TECHNOLOGY TRACKER: Chipmakers back both horses in WiMAX/LTE race
Next year will see the introduction of a new class of microchip able to support both of the emerging 4G mobile wireless standards, according to New York consultancy ABI Research. Demand for chips with dual-mode LTE/WiMAX capability is coming from device manufacturers seeking to reduce stockholdings and achieve economies of scale.
“Some mobile operators are showing interest in dual-mode chipsets,” says ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis. “Vodafone, for example, has a foot in both camps. They will use LTE in industrialised regions, and WiMAX in developing nations. In Japan, KDDI may deploy LTE for its own purposes. But as an investor, along with Intel and others, in WiMAX operator UQ Communications it an interest in both standards.”
ABI expects most of the early usage of both LTE and WiMAX to be for data transmission and sees the dual-mode chips being built initially into USB modems, laptops, netbooks and mobile Internet devices.
LTE and 802.16m WiMAX promise data throughputs of 100Mbit/sec to handheld devices and an extraordinary 1Gbit/sec in fixed environments.
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