Sunday, October 7, 2007


South Korea's electronics and telecommunication industry spearheaded by Samsung Electronics and ETRI has developed its own standard, WiBro. In late 2004, Intel and LG Electronics agreed on a merger of mobile WiBro(S-OFDMA modulation) and fixed WiMAX(OFDM modulation) to produce a new standard dubbed Mobile WiMax(802.16e-2005) combining features from both to avoid a future standard war. From this point on WiBro became a specific subset implementation of 802.16e-2005 standard over 8.75 MHz channels in 2.3 GHz band, whereas Mobile WiMax represents a full implementation of 802.16e-2005 standard that supports flexible channel size and service band. The side effect of this merger is that Mobile WiMax gear is backward compatible with WiBro gear but not with fixed WiMax gear, reflecting its WiBro originated heritage.
WiBro has South Korean government support with the requirement for each carrier to spend over US$1 billion for deployments. Korea sought to develop WiBro as a regional and potentially international alternative to 3.5G or 4G cellular systems. But given the lack of momentum as a standard, WiBro has joined WiMAX and agreed to harmonize with the similar OFDMA 802.16e version of the standard.
What makes WiBro roll-outs a good "test case" for the overall WiMAX effort is that it is a mobile, well thought out system for delivery of wireless broadband services, and the fact that the deployment is taking place in a highly sophisticated, broadband-saturated market. WiBro will go up against 3G and very high bandwidth wire-line services rather than as gap-filler or rural under-served market deployments often thought of as "best fit" markets for WiMAX.
As such, WiBRO is now best described as a particular profile within WiMAX with 8.75 MHz channel in the 2.3 GHz band.

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