Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Third Annual Mobile Device Developments Conference 2005/ Fixed Mobile Convergence/ Wimax Reality Check

Reviewing the current developments, alliances and future strategies within
the mobile devices market
Pre-conference interactive workshop: Tuesdays 13th September 2005
Main conference: Wednesday 14th & Thursday 15th September 2005
Venue: TBC, London, UK


The current device market has developed dramatically over the last few
years. We have recently seen music phones bundled with services, better
camera phones, handsets enabling high speed broadband connection, concrete
deployment of converged fixed-mobile offers, push-to-talk phones; operator
branded devices, mobile phones with TV functionality, to name just a few.

The conference will cover handset manufacturer's device strategies and
roadmaps; operator's device strategies and case studies; models for
co-branding terminals; software customisation opportunities from handset
manufacturers; software updates from platform vendors; how new services such
as music, TV and IMS will affect device design and user interface and how
particular devices target specific demographics, such as the business
professional and high/ low-end markets.

- Examine the relationship between mobile devices and content services
- Find out the benefits of push-to-talk services
- Discover the latest developments for mobile TV functionality
- Learn from the current personalisation and branding strategies
- Evaluate ODM &EMS developments in the handset market
- Understand the mobile Java evolution
- Analyse the developments of handsets for high and low-end markets
- Discuss how the latest HSDPA services will affect mobile devices

- Jan Geissler,Technology Manager Business Model &Market
- Raino Annala,Technology Specialist/Digital Media,Elisa Corporation
- Jukka Helin,Director,Marketing,Products &Services,TeliaSonera
- David Hooper,Enterprise Group Manager,Microsoft Mobile
- Christoph Aktas,Director,Product Line Management IMS/PoC,Siemens
- Andrew Till,Director of Customer Strategy,EMEA,Motorola,Inc.
- Dr.Cheol Kim,Head of Advanced Technology Group,LG Europe
- Martin Day,Head of Alliances &Business Channels EMEA,palmOne Europe


International Content Aggregation and Rights Licensing of Entertainment
Tuesday 13th September 2005
Led by:Rick Riccobono,Rick Riccobono &Associates,Inc.

The workshop will provide an in-depth look into the key issues related to
rights licensing.Its interactive format will provide the opportunity for all
participants to discuss the most effective business models and how to
overcome the existing challenges.


10:00 -10:30 Registration and coffee

- How to develop content sourcing strategies for music
and other entertainment based content for digital
distribution to portable devices;from iPods,to cell
phones and beyond.

- Examining business models for MOD and VOD:
Subscription,download to own and/or a
combination of both,advertising revenue based,
direct billing to the consumer (breakage and other
royalty allocation considerations).

12:30 -13:30 Lunch

- Analysing marketing,advertising,promotion and
distribution:Viral,targeted and quantifiable,time
and or event sensitive,B2C,B2B2C,B2B.

- The current state of international rights licensing
for on-demand audio and audio visual content.

15:30 Close of workshop

Conference Day 1
Wednesday 14th September 2005

Conference Chairman Day One:
Han Weegink,Global Market Development Manager
LogicaCMG Wireless Networks

09:00 Registration and coffee

09:30 Opening remarks from the Chair


09:40 How can OEMs continue to cost-effectively innovate new
and differentiated products by using Windows OS in their
.How to develop adaptable and scalable platforms for
32-bit,connected devices that deliver rich applications
and services
.How Windows CE has been optimised for next-generation,
smart connected devices
.How to access emulation technology for development and
testing without adding additional hardware
.How XP has been broken down into components for easy
developer access to rich feature sets
.Examples of how MS development tools speed
time-to-market for new devices
.Competitive advantages of using Shared Source
David Hooper
Enterprise Group Manager
Microsoft Mobile and Embedded Devices Division -EMEA

10:20 How to develop future mobile devices:
Human centric approach
.Introduction to LG
.Examining technical trends:Speed,IP,smart,connected,
personalisation,human centrics
.How product design is becoming more complex:
.How to invent a new device:All in one or all distributed?
.Analysis of how a human centric approach will give clear
guidelines for product strategy
Dr.Cheol Kim
Head of Advanced Technology Group
LG Europe R&D Center

