Thursday, August 16, 2007

Growing use of millimeter waves for communications, imaging, and automotive radars are providing increasing opportunities for component and test-equip

Millimeter-wave frequencies offer a “new frontier” for communications. Realizing the overcrowding taking place at RF and microwave frequencies, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other regulatory agencies have looked to higher frequencies as a way to add bandwidth and services. All that is missing is low-cost millimeter-wave components to assemble affordable communications infrastructure and user devices to take advantage of the “wide-open” bandwidth.

Millimeter-wave frequencies are so named for the wavelengths of the signals, ranging from about 10 to 1 mm and covering frequencies from about 30 to 300 GHz. They have traditionally seen use in military radar and missile seeker and guidance systems. But in 2003, the United States FCC, seeking to open millimeter-wave frequencies to commercial communications use, adopted a Report and Order establishing service rules or non-Federal development of certain portions of the millimeter-wave spectrum, notably 71 to 76 GHz, 81 to 86 GHz, 91 to 94 GHz, and 94.1 to 95.0 GHz. Frequency bands were made available in 1.25-GHz blocks on a non-exclusive basis. Coordination of the spectrum use would be performed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

As a followup, the Wireless Communications Association International (WCA) filed a Petition for the FCC to reconsider certain aspects of the Report and Order but only for the 70- and 80-GHz bands. Among these considerations, all new 70- and 80-GHz users would have to verify in advance that their systems would not cause harmful interference to any existing link and meet a series of requirements related to antenna and power specifications.

Given the tremendous crowding of bandwidth taking place at lower frequencies (consider the number of communications and heating applications in the 2.4-GHz band alone), the bandwidth represented by millimeter-wave links is attractive for secure data links, video links, backhaul connections between cellular communications stations, and more. One of the companies taking note of the available bandwidth was GigaBeam (, driven by the shared vision of Lou Slaughter (CEO and chairman) and long-time microwave-industry visionary Doug Lockie (CTO and president). The company’s WiFiber® Wireless Fiber product lines employ millimeter-wave transceivers capable of providing high-speed (to 10 Gb/s) and reliable communications links at distances to 1 mile for secure campus-to-campus and building-to-building wireless connections.

Endwave ( produces compact E-band transceivers at frequencies from 71 through 86 GHz with receiver noise figures to3 dB and transmit output power to 2 W. The company’s designs are available with options for waveguide and coaxial connections as well as with hermetic packaging.

The GigaLink Series of millimeter-wave transceivers from Proxim Wireless ( operate at unlicensed frequencies from 57 to 64 GHz and in the licensed band from 71 to 76 GHz. Designed as a high-speed alternative to fiber-optic links, the E-band transceivers feature an integrated parabolic antenna with 44-dBi gain, Gigabit Ethernet data rate of 1.25 Gb/s, and extended range in excess of 8 km. Similarly, the WiFiber™ Wireless Fiber solution from GigaBeam Corp. ( is a millimeter-wave alternative to fiber using the FCC-approved 71- to 76-GHz, 81- to 86-GHz, and 92- to 95-GHz bands.

Of course, establishing short-range millimeter-wave links that can be competitive with fiber optics and other technologies requires cost-effective components, a long-time stumbling block for widespread use of millimeter-wave technology. Bringing the technology to “the masses” requires a combination of intelligent design and skillful machining processes. Millitech (, for example, carries those capabilities in two different divisions to provide both standard and custom components from 18 to 300 GHz. The firm produces a variety of building-block components, which can be used for subsystems or complete systems, including antennas, oscillators, amplifiers, control components and various passive waveguide components. Balanced mixers can be specified from 18 to 100 GHz while subharmonic mixers are available from 50 to 200 GHz. Cassegrain reflector antennas range from 18 to 220 GHz, while standard feed horns are available from 18 to 220 GHz. Gunn oscillators can be ordered with electrical or mechanical tuning from 26.5 to 100 GHz, while LNAs provide high gain from 18 to 110 GHz.

Spacek Labs ( provides most of the building-block components needed to assemble a millimeter-wave system, including the new model AW-8X, an eight-times multiplier for generating W-band signals. The multiplier accepts input signals from 9.35 to 13.75 GHz at levels from +5 to +10 dBm and provides output signals from 75 to 110 GHz at typically +3 dBm output power. Spurious levels are typically controlled to –20 dBc.

Merrimac Industries ( has applied its innovative Multi-Mix® multilayer circuit technology to the fabrication of high-performance filters and other components for millimeter-wave applications. For example, the firm's model FBMM-42.0G Multi-Mix bandpass filter offers a 3-GHz passband centered at 42 GHz with typical passband insertion loss of 3.5 dB. The typical input/output return loss is 15 dB, while minimum rejection is 60 dB at 38.5 GHz and 30 dB at 46 GHz. In spite of measuring just 0.620 3 0.296 3 0.020 in. and weighing just 0.2 g, the filter handles power levels to typically 1 W.

Channel Microwave ( developed the model WR28 three-way power divider for use from 34 to 36 GHz. Designed to handle 10 W average power and 500-W peak power in military systems, it exhibits better than 60 dB reverse isolation. To minimize lost energy due to heating effects, insertion loss is help to typically 1 dB.

Farran Technology Ltd. ( offers the PLO Series of phase-locked Gunn oscillators for generating signals from 60 to 325 GHz. The sources operate with an external 100-MHz reference for stability and provide as much as 50 mW output power from 60 to 90 GHz and 2 mW output power from 250 to 325 GHz.

Insight Product Co. ( offers a broad line of millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave components, including amplifiers with as much as 30 W output power at frequencies through 140 GHz, monolithic balanced mixers for applications through 178 GHz, and solid-state and tube-based signal sources through 370 GHz. The firm’s recently developed line of Terahertz frequency synthesizers includes frequency coverage from 120 to 180 GHz with more than 30 mW output power and options for frequency modulation (FM) and amplitude modulation (AM).

The Millimeter Wave Division of ELVA-1 Ltd. ( provides components and subsystems through 180 GHz frequency range, as well as semiconductor devices at frequencies to 1200 GHz. The company’s line of zero-biased detectors includes models from 26.5 to 170 GHz with typical video sensitivity of 3500 mV/mW at 26.5 GHz and 500 mV/mW at 170 GHz.

Dorado International ( supplies a wide range of millimeter-wave components from international sources, including attenuators, directional couplers, phase shifters, switches, and waveguide sections. The waveguide components are constructed of copper with gold plating on electrically active surfaces. For example, the company’s W-band directional couplers provide full-band coverage from 75 to 110 GHz with coupling of 3, 6, 10, or 20 dB and directivity from 15 to 40 dB.

