SBC WiMAX Presentation
Arun Ghosh, Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Wireless Networks, SBC Labs;"what I will try to do is speak from the perspective of an operator that has both wireline and wireless experience. In the last 10 years, mobile users have gone from 10 million users worldwide to oer 2 billion today. Broadband during this same period has gone from basically zero to 150 million users worldwide. While this is enormous growth, why hasn't broadband grown as fast as wireless? And what does this say about the adoption of wireless broadband?
Complexity, spectrum, regulatory issues, applications... these are all issues for the adoption of broadband. Wireless broadband has these and more.
Business challenges -- the bar is constantly being raised by wireline technologies (ADSL, VDSL, DOCSIS); there is a lack of global spectrum (which means the market is fragmented and you lose economies of scale); devices are still under development; and there is competition from 3G.
Technical challenges -- there are high spectral efficiency requirements for broadband, there is spectrum scarcity, QoS over wireless networks, and mobility (which is a big differentiator).
How does WiMAX address these challenges?
Most importantly, it is a global standard which allows for economies of scale. The price of the CPE, for example, is a very critical factor. With other broadband wireless technologies the CPE can cost thousands of dollars. We are already seeing WiMAX CPE's at around $200.
The business opportunities of WiMAX will be different in different countries. In developing countries there is a high rate of adoption of wireless technologies since this is a significant time to market and financial advantage over physical infrastructure. In countries where we already have a very good wireline network it is much more difficult. However, there are opportunities for broadband wireless -- not by competing with wireline broadband but by complementing such services. Mobility will be the key differentiator.