11:00 Coffee and discussion

11:20 Evolution of Mobile Devices towards Convergence
*Convergence is everywhere:
-Convergence of voice and data
-Convergence of wireless technologies (WLAN/WAN)
-Impact on mobile device development approach
-Evolution towards converged devices:Combining a PDA
and a traditional cellular phone
*Perspectives of applications development with converged
-Mobile messaging solutions
-Location based services
-Voice over wireless lan
-Overcoming challenges of deploying emerging solutions
Valerie Mazzoni-Colin
Business Development Manager
PSG Handheld &Mobility,EMEA,Hewlett-Packard

12:00 Towards an open IMS client -trends and developments
.Analysing IMS client architecture
.Lessons learned from PoC standardisation
.Future perspective and Siemens 'developments
Christoph Aktas
Director,Product Line Management IMS/PoC
Siemens Communications Mobile Networks

12:40 Networking lunch

14:00 Push-to-Talk,the new standard paving the way to IMS
.History and status of 'Push-to-Talk over Cellular'(PoC)
.Functional description of PoC
.View inside a handset's software architecture
.Challenges and how to handle multiple application
.Impact of PoC on other applications
.The future of PoC towards IMS systems
Olaf Braune
VP Product Management &Development
fgmicrotec GmbH


14:40 From vendor centric device business to operator
centric service business
.The trend towards more operator control and operator
.Analysing how the net value for mobile devices has
changed and how it affects content providers,
aggregators,operators,device vendors and ODMs
.Increasing ARPU and decreasing churn by bundling
devices with mobile subscription and pre-configured
.Comparing operators'device and content strategies in
the mobile service value chain
.Case study with TeliaSonera Finland's software branded
3G phone and content services
Jukka Helin
Director,Marketing,Products &Services

15:20 Coffee and discussion

15:40 Platform strategy for smartphone development with
Symbian OS
.Examining what is required for successful smartphone
development from the software platform strategy
.Enabling scalable product differentiation and variation
with Symbian OS (end-customer perspective)
.Scalablity for operator variation,new services and
.Managing the BOM -hardware and software
.Ecosystem and delivery clusters
Inka Luotola
VP,Sales &Marketing
SysOpen Digia


16:20 A study of the handset supply and production chain
.How the role of ODM and EMS companies have affected
handset design
.Benefits of being a complete manufacturing centre:
-Reduction of capital investment and manufacturing
-How to achieve faster time-to-market
-Enabling greater customer diversification
.Strategies to accelerate time to volume by integrating
strategic suppliers
.How alternative value chain designs affect ODM and
EMS roles
Esko Hannula
VP Design &New Product Introduction
Elcoteq Network Corporation

17:00 Chairman 's summation and close of conference
Conference Day 2
Thursday 15th September 2005

Conference Chairman Day Two:
Han Weegink
Global Market Development Manager
LogicaCMG Wireless Networks

09:00 Registration and coffee

09:30 Opening remarks from the chair


09:40 Mobile broadcast business -evolving from a trial to
business webs and ecosystem
.The bmco trial in Berlin -interactive broadcast as a key
for mobile business
.The bmco forum in Berlin -the next step towards an
open international market
.Lessons learned -technological,economic and
regulatory challenges in developing "mobile broadcast"
.Co-operation models in the mobile broadcasting value
Jan Geissler
Technology Manager Business Model &Market Intelligence
Vodafone Group R&D Germany

10:20 Developing devices for mobile TV functionality
.Developing 'real'mobile TV with digital media
broadcasting technology
.Offering high quality TV at a lower cost
.How DBM technology will affect mobile operators and
billing vendors
.Assessing if there is a strong market for TV functionality -
Why watch TV on your mobile?
Raino Annala
Technology Specialist/Digital Media
R&D,Elisa Corporation