In the active-device area, Mimix Broadband ( recently introduced the model XU1004-BD GaAs MMIC transmitter for applications from 32 to 45 GHz. Based on PHEMT device technology, the transmitter delivers an output third-order intercept point of +14 dBm with 5 dB conversion gain when operating with +4 dBm local oscillator (LO) drive power. According to Product Manager Paul Beasly, “The high level of integration in the XU1004-BD allows our customers to reduce the number of components on their board, facilitating a smaller design area and fewer interconnects.” The transmitter is ideal for point-to-point radios and satellite communications.

For even higher-frequency applications, Virginia Diodes, Inc. ( produces lines of detectors, mixers, and frequency multipliers for applications from 18 GHz through 2 THz. Based on in-house-fabricated GaAs Schottky diodes and advanced filter structures, the firm makes devices, components, and systems for commercial and military customers. Because of their products’ high operating frequencies, the company developed a revised extension of the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) waveguide designations, for example, using the WR-1.2 designation for frequencies from 600 to 900 GHz, and other designations for products that don’t exactly match the EIA frequency bands.

Once millimeter-wave components have been manufactured, they must also be tested. The 65th Automative RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) conference, held June 17, 2005 in Long Beach, CA, addressed measurements for millimeter-wave applications, including the use of vector network analyzers (VNAs) and active-device measurements. In support of major VNA suppliers, OML, Inc. ( offers modules for extending the frequency range of a customer's VNA to cover 50 to 325 GHz in waveguide bands. Modules are available with a multiplier source, dual directional coupler, reference downconverter, and test downconverter to generate and receive test signals. Additional modules are designed with a downconverter to receive signals only. Combining modules allows all four S-parameters to be measured at millimeter-wave frequencies.

The company has also posted a useful application note on its website, “Using a Millimeter Wave Harmonic Mixer to Extend the Frequency Coverage of a Spectrum Analyzer.” The literature details the use of harmonic mixing to translate millimeter-wave frequencies to the range of commercial RF and microwave spectrum analyzers for testing. OML has also manufactured several frequency block downconverters through 40 GHz for test equipment original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Damaskos, Inc. ( offers a variety of testing services, for antennas, RCS targets, dielectric materials, absorbers, and printed-circuit boards (PCBs) through millimeter-wave frequencies.

Of course, all millimeter-wave applications are not in communications systems, as automotive manufacturers have embraced the technology for adaptive-cruise-control (ACC) applications. A number of different frequencies are currently in use, including narrowband (200-MHz bandwidth) and ultrawideband (UWB with 3-GHz bandwidth) versions at 24 GHz in Europe and the United States, narrowband use at 47 GHz in the US, and UWB use from 77 to 81 GHz in Europe. Because of potential interference with radio astronomy, 24 GHz is a temporary allocation (until 2013) for automotive radar use. Roke Manor Research ( has been an innovator in low-cost MMIC-based 77-GHz radar modules as part of the European RadarNet project ( to develop a low-cost radar network for automotive applications. Additional partners in the project include Volvo, DaimlerChrysler, Jaguar, BMW, and Siemens VDO Automotive Technology. As part of developing a practical 77-GHz MMIC radar module, Roke Manor employed commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) MMICs and low-cost PTFE substrate materials.

For evaluating the performance of automotive radar systems, Anritsu Co. ( developed the ME7220A Radar Test System (RTS) for characterizing radar modules from 76 to 77 GHz. Ideal for checking ACC and collision-warning/avoidance radar components, the test system provides a simulated radar target response at set target ranges and an adjustable radar cross section (RCS). Doppler shifts can be introduced to simulate the speed of a moving target. The system can measure the effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of a transmitter as well as its bandwidth, spurious content, and other spectral characteristics.

In pursuit of a less traditional application for millimeter-wave technology, the Harmonix Division of Terabeam Corp. ( and Walleye™ Technologies ( formed an alliance to develop a hand-held portable imaging device capable of looking through solid objects. The design uses millimeter-wave energy to see into and through objects and capture digital images. The “camera” being developed by Walleye employs a millimeter-wave transmitter and receiver from Terabeam. Potential uses include Homeland Security, inspection of construction integrity, and medical applications.

For a complete listing of millimeter-wave component and test suppliers, please consult the online version of the Microwaves & RF Product Data Directory at

The Next Wireless Wave is a Millimeter Wave

The Next Wireless Wave is a Millimeter Wave

The past few years has witnessed the emergence of CMOS-based circuits operating at millimeter-wave frequencies. Integrated on a low cost organic packaging, this is the promise for high volume fabrication, lowering the cost and opening huge commercial impact opportunities. As standardization efforts catalyze the interest and investment of the industry, one can count on the spreading of millimeter-wave technology in the consumer electronic market place in the near future.

In the past few years, the interest in the millimeter-wave spectrum at 30 to 300 GHz has drastically increased. The emergence of low cost high performance CMOS technology and low loss, low cost organic packaging material has opened a new perspective for system designers and service providers because it enables the development of millimeter-wave radio at the same cost structure of radios operating in the gigahertz range or less.

In combination with available ultra-wide bandwidths, this makes the millimeter-wave spectrum more attractive than ever before for supporting a new class of systems and applications ranging from ultra-high speed data transmission, video distribution, portable radar, sensing, detection and imaging of all kinds.

While at a lower frequency the signal can propagate easily for dozens of kilometers, penetrate through construction materials or benefit from advantageous reflection and refraction properties, one must consider carefully the characteristics (in particular strong attenuation and weak diffraction) of the millimeter-wave propagation, and exploit them advantageously. The free-space loss (FSL) (after converting to units of frequency and putting them in decibel form) between two isotropic antennas can be expressed as1

Fig. 1 Average atmospheric gaseous attenuation of millimeter-wave propagation at sea level.

FSL = 92.4 + 20 log F + 20 log D


F = frequency in gigahertz and
D = line-of-sight distance in kilometers

As an example, at 60 GHz the free-space loss is much more severe than at the frequencies usually used for cell phone and wireless applications. The link budget at 60 GHz is 21 dB less than the one at 5 GHz under equal conditions.2 In addition, other loss and fading factors increasingly affect the millimeter-wave transmission, such as gaseous (see Figure 1), rain, foliage, scattering and diffraction losses.

Fig. 2 Average storage capacity trends.

Beside the huge and unexploited bandwidth availability and the perspective of multi-gigabit to terabit networks, the potential of the millimeter-wave spectrum has many others attributes: enabling densely packed communication link networks, from very short range to medium range; leveraging frequency reuse to its paroxysm while increasing the security level of each link; integrating high efficiency radiating elements at the millimeter scale, leading to compact, adaptive and portable integrated systems; exploiting quasi-unlimited and unique electromagnetic signatures for detection, diagnostic or imaging.

