spectrum channel and voice is symmetric in both directions.

Many companies, like Alvarion (NASDAQ:ALVR), use both TD-LTE and WiMAX because they run on the same spectrum and are therefore interchangeable in a way that both can be used by the same device. It would mean better 4G access for all companies that are smart enough to be using both technologies. Infrax just announced today th first upgradeable WiMAX/LTE base station. They seem to be getting at what most markets are looking for; people want the best everything and now they can get the best of both worlds.

The Financial Times failed to even point out the significance of 4G for non-mobile services. Clearwire (CLWR), a popular WiMAX provider, isn’t even focusing their advertising campaign on wireless phones, rather they are trying to take control of offering coverage for all internet services, home and mobile. Clear doesn’t plan on disassociating themselves from the technology they were founded on. Rather, if they can improve their services they will, unlike the LTE snobs like the ones at the Financial Times who refuse to see the benefits of the “competition”.

Disclosure: Author is long ALVR and CLWR