11:00 Coffee and discussion

11:20 Enabling a rich multimedia experience across mobile and
consumer electronic domains
.Strategies to rollout a new open standards-based
wireless Digital Rights Management (DRM)solution
.Analysing the benefits:How to seamlessly and securely
manage and distribute media content between mobile
content and consumer electronics devices
.Examining the features required on the mobile device to
enable a rich multimedia experience
Edgar Langen
Senior Director Security &Connectivity
Philips Software

12:00 Mobile e-mail -the current landscape
.Examining the race for interoperability
.Analysing the fight for supremacy among solution vendors
for channel evolution
.Design goals for mobile e-mail devices
.Looking to the future
Martin Day
Head of Alliances &Business Channels EMEA
palmOne Europe

12:40 Networking lunch

Day Two Thursday 15th September 2005


13:50 Development of handsets for high-end and low-end markets
.Examining Motorola's developments of an iPod music phone
with Apple
.Overview of Motorola's Linux strategy
.Analysis of Motorola's development of low-end handsets
.Benefits for mobile operators:
-Strategies to capture new type of subscribers in developing
-Possibilities to equip the last percentage of people in Western
Europe without a mobile phone
Andrew Till
Director of Customer Strategy,Europe Middle East &Africa

14:30 Mobile meets luxury:How to market a £3000 phone
.Why do people buy luxury?
.A double challenge -building a new category and a new brand
.What no camera?-Vertu and technology
Chris Harris
Global Marketing Director,Vertu


15:10 CASE STUDY:Ovation T-3G multimedia application
.Benefits for enterprise,SOHO and residential users
.Providing voice and broadband data access by managing
convergence of WWLAN,WLAN,Voice and VoIP
technologies in an integrated solution
.Generating cost-effective high-speed wireless broadband
access,optimal call routing and delivery of multimedia
applications to enable end-users to access Ovation using
multiple devices
Brad Weinert
VP,Business Development,Novatel Wireless

15:50 Coffee and discussion

16:05 Key technologies for future mobile devices:
HSDPA and smart antenna
.Benefits of an advanced receiver design approach
.Scalable HSDPA solution
.Why Category 8 and 10 HSDPA from day one?
.AIM smart antenna for future multi-mode
2G/3G/WLAN devices
.Benefits of smart antenna for coverage,capacity,power
consumption and data rate at cell edge
Dr.Behrooz Lessani
VP,Business Development,Europe,InterDigital


16:45 Optimise service usage on new devices
.Examining the relationship between new device capabilities
and new services:
-Mobile music,TV,IMS,VOD,etc
.How device capabilities and complexity will affect the whole
mobile service value chain
.Impact of device complexity on service usage and service
.Evaluating the business case for device management
.Defining a device management strategy
Wim Brouwer
Solution &Portfolio Manager,LogicaCMG Telecom

17:15 Chairman 's summation and close of conference

Further here


++ Related

Fixed-Mobile Convergence
Identifying opportunities, raising consumer awareness and meeting the technical challenges of delivering truly converged FMC services

14th - 16th November 2005
Jurys Clifton Ford


Conference Details:

Over the last few months the telecoms industry has seen unparalleled growth in fixed-mobile converged services, with major international operators from Europe, the Americas and Asia making numerous FMC announcements.

However, it remains to be seen how enterprises and consumers will receive these new products and services. Will they be compelling enough to spark significant usage? Are the technologies sufficiently accessible to make FMC a mass-market service? Does a truly converged service already exist in the mobile phone?

Visiongain's Fixed-Mobile Convergence conference will provide analysis of these concerns, while giving delegates practical insights, lessons derived from real-life experience and specific examples of how industry leaders are achieving high performance.

