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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Next Generation Wireless Broadband : Asia Sets Standards!!

Mike Masnick writes,"While there's been plenty of confusion about the various next generation wireless broadband offerings, it's becoming clear that the lead seems to be coming from Asia". Excerpts with edits and my comments added:

While it's tough to get too worked up about two separate vaporware technologies that are years from commercial offerings, what is interesting about all of this is to see how the lead seems to be coming out of Asia. NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone, the carriers that are most reliant on the survival of the GSM technologies into a fourth generation, have formed the Super 3G group to develop upgrades for W-CDMA.The Japanese, Korean and Chinese players have recently tended to band together to set an Asian-led agenda for 4G, but now Samsung is on the other side of the fence, positioning itself to drive the next iteration of mobile communications through its involvement in WiMAX, and showing a cold face to DoCoMo’s latest manoeuvres. On one side, it's DoCoMo, who is realizing that it can't continue to ignore the standards (or pick and choose what it likes about them), but has to help drive the standards. On the other, is Samsung, which has put so much effort into WiBro and certainly wouldn't mind seeing a similar OFDM-based technology be the core of 4G. Either way, these Asian companies - both of whom come from countries that have more rapidly adopted wireless broadband than anywhere else in the world - are clearly the driving forces in pushing these issues forward. This may set off alarm bells for some of the companies in Europe and North America who are used to setting the standards themselves, and then pushing them out to testbeds in Asia. If anything, the early battle lines aren't so much about how the battle will actually play out, but some Asian firms making it clear that they want to set the terms of battle this time around.

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