Recently, the availability of standard CMOS technology enabling the design of MMIC circuits operating efficiently up to 100 GHz has revived the interest and investment in the 7 GHz of bandwidth unlicensed band in the 60 GHz spectrum. The specificity of the 60 GHz spectrum is the attenuation characteristics due to atmospheric oxygen absorption in the order of 10 to 15 dB/km over a bandwidth of about 8 GHz.

This attenuation precludes long-range communications, but provides an extra spatial isolation that is beneficial for frequency re-use in an indoor dense local network, reduces co-channel interference and provides extra safety for secure short-range point-to-point links. In addition to supporting multi-gigabit networks, this makes the 60 GHz spectrum a great opportunity for indoor ultra-high speed short-range wireless communications, targeting multimedia applications and others.

Fig. 3 Uncompressed video data rates.

Similarly, extremely fast growing opportunities for low cost commercial millimeter-wave systems are exploited at even higher frequencies, such as 77 GHz for automotive radar, 71 to 76 and 81 to 86 GHz for outdoor 10 Gbps networks, and 94 GHz for medical and security imaging. This just preludes terabits systems operating beyond 120 GHz and above.

The Multimedia Trend

The emergence of a multitude of “bandwidth hungry” multimedia applications has definitely had a leading role in the renewal of interest in the millimeter-wave spectrum. The conventional WLAN systems (802.11a, b and g) are limited to a data rate of, at best, 54 Mb/s. Alternative solutions such as UWB and MIMO systems will start becoming available to extend the speed up to 600 Mb/s, targeting 1 Gb/s and above in the near future. It is noteworthy that wireless networks tend to lag at least one generation behind wired LAN interconnect technology.3-4

Fig. 4 Uncompressed video data rates.

Two primary types of applications are driving the requirement for even higher data rates: ultra-fast file sharing and uncompressed high definition video streaming. Figure 2 illustrates the projected average storage capacity of PCs (desktop and laptop), reaching nearly 300 Gbytes in 2010, as well as the average storage capacity of embedded hard-drives and flash products. In the case of portable devices, especially in the case of smart cell phones, one can note a clear migration from micro-hard-drive toward high speed flash memory technology, exhibiting capacity up to 100 Gbytes and access speed exceeding the Gb/s in the horizon of 2010. It is obvious that today high speed wireless systems will lead to prohibitive synchronization time.

Fig. 5 4G seamless connectivity including millimeter-wave systems.

Figure 3 illustrates the data throughput requirement for uncompressed video streaming. It appears again that the data throughput requirement is well in excess of 1 or 2 Gbps, following a progression from 5 to 10 Gb/s and above.

This demand has since pushed the development of technologies and systems operating at millimeter-wave frequencies, while maintaining a cost structure similar to the one of conventional WLAN systems. These throughput requirements of multimedia systems are dictated by interconnect and interface technologies such as PCI-express, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), Display Port (DP) or Unified Display Interface (UDI), as shown in Figure 4.

Two major standardization bodies, IEEE 802.15.3c and Ecma International TC32-TG20,5-6 are specifically considering these requirements, in the particular case of the 60 GHz spectrum, for applications ranging from very low cost peer-to-peer interface up to high performance Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN), including high definition uncompressed video streaming. Back-compatibility should also be considered to provide seamless connectivity across the technologies that will support the coming 4G communications infrastructure (see Figure 5).

Fig. 6 Module, CMOS MMIC, signal processing and high efficiency PHY-MAC technologies convergence toward low cost high performance millimeter-wave systems.

CMOS-FR4: A Low Cost Millimeter-wave Radio Platform

Since the mid-90s, many examples of MMIC chipsets have been reported for millimeter-wave radio applications using GaAs FET and InP PHEMT technologies.7 More recently, SiGe BiCMOS technology has also been demonstrated to be a viable alternative.8 Despite their commercial availability and their performance, however, these technologies struggle to enter the market because of their prohibitive cost and their limited capability to integrate advanced baseband processing.

The steadily increasing frequency range of CMOS process technologies has now made the design of low cost, highly integrated 24 and 60 GHz millimeter-wave radio possible in silicon.9-10 Proof of concept has been validated using CMOS 130 nm technology; however, CMOS 90 nm is the first technology node that enables high performance and power efficient implementation of 60 GHz transceivers suitable for high volume products.

Fig. 7 Millimeter-wave optimized transistor test structure, passive and active (S-parameters) modeling.

In addition, the optimum combination and co-design of CMOS technology with low cost FR4-based packaging technology is a requisite to ensure the minimal cost structure possible, the key for the successful deployment of ultra-high speed, high capacity, 60 GHz WPAN and video streaming applications.

Finally, innovative PHY, MAC, ADC and signal processing approaches are required to provide simultaneously ultra-high bandwidth, very high PHY-MAC efficiency at an affordable price and an acceptable power budget. As depicted in Figure 6, the convergence of module, CMOS MMIC, signal processing and high efficiency PHY-MAC technologies are the necessary key enablers of the coming generation of low cost, high performance millimeter-wave systems.

Fig. 8 V-band CMOS 90 nm chipset for multi-gigabit short-range multimedia applications.

Millimeter-wave CMOS Technology

The CMOS technology has advanced to a point that a complete chipset for millimeter-wave applications can be implemented using silicon. In a standard 90 nm CMOS technology it is now possible to achieve an Ft and Fmax beyond 150 GHz. Proper transistor geometry and layout, as well as complete and accurate modeling and optimized parasitic extraction methods up to the millimeter-wave frequency of interest are the entry point for such designs (see Figure 7).

The use of millimeter-wave low loss micro-strip line and micro-inductors for matching purposes are very characteristic of this new generation of millimeter-wave designs leading to more compact area and higher performance than its co-planar waveguide (CPW) counterpart. Power gain is in excess of 8 dB at 60 GHz and at a current density of 0.2 mA/mm enables reliable and low power circuit design. In addition, noise figures of 5.5 dB are achievable for similar biasing conditions, which make the optimization of low noise amplifiers easier. P1dB compression points of 4 to 7 dBm are reachable with fairly straightforward power amplifier designs. Fundamental frequency cross-coupled VCOs exhibiting phase noise better than –95 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset guaranties proper transmission and demodulation of multi-gigabit/s modulated signals. Figure 8 shows an example of a V-band CMOS 90 nm chipset developed for multi-gigabit short-range multimedia applications.

Fig. 9 A large panel area FR4-LCP multi-layer substrate, compact IWG filters and a wideband millimeter-wave feed-through transition.

Comparable figures of merit are also achievable at higher frequencies with the introduction of high volume production 65 and 45 nm CMOS technology, enabling now the design of low power E-band transceiver and targeting a high level of integration for systems such as 77 GHz automotive radar, 71 to 76 and 81 to 86 GHz 10 Gbps outdoor links, and 94 GHz imaging.