Maximise opportunities as FMC goes mainstream:
* Understand the very latest emerging opportunities and competitive threats around FMC
* Build opportunities and overcome challenges presented by regulatory environments
* Refine your strategy for developing consumer friendly FMC services
* Calculate optimum pricing models for FMC services
* Accelerate your planning by resolving key challenges around QoS and billing

Gain from the insights of key leaders:
*Ryan Jarvis, Chief of Mobile Products and Partnerships, BT
*John Carvalho, Core Network Innovation, O2
*Jukka Helin, Director, Marketing, Products & Services, TeliaSonera
*Roberto Minerva, Manager Business Applications & Services, Telecom Italia Lab
*Carolyn Nguyen, Director of Global Mobility Strategy, Avaya
*Inge Bernaerts, DG Competition Telecoms Unit, European Commission

Visiongain will be holding a pre-conference interactive workshop on 14th November on Marketing UMA-based Services. This specialised event focuses on assisting operator product marketing and management personnel with developing their go-to-market strategies for successful UMA-based FMC service deployments. Led by: Kineto Wireless

Further here


Shorecliffe Communications
Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE!:
The IMS Technology & Business Summit
October 5 & 6, 2005
Chicago, Illinois

The Shift is Occurring in Personal Communications ... Are You Prepared?
New technology is rapidly emerging that combines Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with both cellular and WiFi connectivity. The result may soon be the delivery of sophisticated voice services to users in simple packages that combine the best of both worlds – seamless mobility and the economics of Internet Protocol.

What are the Threats and Opportunities for The Network Operator?
With Convergence on the horizon -- Personalized Mobile Services with VoIP Cost Economics – business models will undergo significant disruption. What are the implications of Convergence on Mobile Carriers, Broadband Communications carriers, MVNOs, vendors and more.

This inaugural fixed mobile convergence event is designed to offer guidance and visibility, on technology and the business case not just for mobile network operators, other key players: Broadband communications carriers, VoIP service providers, MVNOs, vendors and end-users.

Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE! is produced by Shorecliff Communications and the editorial team at Telephony and Wireless Review magazines. Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE! promises to deliver timely, focused and critical information about this disruptive new trend in voice services. Attend to hear objective, vendor-neutral information on:
# Infrastructure
# Handset and Devices
# Hardware and Software
# Convergent services

Who Should Attend Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE! :

* Mobile Network Operators: Offset peak traffic load and overcome poor in-building coverage
* Broadband Network Operators: Leverage the mobile carrier’s network as MVNOs
* CableTV MSOs: Offer unified cellphone/homephone service
* VoIP Operators: Enable seamless roaming over WiFi and Cellular networks

Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE! is also a Must Attend for:

> Non-traditional service providers and MVNO candidates
> ISPs/Broadband Wireless Network Operators
> Competitive Wireline communications carriers
> Integrated carriers (mobile and fixed line)
> Telecom/Broadband Sector analysts and media

The Shift is Occurring in Mobile Communications - Personalized Mobile Services with VoIP Cost Economics for a New Generation of Converged Service Operators: Mobile, Fixed, Virtual. Are You Prepared for Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE!?

Fixed Mobile ConvergenceLIVE! is produced by Shorecliff Communications

Source here


Fixed-Mobile Convergence Reality Check
Fixed-mobile convergence – the integration of wireline and wireless technologies and services to create a single telecommunications network foundation – has quickly captured the collective imagination of the telecom industry, for some very obvious reasons. FMC promises to obliterate some of the physical barriers that now prevent telecom service providers from reaching all of their potential customers with all types of services. With FMC, wireline service providers may no longer be tethered to landline networks, while wireless network operators will be able to use the most robust network resources available to meet growing demand from mobile subscribers.

Fixed-Mobile Convergence Reality Check explores the perceptions (and misperceptions) that service providers and technology vendors have of FMC at this early stage to determine the most likely course that FMC development will take. The report is based on extensive interviews with key service providers and equipment vendors, as well as an online survey of more than 100 service provider professionals worldwide. Together, the interviews and survey results offer a thorough and accurate portrayal of how FMC is perceived in the telecom industry today, and what the most likely steps in its evolution will be.

The main purpose of the vendor interviews was not to acquire detailed technical information on vendor FMC products (which in any case do not fit into neat and discrete categories), but to ascertain vendors' overall views on FMC in terms of the catalysts, barriers, benefits, anticipated timelines, and likely rollouts of products. This approach reflects the overall objective of this report, which is to provide a high-level progress report on the current status of fixed-mobile convergence, and to evaluate its prospects over the balance of this decade.

