Motorola Powers Up WiMax at CTIA

The company touts a new common platform that supports both WiMax and LTE. 

Motorola wasted no time at the CTIA Wireless 2008 show in Las Vegas, using the forum March 31 to announce its latest WiMax and femtocell releases: the first a common wireless platform that supports both WiMax and LTE, as well as the company's first 3G femtocell.

Physically smaller than Motorola's first-generation WiMax release, the new common wireless platform allows for software configuration to support either the WiMax or LTE (Long Term Evolution) standards.

"We can reuse about 75 percent of the basic application software and platform technology we developed for WiMax in our LTE products, thereby advancing our development efforts," Fred Wright, senior vice president of home and networks mobility for Motorola, said in a statement.

According to Motorola officials, the new platform will be commercially deployed for WiMax later this year, followed by LTE applications in late 2009. The WiMax solution comprises tower-top and ground-based access point configurations using MIMO B (multiple input, multiple output B), or smart antenna technology, and can be operated in the 2.3, 2.5 and 3.5 GHz frequency bands.

To read more about Motorola's WiMax announcements, click here.

The LTE portfolio supports based-mounted radios, remote radio heads and tower-top radios to support multiple LTE deployment scenarios across newly available spectrum as well as existing GSM and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) spectrum.

"Motorola is just hedging its bets by supporting both standards," Alok Sharma, CEO of WiMax provider Telsima, told eWEEK. "It just makes sense."

Sharma, whose company is providing the infrastructure for a WiMax network in India that connects more than 100 cities, said any standards difference between WiMax and LTE ultimately is a minor issue.

"The most fundamental question has already been resolved with Intel committing to WiMax chips," he said.

Motorola's new femtocell line utilizes standard communication protocols such as SIP (session initiation protocol) to allow CDMA wireless carriers to accelerate the use of IP-based core networks to take advance of cost and service advantages that IP delivers.

Femtocells allow consumers to boost their existing broadband service to provide both higher quality and higher performance wireless voice and real-time data services inside the home.