Motorola and TI seizing in on WiMax and 3G

The prevalence of 3G wireless handsets combined with the global positioning of WiMax technology is making Motorola and Texas Instruments gleefully happy -- as both companies are trying to seize on those markets ahead of rivals.

Motorola has plenty of rivals in the 3G marketplace, although TI has a decent portion of the WiMax market with the clout it wields (alongside Nortel and Alcatel, among others).

Alvarion accused of violating U.S. security laws

Another scandal in the making -- possibly -- is WiMAX developer Alvarion's tussle with the U.S. Government over possible violations of U.S. securities laws.

Alvarions says that it will "vigorously defend" itself (of course) from the accusations after a class action complaint was filed in the Northern California U.S. District Court.

Allegations? That Alvarion failed to mention that sales to a certain the customer were not expected to continue producing substantial revenues for the company. Investors:0, Alvarion: 1.

Nortel about to settle investor lawsuits for $2.5 billion

Nortel Networks -- who had a spectacular fall from glory in a huge accounting scandal that was marred by other scandals like Enron and WorldCom -- looks about ready to settle multiple lawsuits from investors over its past troubles by offering a $2.5 billion settlement offer.

The company wants to quash seven lawsuits claiming Nortel misled investors in the United States, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, according to the law firm that represents the Nortel shareholders.

Terms of the deal are this: Nortel will pay $575 million in cash and will issue common shares representing 14.5% of its current equity, worth about $1.7 billion based on Nortel's current stock price. Nortel's insurers will pay $228.5 million.

Mexico's Telmex invests in WiMAX networks in Chile

Mexico's Telmex will be investing about $15 million to build a WiMAX network covering 90% of Chile's boroughs by the end of 2007, according to the company.

With this rollout, about 98% of the Chilean population would have WiMAX coverage. That's just amazing to me -- in less than a year, 98% of the population in a country like Chile could have WiMAX services offered to them.

Now that's a fast rollout.

Momentum for WiMax continues to grow

We've seen more attention paid to WiMax over the past few months, and with industry biggies like Intel, Motorola, and Clearwire clearly attempting to put their stamps on the marketplace, it looks like a clear alternative to WiFi is on the way.

In areas such as Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, WiMax is the focus of quite a bit of development and deployment. Clearwire has made WiMax available in parts of Oregon and Washington, as well as various other markets around the country. If all proves well, we will certainly see a wide-spread offering of service, and we also will see other vendors getting into the mix.

While the development of both fixed and mobile versions of the WiMax spec still need some tweaking, the fact of the matter is that 2007 should shape up to be a very good year for the technology.

Horizon planning WiMAX launch soon

Horizon Wi-Com announced is planning to launch WiMAX services in Northeastern U.S. markets soon, according to the wireless carrier.

Horizon will be using customer modems, base stations and network management systems from Texas-based Navini Networks and will using 10MHz of A-Block radio spectrum that it owns in several cities to rollout the service.

What is the purpose, you may ask? Well, Horizon says that "Our objective is to provide wireless last-mile access to residential, business and emergency restoration markets.

Now you know.

Sprint's WiMAX partner lineup complete

With Nokia, Motorola, Intel and Samsung being named as Sprint Nextel's partners for the upcoming WiMAX network that the wireless operator will be deploying, Sprint says that the list is final.

In other worlds, no further WiMAX partners will come on board for Sprint's next-generation 4G wireless network at this time, according to the carrier.

Bin Shen -- which we have interviewed before here at The Wireless Report -- says that Nokia will be given its own marketing in which to demonstrate its WiMAX expertise. Mr. Shen is VP for Broadband Strategy at Sprint.

Sprint Nextel gives details on initial WiMAX rollouts

When Sprint Nextel stated last year that it had chosen WiMAX as its next-gen wireless network (4G), many were excited by the proposition. Well, it's 2007 and the carrier has unveiled the first markets that will get the service -- Chicago and Washington, D.C..

If you're lucky enough to live in either of those cities, you'll be getting Sprint Nextel's WiMAX network first. It's expected that Sprint Nextel will be covering 100 million people by the end of 2008 -- but for us still stuck in 2007, the Windy City and the nation's capital will see some fast, mobile data speeds soon.

The timing? Well, Sprint hints that both networks will be operational by the end of 2007 -- roughly 11 months from now I'd guess (or sooner). As just announced last week, Nokia will provide the network equipment for the WiMAX networks and Motorola will be developing chip sets for devices. Other equipment vendors like Samsung and LG have also committed.