Key findings from the report include the following:

The 2006-2007 timeframe will be critical to FMC technology and service development. Vendors interviewed for this report and service providers responding to our online survey consistently targeted 2006-07 as the period in which FMC will make the transition from theory to reality. This means that the time to prepare for FMC is already at hand.

In the core network, the boundaries between fixed and mobile technologies will be largely dissolved by 2010-2012. In backbone networks, FMC is driven mainly by the universal migration to an all-IP network, in which many of the core subsystems are identical across the boundary between fixed and mobile networks. The general acceptance of the principle of layered networks, and the adoption by ITU NGN standards-setters of key related mobile standards, especially IMS, is a key turning point. For incumbent telcos, this should enable the transition to a single core network able to handle the needs of both fixed and mobile subsidiaries, which are largely separately handled today.

Access networks are likely to continue to include a wide range of technologies even after FMC is established in the network core. In access networks, FMC is driven partly by competition among emerging (and established) vendors to enter or improve their position in the mobile and nomadic communications space, and partly by established and emerging service providers with the same objectives. Because this is a technically dynamic field in which there is no consensus at present, access networks are likely to remain hybrid and various, with a mix of single-bearer and multimode devices used to connect to them.

Service providers are taking a fairly optimistic view of FMC, and by and large they believe it is going to bring fundamental changes to the structure of telecommunications markets. Results from our online survey indicate a strong belief that FMC will eliminate the barriers that now exist between wireline and wireless networks over the next decade, although there's no consensus on the timing for this convergence.

FMC poses technological, organizational, and even marketing challenges that make it difficult to predict timing. As with other paradigm-changing initiatives, FMC will require more than technology to take root. While many service providers are positioning themselves to take advantage of FMC by playing in both the wireless and wireline markets now, others have declined to make that move, with some – most recently AT&T – actually having abandoned heterogeneous portfolios. In short, service providers have yet to prove that they can make the organizational and marketing transition to FMC.

For both service providers and equipment vendors, the central message here is that no one approach to the emerging converged environment will be successful. Instead, the keys to success will be twofold. First, equipment and service providers will need to focus sharply on the specific convergence needs of particular market segments, with a commitment to tactical adoption of technologies to meet those needs where necessary. Second, the industry will need to adopt highly flexible platforms that can be adapted to emerging requirements and can help to realize the long-term vision of access-aware devices and access-neutral networking.

Report Scope and Structure

Fixed-Mobile Convergence Reality Check clarifies the misconceptions and ambiguities now surrounding FMC in its critical formative stage of development. By using data and qualitative information gathered directly from technology vendors and service providers, the report delivers a complete and accurate accounting of FMC's expected development and its likely role in the transformation of today's segregated wireline and wireless networks into an integrated infrastructure.

The report offers an in-depth analysis of current technologies and standards that are likely to play a significant role in the development of fixed-mobile convergence over the next few years, as well as a close look at services that are laying the groundwork for more advanced FMC offerings.

Results from an exclusive, worldwide survey of telecom service providers conducted by Heavy Reading specifically for this report shed important light on service provider perceptions and long-term strategic plans regarding wireless/wireline network and service convergence.

Question: Which of the following scenarios do you believe is most likely to occur in the voice telephony business over the next five years? [109 responses]

25.7% Cellular substitution (Most voice calls will be made over cellular networks using a cellular or similar handset, and the wireline network will be used mainly for broadband, entertainment, and data services)

60.6% Fixed-mobile convergence (Most customers will own a multimode phone that will be used to make calls over the most appropriate available network – wireline or wireless)

13.8% Status quo (The current situation, in which customers use wireline phones on wireline networks and mobile phones on mobile networks, will continue to be the norm)


Source here



BT heads fixed mobile convergence drive
Wednesday 9 June 2004

BT is spearheading a global telecommunications initiative aimed at promoting combined fixed-line and mobile services to both consumers and businesses.

BT, which announced a new fixed-mobile service in the UK last month, is in advanced talks to establish a global alliance of wireline and wireless operators eager to...

Article Continues Below

... tap the market for convergent services.