The research efforts at the Georgia Electronic Design Center have been focused on the development of a millimeter-wave CMOS fully integrated single chip radio suitable for multi-Gb/s applications. A super-heterodyne architecture using high IF frequency has been chosen and optimized to support wideband modulated signals. In addition, low power mixed-signal circuit techniques and innovative high speed analog-to-digital conversion are used to enable the integration of very low power PHY operating at multi-gigabit and multi-giga samples/s.

FR4-LCP-Based Module and Antenna Technology

Liquid Crystal Polymer has emerged as a promising low cost alternative for millimeter-wave module implementation. It combines uniquely outstanding microwave performances at low cost and large area FR4 PWB processing capability. It appears as a platform of choice for the packaging of the future 60 GHz gigabit radio. 24 x 18 inch FR4-LCP multi-layer substrates are fabricated using high volume standard PWB production lines. An example of a large panel area FR4-LCP multi-layer substrate is shown in Figure 9.

Fig. 10 LCP planar antenna array example for broad beam short-range and narrow beam medium range applications.

Compact filter designs using planar and integrated waveguide (IWG) techniques have been validated and measured, exhibiting less than 2 dB minimum insertion for a relative bandwidth of 8 percent at 61.5 GHz, and a rejection greater than 20 dB at 6 GHz offset.6-11 A wideband millimeter-wave feed-through transition exhibiting less than 0.2 dB insertion loss has also been implemented.

One of the obvious attractiveness of the millimeter-wave is the small wavelength, allowing the integration of multiple radiating elements in an array configuration while occupying a minimum space (see Figure 10). Numerous antenna array solutions have been developed to address various application scenarios ranging from VSR (very short reach) omni-directional to point-to-point link.12-13

Such generic packaging platforms provide a path of choice toward the low cost integration of scalable SISO-MIMO radio systems (SM radio) using compact multi-sector phased-array architecture that overcomes simultaneously the fundamental limitations of millimeter-wave signal propagation and CMOS technology. The multi-sector architecture can either be integrated on a single large panel or in a compact 3D integrated millimeter-wave module, including an embedded filter and antenna phased array, as shown in Figure 11. Extended azimuth and elevation coverage, provided by conformal multi-sector configuration, and extended range (including non-LOS scenario) provided by high gain adaptive phased-array technology, are the breakthrough attributes of future commercial millimeter-wave systems.

Fig. 11 Compact 3D integrated millimeter-wave modules, including embedded filter and antenna phased arrays, to be integrated into a multi-sector phased-array architecture.

15 Gbps and HD-Video Millimeter-wave Test-bed

The GEDC has established an experimental millimeter-wave wireless test-bed, using 60 GHz as a demonstrator vehicle to study the channel characteristic of a real indoor environment. Researchers recently established a new world record for the highest data rate transmitted wirelessly at 60 GHz, achieving a peak data transfer rate of 15 gigabit/s at a distance of 1 meter, 10 Gigabit/s at a distance of 2 meters and 5 gigabit/s at a distance of 5 meters. In addition, high definition video streaming running at 1.485 Gb/s has been demonstrated through a one-inch thick wood table. Special efforts have been dedicated to the complete transceiver module implementation operating at a power budget well below the one hundred pico-joules range. Figure 12 shows the demodulated transmission of the multi-gigabit signal and the experimental set-up of the video transmission through a one-inch thick wood table.


Fig. 12 The demodulated transmission of a multi-gigabit signal and experimental set-up of the video transmission through a one- inch thick wood table.

The development of millimeter-wave radios at the same cost structure of radios operating in the microwave region opens a new field of innovation for system designers. The convergence of a FR4-based module, CMOS MMIC, signal processing and high efficiency PHY-MAC technologies becomes today’s reality, enabling the coming generation of low cost high performance millimeter-wave systems. The feasibility of ultra high speed wireless transmission beyond 10 Gbps has been demonstrated on a low power, low cost platform. A power budget well below the one hundred pico-joules/bit range has been achieved, already looking at the next level of innovation targeting 100 Gbps transmission and the femto-joule/bit power budget.

The spreading of millimeter-wave technology in the consumer electronic market place is on its way, leveraging bandwidth availability at various frequencies, ranges and levels of system complexity. Peer-to-peer ultra fast synchronization and adaptive WPAN, for data and video distribution, will drive the cost down and further eases the adoption of low cost CMOS-based millimeter-wave platforms for automotive radar, outdoor point-to-point/point-to-multi-point links, portable radar, security, sensing and imaging systems, including numerous medical applications.

Businesses will prefer Wi-Fi/WiMAX to cellular, says Forrester

A combination of Wi-Fi and WiMAX will ultimately provide ubiquitous mobility for enterprises, particularly as the cost benefits for WiMAX are realized and coverage is rolled out, says Forrester Research.

For enterprises WiMAX will eventually emerge as the replacement for cellular data services based on 2.5G and 3G technologies because of its potential for lower-cost deployment, higher bandwidth and a lower end user price tag, Forrester says. However, the technology is not expected to gain traction in the enterprise for at least two years.

Forrester, which surveyed 1,033 telecom decision makers at North American and European enterprises in 1Q07, found that despite the huge delay in WiMAX adoption 39 percent of those surveyed expressed some level of interest in WiMAX adoption.

"Expect WiMAX to see wider deployment than cellular data, which is currently relegated to large urban areas," Forrester says. "Cellular data networks, which are currently relegated to filling in the gaps between WLAN access locations, will ultimately be outmoded by WiMAX, which will offer wider swaths of connectivity and will be more cost-effective, despite its minuscule 6 percent adoption by enterprises."

In North America and Europe, the public sector is the unrivaled leader for in-house WLAN adoption, with 68 percent of firms already using it, Forrester says. WLAN adoption is particularly strong in the North American enterprise market, where it boasts a 59 percent adoption rate. European enterprises lag behind, with a 46 percent adoption rate, though the data suggests a continued trend toward more widespread adoption.

Far from going away, WLANs will increase in complexity, becoming more widely deployed in enterprises, Forrester says. "The resiliency of these networks will also increase as mobile operations professionals begin to plan for voice and real-time location-based services, using these services as justification for infrastructure expenditures in the near-term," the research firm states.

IT vendors that take an early lead in offering devices with 802.11 and Wi-Fi radios or those that offer WiMAX-enabled devices when they become available will emerge as favorites of the well-connected enterprise, Forrester says.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Femtocells critical for mobile triple-play, In-Stat says

MUNICH, Germany — Market researcher In-Stat regards the deployment of femtocells as critical for the mobile triple-play market. According to the analysts, subscriber figures will explode over years to come.

