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Mobile alternatives a threat to broadband

Alternative broadband wireless technologies are being forced to compete in the mobility market and could disrupt the evolution of 3G networks if potential showstoppers are addressed, according to a new report published by Analysys Research.

The report shows that emerging broadband wireless technologies could blur the boundaries between cellular and fixed broadband wireless solutions.

The rapid growth in DSL and cable availability in developed markets means that the emerging wireless technologies must offer mobility to avoid being marginalised as niche fixed broadband wireless solutions.

“Offering fixed broadband internet access using wireless technologies is a tough business case, with wafer-thin margins,” according to Dr Mark Heath, co-author of the new report.

“The breakthrough opportunity will only come by learning from the success of cellular, extracting significant price premiums for mobility and offering a more profitable service mix.”

Broadband wireless systems from which all support wide-area mobility, are already deployed in a variety of commercial and trial networks around the world.

Using an assortment of proprietary and standards-based technologies, such as OFDM and W-CDMA TDD, they claim advantages over 3G, including faster throughput, lower cost and lower latency.

They are to be joined by WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) and MobileFi (IEEE 802.20), both of which are aiming to combine the benefits of mobility, standardisation and multivendor support, albeit with commercial launches unlikely prior to 2007.

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