"There are quite a number of operators - both fixed and mobile - that are interested in the alliance," said said Steve Andrews, chief of BT's mobility and convergence unit.

"Fixed-mobile convergence is clearly on the roadmap of operators that want to create additional revenue streams from new value-added services."

The vision is for people to use one phone with one number, address book and voicemail bank, taking advantage of cheap, high-speed connectivity in their fixed-line home or office setting, while enjoying mobility outside in the wide-area mobile phone network.

The vision also includes a "seamless" handover of calls between fixed-line and mobile networks.


Source here


WiMax Reality Check

The broadband wireless telecom sector has seen more than its fair share of build-and-destroy cycles. Surviving vendors are in the midst of resurrecting broadband wireless; this time, the foundation is WiMax, the marketing name for the emerging technology based on the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.16 standard.

WiMax Reality Check analyzes the current state of technology and market development for this latest incarnation of broadband wireless technology. The report is based on information from and direct interviews conducted in the third quarter of 2004 with more than 100 technology suppliers, service providers, and investors with a direct interest in the WiMax market. The report includes insight and analysis into the following critical areas:

Potential WiMax applications, including mobile services, backhaul, DSL extension, and fixed/mobile convergence
Potential users, including cellular operators, DSL providers, and enterprises
Drivers of and barriers to adoption of WiMax technology
The evolution of the 802.16 standard
Spectrum options for WiMax networks
Infrastructure and user equipment pricing
Deployment outlook by region
Vendor strategies and competitive positions


There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that WiMax will succeed where previous broadband wireless efforts have failed. Among the main reasons for optimism:

Bandwidth. 802.16 equipment certified by the WiMax Forum will be able to support shared throughput of up to 75 Mbit/s. That puts WiMax in a position to compete with existing technologies such as third-generation (3G) cellular, many copper-based access services, and 802.11 wireless LAN services (a.k.a. WiFi).

Performance. Unlike other broadband wireless technologies, such as first-generation MMDS, WiMax doesn't require a clear line of sight between the base station and the user's equipment. As a result, WiMax can tap a wider pool of customers than just those with a clear view to the transmitter.

Coverage. WiMax Forum-certified base stations will have a coverage radius of three to five miles, depending on factors such as terrain and population density. This coverage is closer to cellular than WiFi. The more geography a WiMax base station can cover, the lower the service provider's overhead costs.

Spectrum. WiMax can be used in licensed and unlicensed frequencies, initially between 2 GHz and 11 GHz, with the possibility of future support for frequencies up to 66 GHz. The first WiMax-certified products will be available for the 2.5GHz, 3.5GHz, and 5.8GHz bands. Spectrum flexibility is important because it widens the deployment options and, as a result, the technology's market potential.

Industry support. More than 100 equipment vendors and service providers are currently members of the WiMax Forum, the industry's primary trade association. Widespread support this early in WiMax development strongly suggests that the technology will be a mainstream rather than niche play.

Interoperability. The WiMax Forum's main raison d'ĂȘtre is to coordinate the testing and certification of WiMax products to ensure interoperability between equipment made by different vendors. Unlike many other broadband wireless technologies, WiMax equipment isn't proprietary, so service providers and end users can buy different pieces of equipment from different vendors. This approach stimulates competition, which helps drive down deployment prices.

Key Findings

Key findings of WiMax Reality Check include the following:

WiMax will debut as a way to deliver fixed services before expanding into portable and finally mobile services. Initial uses of WiMax will be focused on backhaul connection of network access points to wireline infrastructure. The most obvious use of WiMax in this context is for connecting 802.11 "hotspots" to wired networks, but WiMax will also be deployed for backhaul connections of DSL-type services offered by competitive local exchange carriers looking to bypass incumbent-owned wireline networks.

There is no industry consensus on exactly when WiMax will become a mainstream option for service providers. The first WiMax Forum-certified products should be commercially available by mid 2005, based on the current schedule for interoperability testing. Intel is one company that takes an aggressive line, saying products capable of supporting portable services will hit the market by late 2005. Intel expects PC card-type WiMax modems to debut in 2006, followed by Centrino-style chipsets by late 2006. Intel's outlook is noteworthy because most companies (even rivals) agree that it's a dominant influence – if not the dominant influence – in this market. Nevertheless, Intel can't carry the WiMax sector alone, so it's important to note that other vendors don't envision mobile products until 2007 or 2008.