While the wireless market in the industrialized world is approaching saturation and carriers do not have the possibility to offer differentiating features, triple-play mobile services would be a possibility to regain the initiative. However, this type of service presently faces signal coverage and capacity issues, In-Stat finds in a study.

Nevertheless, if mobile operators succeed in solving this problem, they can expect rising subscriber numbers and, thus, higher profits. An adequate technology is presently at the starting blocks. "Femtocells are a practical, near-term cure for these problems, with not practical limitation", explained In-Stat analyst Allen Nogee. And what is even better: "Femtocell is unlikely to be superseded by another technology in the foreseeable future."

According to the market research, the installed femtocell base is expected to grow to 40.6 million from virtually zero within the next four years. The number of users will reach more than 100 million within five years, the analysts believe.

The pricing scheme for femtocell devices as well as for services will be a major challenge for the short term and likely require operator subsidization, In-Stat writes.

RFMD To Acquire Sirenza Microdevices For $900 Million

Greensboro, NC and Broomfield, CO -- RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD) and Sirenza Microdevices announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement.

Under the terms of the merger agreement unanimously approved by the respective boards of directors of the two companies, each outstanding share of Sirenza's common stock will be exchanged for a combination of 1.7848 shares of RFMD common stock and $5.56 in cash. Outstanding options to purchase Sirenza stock will be assumed by RFMD and converted into options to purchase RFMD stock. Based on RFMD's closing stock price on Friday, August 10, 2007, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the transaction, the consideration is valued at $16.64 per share, which represents a 17% premium over Sirenza's closing stock price on such date, and an offer value of approximately $900 million comprised of $300 million in cash with the balance in stock. The transaction is intended to allow all or a portion of the consideration receivable in RFMD stock to be tax-free to Sirenza stockholders. Upon completion of the transaction, current RFMD and Sirenza stockholders will own approximately 67 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

The transaction is expected to be completed in RFMD's third fiscal quarter, ending December 29, 2007, and is subject to approval by the stockholders of both companies as well as regulatory approval. RFMD expects the transaction to be accretive to non-GAAP EPS within six months of closing, with modest synergies assumed.

The management teams of RFMD and Sirenza will be combined to address the expanded opportunities created by the merger. Bob Van Buskirk, president and CEO of Sirenza, will relocate to North Carolina and will lead RFMD's new Multi-Market Products Group. Bob Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD, will continue as president and CEO of the combined company. The post-closing board of directors of the combined company is expected to consist of nine members from RFMD and two members from Sirenza.

"This strategic acquisition brings together two companies with leadership positions and considerable expertise in RF systems and solutions," said Bob Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD. "It creates the world's largest, most diversified and best positioned RF company, with a broad set of customers and a diversified product portfolio of high performance components and systems- level solutions. The transaction will allow RFMD to capitalize on the RF integration and systems-level design expertise we continue to pioneer in the cellular world and apply those capabilities across Sirenza's broad footprint in multiple high-growth RF markets, including broadband/CATV, wireless infrastructure, WiMAX and aerospace and defense. Similarly, the transaction will allow Sirenza to expand its revenue stream beyond component-level solutions and drive supply chain and procurement efficiencies, as a result of RFMD's leadership in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing. Our two businesses are highly complementary in terms of customers, markets, products and manufacturing expertise, and our combination will create an RF market leader with breadth, scale and capabilities that are unrivalled."

"We are very pleased to be announcing this transaction, which we believe clearly serves not only best interests of the shareholders of Sirenza, but also the interests of the shareholders of RFMD as well as the customers and employees of both companies," said Bob Van Buskirk, president and CEO of Sirenza. "We have great potential to accelerate revenue growth and expand margins by leveraging the technology base, supply chain and leadership position RFMD has achieved. There is a tremendous opportunity to apply the highly integrated, systems-level design expertise demanded by RFMD's cellular handset customers to the markets that Sirenza currently serves. RFMD and Sirenza serve customers representing a combined total addressable market of greater than $20 billion, and our very complementary companies can deliver more highly integrated solutions that will enhance the quality, efficiency and performance of our customers' end-products."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nokia Siemens Networks positioned to deliver best-in-class solutions for 700 MHz spectrum band in the United States

Atlanta, Georgia, USA, August 08, 2007

Nokia Siemens Networks today announced its support for the 700 MHz spectrum band that will be auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in early 2008.

The FCC set the much anticipated auction rules on July 31. The rules adopted for this auction create unique opportunities in mobile broadband. New build-out requirements for the spectrum demand that winning bidders make thoughtful and informed decisions regarding their network technologies and solution providers.

Nokia Siemens Networks is positioned to support the 700 MHz band with its flagship Flexi platform for radio access networks. The Flexi is a base station platform highly acclaimed for its innovative modular design that enables Nokia Siemens Networks to quickly support various wireless technologies at new radio frequencies. The Flexi currently supports GSM, EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA, and WiMAX and in the future will support Long-term Evolution (LTE). In addition, the Flexi’s design and light weight provides significant savings in operating and capital expenditures for site acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance.

“Interest in the 700 MHz spectrum, the last major U.S. spectrum auction for some time, is high across the industry,” said Sue Spradley, Region Head for Nokia Siemens Networks in North America. “To meet the FCC’s requirements and deliver cost effective wireless service, potential bidders are already evaluating their business plans and identifying partners with global scope and scale to enable fast time to market. Nokia Siemens Networks is the only company that can deliver an end-to-end network solution incorporating the Flexi, a platform that is unmatched in the industry.”

In addition to traditional WCDMA/HSPA, Nokia Siemens Networks is a pioneer and leader in Internet-HSPA, a pre-LTE flat network architecture based on the 3GPP Release 7 flat network architecture option that is compatible with HSPA devices and provides an optimized transition to LTE. Internet-HSPA is an option for broadband wireless high speed data delivery with a flat all-IP architecture.

Network planning and professional services will also be critical to a winning bidder’s ability to effectively deploy wireless networks using the 700 MHz band. Nokia Siemens Networks provides a full range of services from hosting to managed services, and systems integration and consulting – all optimized for this specific spectrum band.

Tyco Extends DTx Performance to Multiple Modes

Tyco Electronics has announced successful demonstration of its innovative multi-mode DTx technology, which provides a single transmitter solution for GPRS, EDGE, CDMA2000 and UMTS. The DTx technology is a radio architecture that enables true multi-band, multi-mode operation from 2.5G to 4G with a single closed loop digital polar design. Having demonstrated power efficiency in all the 2.5G and 3G standards, the DTx technology provides an ability to extend the benefits of a polar architecture to WiMax, LTE, EVDO and High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) networks.