Sprint Nextel set to demo WiMAX devices

Sprint Nextel, which announced last summer that it would be using WiMAX technology to power its next-generation 4G wireless network, will be demonstrating WiMAX technology and applicaitons with its chosen equipment partners at next week's Consumer Electronics Show.

The CES show, which should provide techno-geeks and journalists with plenty of fodder for 2007, will launch next week with everything from flat-panel TVs to advanced wireless handsets and should have something for everyone I would think.

Sprint said that it will be demonstrating "true mobile WiMAX TV, blending multicast and unicast distribution on Sprint's upcoming 4G network." I can't wait to see that.

The new AT&T wants to push convergence

It seems like highly-mixed signals are already plaguing the recent AT&T-Bellsouth merger, as the new company wants to push convergence -- of landlines, broadband and television -- using an hugely-outdated infrastructure that the cable companies and wireless broadband companies are probably giggling at.

AT&T has said that the landline business is a dinosaur (in so many words), so why does the company want to converge anything on all those old copper wires? That's bunk if you ask me -- a new, next-gen "to the curb" network will be needed or the new company will falter farther. But, the saving grace is Cingular Wireless, which is probably the only reason the merger really happened. I'll check back in 2015 when all this convergence is done.

Nokia added to vendor list for Sprint's WiMAX rollout

With Sprint committing last summer to WiMAX as the standard for its next-generation 4G network, Motorola and Samsung (and Intel, of course) were primary vendors to Sprint in the announcement.

Chalk up Nokia on that list now, as the world's largest handset maker and Sprint Nextel have reached a equipment partnership agreement according to our sister site Engadget Mobile.

Personally, I can't wait for a nationwide WiMAX network that will serve me broadband everywhere I am (home or mobile) along with voice and everything else.

Happy New Year to our faithful Wireless Report readers

Well, 2006 is about to come to a close, and there has been a ton of wireless news and important events that affect all of us in a *wireless way* this year.

2007 should hold more of the same, with wireless transforming the way we do just about everything -- from connecting over the Internet to each other to talking (the old-fashioned way) to data usage to....well, just imagine the possibilities. You think we've seen quite a bit? I think wireless -- in many ways -- is just in its infancy.

Have a safe, happy and fruitful New Year folks -- we are so glad to have you as part of our readership. We'll begin podcasts again shortly after the start of 2007, as they've been on hiatus over the holidays.

Have a Happy New Year!

Mike Sciannamea
Brian White

TWR's Top 5

As we close out the year and gear up for the new one, here is our last Top 5 list for 2006. Enjoy and Happy New Year to our faithful Wireless Report readers!

  1. Do you still use a pager?
    Remember numeric and alphanumeric pagers? Those devices that one were as ubiquitous as wireless phones are now have become relics of an age where one-way communication was better than nothing.
  2. Negotiations to finalize SF WiFi contract going down to the wire
    It looks like it'll go right down to the wire in the race to wrap up negotiations between the city of San Francisco and Google and EarthLink to shore up the contract to begin developing and deploying a citywide wireless network.
  3. Will the Apple 'iPhone' change the wireless biz?
    Although the rumors around a possible Apple wireless handset have been in the mill for years now, the fervor has taken on a new fever pitch with so many "confirmed" rumors swirling about on what Apple CEO Steve Jobs may unveil at a January event for the Apple community.
  4. WiMax, Italian style
    The Italian government says it will be opening up spectrum to allow room for WiMax and will offer licenses for space in the band in 2007.
  5. Do you want kid-tracking wireless phones?
    Tracking features built into most newer wireless handsets -- mostly used for e-911 services using GPS -- are finding newer and better ways into many newer wireless handsets these days.

WiMax, Italian style

The Italian government says it will be opening up spectrum to allow room for WiMax and will offer licenses for space in the band in 2007.

WiMax hasn't gotten much traction in the European market as of yet, and this looks like a fairly significant step in the technology's quest to gain a foothold on the continent. According to the Italian government, the sale of licenses is not expected to bring in more than a few hundred million euros, but whoever gets those licenses will have a clear advantage moving forward.

It will be interesting to see if the big WiMax supporters like Intel will swoop in and attempt to corner the market early on in the process.

Alvarion makes WiFi/WiMAX integrated unit

Seems like the worlds of local WiFi and long-range WiMAX continue to get bridged so that customers can access the best of both worlds in terms of wireless Internet broadband connectivity.

Alvarion -- maker of WiMAX products -- has added WiFi functionality to its BreezeMAX product line to support both WiFi and WiMAX network access technologies -- in a single integrated product.

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