Whenever it arrives, WiMax will be a critical network technology force for a long time. There are several reasons to believe that WiMax will develop into a major market over the next several years. First, its backers have learned from the mistakes of MMDS and 802.11, and they've taken important steps toward avoiding problems such as interoperability and business-case-annihilating overhead. Second, WiMax promises a better-performing, less-expensive alternative to many – but not all – technologies that already serve its target applications. Finally, although competition will be fierce on the equipment side, it will quickly drive down costs for users and service providers, in turn improving the chances that WiMax will be much more than a niche play.

For competing technologies, WiMax will be more friend than foe – at least initially. If only half of its backers' bullish claims about performance and equipment pricing hold up in the real world, WiMax will be a viable option for applications such as 802.11 "hotspot" backhaul and for extending broadband to areas that can't be served by wireline DSL infrastructure. But toward the end of this decade, as WiMax's footprint grows and its costs drop even further, it could begin to displace cellular and 802.11. In the short term, WiMax could affect DSL in certain areas. For example, CLECs may use WiMax as a way to bypass ILECs' leasing fees. And in areas where the copper infrastructure is still in the midst of being upgraded for DSL, WiMax could compete because both technologies will be in the early stages of their fixed-cost amortization curves.

Vendors and service providers view WiMax as a potential key enabler for fixed/mobile convergence. There are already many ways for a wired service provider to offer portable and/or mobile services. For example, besides the obvious option of buying a cellular operator, some wireline network providers now offer 802.11 service, either by building their own network of hotspots or by reselling a partner's service. WiMax will emerge as another option for creating new revenue streams, offering a bundle of services to attract and retain customers, and to grab market share from cellular rivals. As Alcatel puts it: "[Broadband providers] want a piece of mobility. They feel that if they do nothing, broadband will diminish. They see WiMax as an opportunity to first provide extended range on broadband access and, later on, to offer mobility."

The business case for WiMax as a vehicle for triple play – voice, video, and data – is unclear. WiMax can clearly handle voice and data, but video may be possible only at higher frequencies, where more traffic can be shoehorned into less spectrum. The catch is that signals don't travel as far at higher frequencies, so more radio infrastructure will be required, increasing the service provider's overhead.

WiMax is one of the most crowded emerging markets in telecom history, yet companies continue to pile on. The wheels won't fall off – but many vendors will. There simply isn't room for everyone, and initial casualties are likely as early as mid 2005, based on the size and timing of the initial WiMax market. Even if mobile WiMax equipment becomes available in late 2006 – a wildly optimistic date – the market will be relatively small, consisting primarily of fixed deployments such as backhaul and DSL extension. Considering that so many would-be WiMax vendors are currently unprofitable, it's difficult to see how they can hang on until the market takes off in earnest. Granted, they can always hope that investors will come through and tide them over, but many of those investors were burned by broadband wireless just a few years ago. WiMax is clearly a better bet than MMDS, but that doesn't mean VCs won't tar it with the same brush.

Equipment pricing is still in flux, but it's already clear that pricing pressure will be significant at the market's start and will only increase. Estimates for WiMax base stations vary significantly, from $10,000 for a bare-bones model to $150,000 for full-feature units, and some vendors say that the top-end estimates have already fallen by half. For customer premises equipment, the consensus is that the initial crop of devices will be in the $250 range and quickly fall to $50 in subsequent generations. Pricing pressure will winnow the field of WiMax vendors, particularly those already on shaky financial ground.

Report Scope and Structure

Heavy Reading contacted all of the companies publicly listed as members of the WiMax Forum as of August 1, 2004, as well as key wireless technology suppliers and service providers that were not forum members at that time but that are considered influential forces in WiMax's development. In all, information from 150 different companies was used to compile this report on the WiMax state of the art.

Source here

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