Based on novel circuit and signal processing techniques, DTx technology includes a full transmitter subsystem with robust calibration and corrections algorithms."The DTx technology platform that is now in demonstration brings significant innovation to support true multi-mode capability, creating a preferred path to a common radio architecture for the multiplicity of voice and data modes and bands," said Finbarr McGrath, director, DTx Technology, Tyco Electronics. "The DTx technology extends the benefits of closed loop Polar Modulation from GPRS/EDGE through W-CDMA, HSPA, EVDO and beyond to LTE and WiMax. This will allow for cost effective production of multimode radios as well as providing additional space and reduced power consumption for the features that will be required in smarter mobile devices for today and the future."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

NSN #1, Ericsson #2, Huawei #3

Redwood City, CA, July 17, 2007: The global base station market grew by19.1% in units in 2006, down from strong growth of over 50% in 2005, according to the latest report from EJL Wireless Research titled “Global Base Station Market Analysis and Forecast, 2006-2011, 3rd Edition.” “The base station market grew slightly faster than we had predicted a year ago with GSM technology continuing to drive the market,” says founder and President, Earl Lum. The report provides a unique perspective on the global shipments and demand for mobile base station equipment covering all major OEMs including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, LG Nortel Co. Ltd., and ZTE.
“The newly formed Nokia Siemens Networks, coupled with NEC 3G, was the number one ranked OEM globally in terms of total base station shipments with long time leader Ericsson just slightly behind at number two. The surprising top three OEM was Huawei.” says Lum.
“The GSM market continues to have remarkable resiliency and strength with continued strong demand in 2007 and beyond as emerging markets in China, India and Brazil continue to upgrade and deploy GSM/EDGE technology. In the CDMA market, Chinese OEM ZTE remained the top supplier with Huawei second.” says Lum.

EJL Wireless have a teardown of an Ericsson basestation

Table of Content

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pipex Wireless details UK's first WiMAX service

Pipex Wireless has confirmed its first deployment of WiMAX in the UK with Intel. As we reported last month, Milton Keynes will become the first major location with blanket WiMax coverage.

The deployment will begin in December with trial base stations sited around the town, where DSL broadband is limited or unavailable. Up to 500 residents or businesses will evaluate the WiMAX service, receiving connection speeds of between 2Mbps and 10Mbps. After six months, the rollout will be extended to provide wider coverage across Milton Keynes.

'WiMAX is an exciting opportunity for Pipex and we're delighted that we are now able to trial the technology in a customer environment,' said Mike Read, CEO of Pipex. 'This will be the first such trial in the UK and positions Pipex Wireless as the lead WiMAX provider in the market.'

Based around the proposed IEEE 802.16 wireless standard, WiMax holds out the promise of ultra-fast broadband. Compared with the Wi-Fi standard it can provide increased bandwidth and range. As such it is being seen as a way of delivering a new generation of data and video services to mobile devices such as notebooks and PDAs in high density urban environments.

In its official announcement, Pipex has fleshed out technical details of the rollout. Specifically, base station equipment and subscriber terminals will be provided by Airspan Networks and Ericsson will create and operate the radio network and required roof-top infrastructure.

Intel partnered with Pipex in April 2006, to push WiMax (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access) technology in the UK. Intel's venture capital investment organisation, Intel Capital, and Pipex Communications jointly formed Pipex Wireless as a wireless operator providing broadband services in major metropolitan areas.

While Intel Capital is investing $25 million in the new company, Pipex has transferred its 3.6GHz UK spectrum licence to Pipex Wireless to enable it to deploy services based on WiMax.

WiMAX to lead $13bn capex boost in 2007-2012, but with LTE in pursuit

Capex investment on pre-4G wireless systems will reach a cumulative total of $13bn by 2012 if new spectrum allocations, and technology roll-outs, stay on schedule. The main systems attracting this global spend will be 802.16e and its successor 802.16m, and LTE, but while the latter will see a strong uptick in growth from the turn of the decade, it will not overtake WiMAX in capex terms until 2014.

If either or both technologies experience severe delays to their development and certification processes, and especially if new spectrum fails to materialize as quickly as promised in both mature and emerging economies, the level of spending could be reduced by as much as $3bn cumulatively between 2007 and 2012, while a similar scale of upside is possible if global regulators act quickly and reform their processes earlier than currently seems likely, and if other systems such as Ultra Mobile Broadband and China FuTURE Network also come quickly to market.

These are key findings from Rethink Research's latest in-depth survey of wireless service providers worldwide, entitled 'The Road to 4G: operator deployment plans and vendor prospects 2007-2012'. This report is based on feedback from a survey of almost 400 providers worldwide, all of which are planning to trial or deploy one or more '3.9G' technologies with the implementation to start before the beginning of 2013. The respondents range from tier one converged telcos, wireline telcos and cellcos through major regional carriers and international ISPs, to broadcasters, broadband wireless start-ups, media players and major WISPs.

In a broader survey of the operator base, it was found that almost two-thirds of providers intend to commit to some form of 3.9G trial or deployment within the period, with the remaining third having no plans, or believing they can wait until after 2012. Within the base of 386 providers that do plan to invest in 3.9G in the study period, about 45% will kick off their trials before 2011 (or have even done so already).

Before the end of the decade, WiMAX takes the lion's share of this capex spend (including RAN and core infrastructure and associated softwarea and services) because of its earlier availability, even in pre-certified form, and it retains its capex lead throughout the period, even though this narrows with the acceleration of the LTE community's development plan, and the strong uptake of LTE by UMTS operators. In terms of numbers of deployments, LTE overtakes 802.16e in 2011, mainly driven by telco and cellco investments, although in many sectors - start-ups, WISPs, cablecos - WiMAX remains dominant throughout the period.

Although there has been market questioning of whether UMB - Qualcomm's OFDM/CDMA successor to EV-DO Revs A and B - will see the commercial light of day, this study found considerable interest in the technology among the CDMA community, and a belief that it would support competitive edge in terms of efficiency and multimedia performance. We believe it is highly likely that Verizon will commit to the technology (no doubt under very favorable terms and with the chance to shape its future directions) and this would send a strong signal to the rest of the market. So, while UMB plays mainly among CDMA cellcos and converged telcos, and some media players, we believe it will form part of the 3.9G picture, though with a lesser share of the total capex than EV-DO has in 3G.

China is aiming to create its own pre-4G platform in order to reduce its dependence on western IPR and vendors, and even export it to be part of international standards. The focus of this effort is the so-called FuTURE Network, which should become a reality early in 2008. Its future looks highly unstable, and although Chinese technologies will almost certainly become part of the wireless mainstream at the 4G stage, the report's findings are that the Chinese operators will trial other systems as well as FuTURE, and only adopt it if it genuinely outperforms LTE and WiMAX (government permitting). It also finds that there will be very limited interest outside China, except in a few smaller central and south east Asian nations, and a few trials elsewhere, conducted for political as much as technical reasons.

