Nortel Flips the Channel to 4G

Nortel has come out with what it's calling the first end-to-end mobile MIMO-powered WiMax setup to deliver 4G mobile broadband content. In other words: big, clear, wireless Internet everything on an IP television.

BOSTON—In a booth outfitted to look like a comfy living room, replete with couch and streamed network TV showing on a widescreen IPTV, Nortel on Oct. 10 unveiled what its calling the first end-to-end mobile MIMO-powered WiMax setup to deliver 4G mobile broadband content.

That includes Internet everywhere, mobile video, VOIP, streaming media, data applications and mobile electronic commerce.

In Nortels demonstration, an IP television service with a live, high-speed WiMax connection was used to view and download broadcast TV via a 4MB stream with an integrated electronic program guide.

Users will simultaneously be able to share instant messages and pictures captured on screen or from other devices.

Nortel also demonstrated click-to-call capability over VOIP using IMS. With IMS, users will be able to access personal files, including address book, calendar or buddy lists, and Web content using any IP-based device, with a single sign-on.

The setup was enabled by a combination of WiMax and MIMO (multiple input, multiple output).


MIMO is a mathematical model for multi-antenna communication systems. The technology has recently created a buzz in wireless communications, given that it can provide a big boost in throughput and range without requiring more bandwidth or overall transmit power expense.

MIMO can be used in conjunction with OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), the basis of a digital modulation scheme that is part of the IEEE 802.16 standard and which will also be part of the IEEE 802.11n High-Throughput standard, which is expected to be finalized in mid-2007.

The efficiency of the MIMO/WiMax offering means that operators will be able to deliver video-grade content at up to one-tenth of the cost per bit of what 3G can provide, said Bruce Gustafson, director of WiMax marketing at Nortel, in an interview with eWEEK at the WiMax World 2006 show here.

"We can deliver three to five times as much traffic as a 3G cellular network," he said. "We can deliver traffic an order of magnitude faster. We believe thats the kind of disruptive changes [that will] push the [wireless broadband] market into the forefront."

Nortels mobile WiMax technology is built on the foundation of OFDM-MIMO, a combo that maximizes spectrum to achieve greater speed and high bandwidth.

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"MIMO [paired with OFDM and WiMax] is a phenomenal technology," Gustafson said.

"It doesnt take a lot of exotic [equipment] up on towers. Its pretty simple to implement. … [Whats making MIMO implementation possible is] now Moores law has caught up. Devices are so sophisticated, its easy to do number crunching for this to exist."

Also at the show, Nortel announced that Golden Telecom, a Russian telecommunications operator, is launching a field trial in Moscow that uses Nortels mobile WiMax technology.

Golden Telecom plans to outfit Moscow with city-wide access to high-speed mobile services including VOIP, Internet browsing, e-mail and multimedia applications.

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