Nortel and Urban Wimax today launched a 'cross-market collaboration' to prove the technical deliverability of 4G mobile WiMAX in mature 3G markets such as Western Europe, ahead of the UK's spectrum auction in early 2008.
The collaboration, through which companies will be brought together to construct and trial a user-ready WiMAX service, will demonstrate that the technology and a proven delivery chain are in place to provide the UK with a robust '4G' service using WiMAX connectivity.
4G WiMAX has a greater range than WiFi, and is capable of providing higher bandwidth at less than half the cost of existing wireless services. For service providers this translates into the ability to meet increasing consumer demand for broadband on the go. WiMAX provides reliable, secure and high quality broadband for mobile internet users, supporting the increasingly bandwidth-heavy applications and User Generated Content (UGC) services that consumers want on the move as well as on the desktop. Wireless broadband also boosts the capability and efficiency of mobile workers increasing the competitive edge of businesses by enabling users to access enterprise services on their mobile devices.
Gerry Collins, director, wireless EMEA at Nortel, said: "Creating a true wireless broadband experience on the move is essential to making Hyperconnectivity a reality in the UK. This leap forward in mobile connectivity supports a new generation of rich multimedia applications and social media services; and supports business users on the move with fast download and upload speeds for mobile working. Nortel's investment in WiMAX and our role in this collaboration reinforces our commitment to driving the deployment of advanced broadband services across the country."
Sasha Williamson, CEO of Urban Wimax, said: "The potential for 4G using WiMAX connectivity is enormous. If the UK is to remain competitive in the digital economy it must improve broadband connectivity, both in terms of penetration and bandwidth. 4G WiMAX is the most economical way of achieving this and, with the 2.5/2.69GHz spectrum becoming available next year, the collaboration will be in prime position to deliver a premier wireless broadband service to business and consumer users in the UK. We are pleased to see support from major players in the industry, and look forward to enhancing and trialing the supply chain ahead of the auction in 2008."
Increasing broadband bandwidth and penetration is critical to ensuring the UK's competitiveness in global markets. With broadband penetration accelerating in the tiger economies of China and India, Nortel and Urban Wimax believe that 2.5/2.69GHz WiMAX spectrum auction by Ofcom provides the UK with a vital opportunity to stay abreast of the competition with 4G roll-out. The initial focus of the collaboration is to pre-assemble and test an end-to-end WIMAX supply chain with trial customers; and explore the business case for a national wholesale and retail mobile WIMAX network.
The collaboration co-founded by Nortel and Urban Wimax, which builds on Nortel's existing global WiMAX ecosystem, has already been joined by Macropolitan, reflecting the importance placed by all three companies on delivering all the 4G capabilities required to enable a rapid network build-out in the UK. Macropolitan provides rapid access to urban sites for operators that reduces time to market for these WiMAX services.
Ryan Jarvis, CEO of Macropolitan, said: "Macropolitan is pleased to join the collaboration with Nortel and Urban Wimax, adding our support and portfolio of over 9,300 urban telecoms sites to the group in its efforts to prove WiMAX deliverability ahead of the auction. Over the next six months we expect to see a growing interest in WiMAX and so we are backing this major customer-driven initiative. We believe other potential bidders will join this collaboration as they see the benefits of an ecosystem that can actually deliver on the promise of secure and reliable portable broadband to business and consumer users."