Metro area Wi-Fi will be part of the 3.9G picture too, although its license exempt spectrum means its share of the capex will be small and it will mainly be used as an early foothold in new wireless markets, and then as an adjunct to LTE or WiMAX, rather than standalone. Its impact, then, (except as a client-end and in-home technology) wanes after 2010 as the other networks start to mature, but it will remain a disruptive influence in the hands of some WISPs and in some regions where there has been little allocation of new spectrum as yet.

In 2008-2010, the leading investors will be converged or wireline telcos, and the key regional drivers will be European and Asian roll-out of WiMAX and the start of LTE trials in western Europe. After 2010, the cellcos account for the largest single percentage of investment, and there is high regional growth from Europe as LTE starts to kick in, north America as the major carriers battle for a foothold in pre-4G, and south Asia, especially Indian WiMAX.

The vendors are already jostling for position in 3.9G. On the infrastructure side, it will be hard for newcomers to make much impact against the wireless giants, although Cisco remains a possible disruptive factor. Ericsson is committed to making LTE dominant, Motorola and Samsung are the leading lights behind WiMAX, while others like Nortel are aiming for a unified R&D platform that can be applied easily to all the options. While the vendor map may not change significantly, the same will not be true of other parts of the ecosystem. The move to all-IP will bring in new device makers, largely from the CE sector; new service models and applications from internet giants like Google; and will create a major stand-off between the large chipmakers as Intel pushes the PC/internet view of the world, against the cellular heritage of Qualcomm and TI.

The report, 'The Road to 4G: operator deployment plans and vendor prospects 2007-2012', is published this week by Rethink Research Associates. For a summary or more details, please contact Linda Elisha on or +44 (0)777 618 6180; or Caroline Gabriel on

New job cuts likely for Nokia Siemens

MUNICH, Germany — Despite good figures for the entire Nokia group, the company's infrastructure joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks will have to swallow some bitter pills over the next months. The parent company's latest cost cutting programs make new job cuts probable, especially in the German locations that joint venture Partner Siemens brought into the company.

During the presentation of the quarterly figures, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasuvo announced a new cost cutting program for Nokia Siemens Networks which provides for an additional synergy effect of €500 million (about $680 million) annually. In addition, Kallasuvo now plans to reach the goal of reducing costs by €1.5 billion already by end of 2008. Hitherto, the plan had earmarked the 2010 to reach that goal. As the reason for the move, the company quoted the cut-throat price competition in the market for telecommunications equipment. "This development requires determined action", he said.

Indeed, the price war in the telecommunications industry apparently has increased. Nokia Siemens competitor Alcatel Lucent this week had to announce a hefty loss.

4G race is on for 700 MHz market

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Chip designers for cellular and WiMax networks are sharpening their pencils on plans for 700 MHz support after getting new guidance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the spectrum last week. A race is on to determine who will have what chips with what performance dynamics ready when new spectrum owners start planting towers as early as February 2009.

Qualcomm is working to characterize its current and future CDMA technologies for 700 MHz with initial chips shipping next year. WiMax players are doing the same. And the proponents of the Long Term Evolution version of cellular are still finishing their specification.

"One of the things I lose sleep over is whether the technology road maps will slip, and I will have to deploy an interim solution before one of these 4G technologies is ready," said Stagg Newman, chief technology officer for Frontline Wireless, a startup that hopes to buy some of the new spectrum rights.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Tetra books

TETRA: The Advocate's Handbook

Pages : 290, Chapters : 30, Words : 100,000+, Illustrations : 60+, 80+ Tables, ISBN : 0-9544651-0-5DGbook2.jpg

The book contains 30 Chapters with more than 100,000 words supplemented with 60+ illustrations and 80+ tables of information to provide a detailed overview of TETRA using eight logical chapter groupings:

  • Back to Basics
  • Network Design
  • The User
  • Technology Comparisons
  • Marketing
  • Challenges
  • Summary

Where relevant at the end of each chapter, a list of TETRA Advocacy points are provided with additional space for personal notes or comments, if required by the reader, to form an aide memoir.

A last time buy discount of 40% is offered for books ordered by e-mail, fax or post as long as book stocks remain. The new discount price is:
GBP: 17.95 / EUR: 27.00 / USD: 31.80

To take advantage of this offer, place your order via e-mail to
Or by fax to +44 (0)1503 273003.
Alternatively orders can be placed by post to:
TETRA Advocate
The Barn
Ashen Cross Farm
PL13 2JX

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Femtocells mobilize to fight Wi-Fi in the home

Courtesy of EE Times

LONDON — The past few weeks have seen frenetic activity in the still largely untested business of femtocells--also known as home basestations or 3G access points.

A group of about 25 companies--including chip suppliers, mobile network operators and the developers of these mini basestations--have joined together to form the Femto Forum. Only seven have publicly acknowledged their participation in the Femto Forum, but several operators have revealed they have put out requests for proposals to equipment vendors, however, and hardly a day goes by without some of the key players announcing they are partnering to bring femtocells to market.

Earlier this month, one of the first international congresses focusing on the technology was held in London and attracted more than 250 attendees.

Still, it is clear there are technical, regulatory and commercial hurdles to be cleared before the widespread deployment of femtocells, which can provide enhanced voice and data coverage in the home for up to six users on their existing 3G handsets.

Femtocells represent the first real threat to the increasing dominance of Wi-Fi routers in the home and offer the prospect of an all-IP approach to increasing coverage, while backhauling cellular traffic over a broadband connection. As such, they could pave the way for cellular operators to offset any loss of revenue from voice over Wi-Fi, where calls are handed off to a Wi-Fi network and then carried back to the mobile network over a cable broadband or DSL connection.

It would seem that cellular network operators should be beating a path to the femtocell vendors. But apparently they are not yet convinced of the cost efficiencies femtocells offer and are confused by the many options for integration into the core network--with the three key versions being Iub over IP, UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access), or based on IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Session Internet Protocol (SIP) standards. Nor are they in agreement as to whether the business case is predicated on expectations for much higher data usage or better voice coverage.

Industry analysts and vendors, not surprisingly, are convinced femtocells will make their mark by the middle of 2008, then soar to large volumes quickly.

Vincent Poulbere, principal analyst at Ovum, projects a slow buildup in 2008 in Western Europe and about 7 million units shipped in 2009, rising to 17 million in 2011.

Meanwhile, Stuart Carlaw, research director at ABI Research, said: "It's a high-risk, high-reward environment for now, but we see 102 million users by 2011 on 36 million femtocells. But that depends on operators' converting the trials they tell us they are conducting to major deployments.

