In October 2007, ITU consolidated WiMAX as a 3G technology by adding it to the official IMT-2000 standards. As operators such as Vodafone, Brasil Telecom and NTT further commit themselves to WiMAX development, the WiMAX market is rapidly expanding. According to the report of Infonetics Research, the worldwide sales of fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment increased by 6% to USD206 million in the third quarter of 2007, followed by a 14% jump in the fourth quarter. WiMAX is gaining momentum.
In 2007, Huawei unveiled its new generation WiMAX commercial solutions that feature LTE/UMB co-platform infrastructure and integrate future technologies such as multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA). The solutions include gateways, distributed base stations, transmission, network management systems and terminals. In these solutions, WiMAX can be integrated with GSM, CDMA, IMS, NGN and DSL networks, which helps operators to provide a variety of high-speed mobile broadband services.
Solutions fit into your expectation
With its long commitment to WiMAX research since 2001, Huawei to date has more than 1,200 engineers involved in its R&D. As a major member of the WiMAX forum, Huawei holds more than 100 WiMAX patents and remains committed to 16E 1X and 16 M standards'optimization. Within the company, Huawei has adopted a platform sharing strategy to ensure the interoperability of different products and specifications.
Through the global deployment of GSM, UMTS, and CDMA networks, Huawei can facilitate WiMAX network deployment based on its rich experience and knowledge regarding customers'needs. Huawei's convergent solutions cover WiMAX independent networking, and convergent networking between WiMAX and NGN, GSM, CDMA, and UMTS networks.
Huawei's wireless digital subscriber line (DSL) solution forms a highlight in voice service provision over the WiMAX network. To meet the unique requirements of different network stages, operators can configure their network elements (NEs) flexibly, and can maximize the speed and economy of WiMAX service delivery. Huawei's wireless DSL solution, for instance, can be applied to rapidly deploy a network during the initial stage, so as to realize high-speed Internet access and unmanaged voice services. With the increasing of customer base, the integration of WiMAX with IMS/NGN will ensure the reliable evolution of network, and provide customers with manageable VoIP and converged services.
Huawei's wireless DSL solution also provides two or three level VPN services and end-to-end QoS solutions to meet the varied requirements of individuals, families and enterprises. Moreover, Huawei's WiMAX system can run on a spectrum ranging from 2.3/2.5GHz to 3.5GHz.
WiMAX + IMS
The wireless "WiMAX + IMS" solution combines the advantages of IMS core networks and wireless access technologies, enabling the delivery of various services across a unified broadband platform.
With its future-oriented network architecture, the IMS simplifies the service development process, increases service innovation speeds, and reduces OPEX. The IMS provides rich multimedia applications and a platform for killer service development. The WiMAX network is characterized by high-speed wireless access, wide coverage, stability, and can provide a platform for innovative multimedia service.
Huawei's "WiMAX + IMS" solution benefits from simple operational and management systems and provides services such as unified authentication and billing. Available multimedia services include SharingX (bundled voice and multimedia services), Push to X (one key service access), VCC (voice call continuity), multimedia conferencing, convergent Centrix, and ringback tones.
WiMAX + 2G
For operators with 2G networks, WiMAX facilitates service differentiation possibilities. It boasts the capability of forming a 2G/WiMAX hybrid network, in which a data network rich in multi-media services can be realized by employing the high spectrum and low cost per bit rate of the WiMAX network.
Challenges arise when considering how to effectively utilize existing 2G resources in a WiMAX network. Huawei's "WiMAX + 2G" solution adopts the same site for both WiMAX and existing 2G base stations, and uses the same feeder for transmission. This reduces site space and enables rapid network launch time. The WiMAX and 2G networks also share the same core network for authentication and billing, and these factors combined have little negative impact on user experience. With network evolution, the virtual channel connection (VCC) in an IMS network can ensure seamless switching between different networks.
Saudi Telecom (STC) began deploying the first WiMAX 802.16e-based network in the Middle East in August 2007, covering cities including Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. STC, however, faced major problems in broadband coverage and network convergence.
Unlike the developed market with universal ADSL access, the broadband penetration rate of Saudi Arabia is less than 2%, leaving many remote areas unconnected. Broadband service provision via cables incurs both high costs and a lengthy construction time, prompting STC to select WiMAX as its major method of realizing broadband coverage. Considering coverage requirements, Huawei partnered with STC to establish a mobile WiMAX solution that reduces the number of sites by employing technologies such as MIMO and OFDMA.
In response to the difficulty of site acquisition, Huawei applied the distributed base stations in the WiMAX network. Based on Huawei's application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and powerful amplifiers, STC saved over 30% in TCO. The distributed base stations are also highly integrated, small in size and light weight, which meets operators' requirements concerning coverage, installation, and maintenance.
STC already possesses 2G and 3G networks into which it hopes that Huawei's solutions can be fully integrated. Based on All-IP technologies, Huawei's WiMAX solutions work smoothly with NGN, IMS and Wi-Fi networks, and are compatible with Long Term Evolution (LTE). This significantly reduces network construction and maintenance costs, and the solutions seamlessly integrate various NEs spanning applications, transmission, rating, authentication, and security mechanisms.
"Huawei has the experience and technology advantages in the WiMAX field and its WiMAX 16e solution enables the next generation network evolution," commented Bandar M. Al Qafari, general manager of STC's Network Department. "Huawei has successfully delivered more than 5,000 wireless projects, and I'm confident that it will provide us with an excellent network that will allow us to provide wireless broadband access service to our subscribers."
As a leading WiMAX solution supplier, Huawei has assisted operators to launch their commercial or trial WiMAX networks in Africa, Europe, Russia, United States, and South America. Huawei will continue to play an active role in the development of WiMAX.