The WiMAX 2.1 will interoperate with TD-LTE

The WiMAX Forum has agreed to integrate elements of the TD-LTE standard into the platform; effectively joining forces with the technology that once its major rival, according to a report on Rethink Wireless. The move is seen as a tacit admission that the telecoms world has moved on from the WiMAX standard.

Speaking at the 4G World conference WiMAX Forum president Declan Byre revealed that the Forum had agreed to integrate certain elements of TD-LTE into the upcoming WiMAX 2.1 specifications with an aim to ratify these by early 2013. Ultimately, WiMAX Advanced will be an all-IP framework that will support both the WiMAX 802.16 and the 3GPP TD-LTE standards.

Due to the similarities in the time-division based technology, TD-LTE is popular with operators that have already invested in WiMAX, such as P1 in Malaysia, Clearwire in the US and Yota in China, while a TD-LTE network owned by PCCW subsidiary UK Broadband is up and running in parts of London.

The ability for standards-based dual-mode equipment to support both WiMAX and TD-LTE will smooth the transition between the technologies for those already invested in WiMAX, and enable them to take advantage of the growing TD-LTE eco-system.

“To further its philosophy of openness, the WiMAX Forum’s updated roadmap supports a vision of harmonization across available technologies that enable operators to adopt multiple radio access technologies within their service offerings,” said Declan Byrne, President of the WiMAX Forum, in a statement.

However, he also insisted that the move was not designed to provide a simple route out for WiMAX users to move over to LTE technology as quickly as possible. “What we don’t want to suggest is this announcement is opening the floodgates of a migration from WiMAX to other technologies,” he said.

An analyst briefing, lead by Stéphane Téral, Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research on “Why TD-LTE will take over the world”, is taking place on Day One of the LTE North America 2012 conference, the premier networking event for the 4G LTE community, taking place on the 14-15th November 2012 at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Texas.

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