"If things do not go as smoothly as anticipated . . . things could turn out badly, particularly for the many innovative, startup companies that are currently driving the technology," he said.

Carlaw added that the introduction of open standards will be key to success, and thus welcomed the Femto Forum's target of focusing on that in the first instance. "The industry needs to focus on economies of scale and not get fragmented," he said.

From a semiconductor perspective, he said, the risks are high right now. "We are seeing a lot of price pressures even before there is any meaningful volume out there. But despite this, companies such as picoChip, ST Microelectronics, ADI and Xilinx are pretty active in the market. Most are focusing on total solutions, while others such as picoChip are partnering for the radio side. Still others, such as Texas Instruments, Broadcom and Freescale Semiconductor, are looking on and waiting for volumes, and will either acquire the expertise or dive in and commoditize the market," Carlaw said.

The analyst's "conservative" estimate is that the semiconductor opportunity for femtocells will be $50 million by 2008, rising to a "robust" $935 million by 2012.

Peter Claydon, COO and one of the co-founders of picoChip, which claims to be the only company shipping baseband chips specifically for femtocells, said, "A typical chip for a femtocell costs about $10 million to design, including software." With the projected numbers for first-generation femtocell baseband chips, the company would need a $2 margin per unit to recover costs, he estimated.

Claydon noted that picoChip is already designing a second-generation femtocell chip.

ABI's Carlaw, however, suggested a more realistic design cost for a femtocell chip is in the region of $25 million to $30 million. "That is a big investment for the startups that are active now for a market that has yet to prove itself," he said.

TI thinks any significant volume for both its DSPs and analog parts in femtocells will not materialize until 2009, "and that is if all goes well with significant outstanding issues such as standardization and field trials," said Josef Alt, business development manager for communications infrastructure products at TI Europe.

"Cost is bound to be a big issue, and some of the figures I am hearing for femtocells, say $70, are just not realistic, not even when we get to big volumes in, say, 2012," Alt said. More realistic numbers, he said, are between $150 and $200.

Alt added that TI is working with customers on femtocell designs, "but we are looking very carefully at the business case, as are our big OEM customers, who we think will have the advantage in the long run--the likes of Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel Lucent."

That sounds like an ominous warning to the early pioneers developing and supplying femtocells to network operators. Those pioneers include companies such as Ubiquisys Ltd., ip.access, 2Wire, Airvana Inc. (recently acquired 3-Way Networks), RadioFrame Networks Inc. and Tatara Systems, which already have the likes of NEC, Samsung, Motorola ZTE Corp. and Huawei to contend with, in addition to the ones mentioned by Alt, as well as likely contenders from the consumer space such as Netgear Inc.

Ubiquisys, for one, is not sitting on its laurels. The Swindon, England-based group has been one of those setting the agenda, but Will Franks, CTO, admits "it is not a foregone conclusion this market will succeed."

"Wi-Fi dual mode continues to evolve and grow and we--that is, the femto- cell ecosystem--probably have a two-year window to make our mark, ensure we come up with standard interfaces, and, above all, avoid fragmentation," said Franks.

For now, the ball is very much in the court of the carriers, and they are at last beginning to make positive noises about the technology. Most observers believe the first to commit to a commercial network will be Japanese group Softbank, which has been conducting proof-of-concept tests and trials with equipment from Motorola, ip.access, Ubiquisys and others.

"It is the perfect storm for them. They have the spectrum, the 3G coverage and the traditional Japanese strategy of early adopters," said ABI's Carlaw

3G Femtocell Agreement Between Nokia and Thomson

PARIS " Seeking to enhance the user's experience of 3G services at home, Thomson and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) announced they have concluded a collaboration agreement on the development of a 3G femto cell home access solution.

Home base station solutions, also called femto cells, have recently attracted much attention. The concept is to provide the mobile user with a small box similar to wireless routers, which guarantees mobile cellular coverage at home.

The femto market could reach ten to twelve million units by 2010, according to market research firms ABI Research and Ovum.

The terms of the agreement call for the combination of both parties' technologies. They indeed explained Thomson's femto cell-enabled residential gateway would be coupled with NSN's 3G Femto Home Access network solution so as to "allow operators to seamlessly deliver compelling 3G multimedia services such as music downloads and video available in the home on any WCDMA 3G handset, with unrivalled quality of service, network security and manageability."

The two partners agreed that trials of the 3G Home Access solution, including Thomson's residential gateway, would begin early 2008. Commercial deployments are expected during the third quarter of 2008.

WiMAX - General Information About The Standard 802.16

This application note is one of three papers dealing with the WiMAX standard, covering the theoretical aspects of WiMAX. It gives a detailed overview of the basic concepts of WiMAX (FFT, OFDM, frame structures, etc.) and explains the physical standard parts of IEEE 802.16 standards 802.16/2004, corr1, and 802.16e. Article

An Introduction To WiMAX Measurements

The new WiMAX radio technology -- worldwide interoperability for microwave access -- is based on wireless transmission methods defined by the IEEE 802.16 standard. WiMAX has been developed to replace broadband cable networks such as DSL and to enable mobile broadband wireless access. Rohde & Schwarz offers a complete test solution for WiMAX applications by combining its Signal Generator R&S SMU200A and Signal Analyzer R&S FSQ plus the appropriate options. Article

Understanding The Performance Of RF Amplifiers Used In Base Station Applications

n order to properly configure a base station transceiver, designers must understand the performance parameters of the RF amplifiers being used. This not only includes the standard parameters such as gain, noise figure, P1dB, and IP3, but also includes more subtle parameters, including spectral re-growth and power efficiency. The performance of various types of amplifiers will be analyzed in this article to illustrate the advantages and tradeoffs of each type. Also, performance will be analyzed under various bias conditions to understand the tradeoffs between ACPR/ACLR (adjacent channel power) and power efficiency. The article will compare various types of RF amplifiers including GaAs MESFET, InGaP HBT, and GaAs HFET amplifiers. Article

Alcatel-Lucent posts net loss of €336 million in Q2

PARIS – Impacted by merger costs and writedowns, Telecommunications equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent reported a net loss of €336 million for the second quarter of 2007, compared to a profit of €302 million for the same period last year.

For the second quarter of 2007, Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent announced revenues of €4.33 billion, up 0.5 percent year-over year at constant Euro/USD exchange rate, or a 4-percent decrease at current rate.

Commenting on the quarterly sales, Alcatel-Lucent's CEO Patricia Russo declared: "This quarter, our revenues sequentially grew by a solid 13 percent at a constant Euro/USD exchange rate, with the strongest performance in the wireline and services businesses. From a regional perspective, we saw strong growth in Asia Pacific."