WiMAX founder backs TD-LTE

Israeli infrastructure vendor Alvarion, a company that bills itself as a “founder of the WiMAX industry,” is to start making LTE kit for the TDD flavour of the 4G technology.

This week, the firm said it had expanded its product line to support the TD-LTE standard in order to offer an open and flexible platform for TDD-based 4G networks, catering to operators which have unpaired spectrum to offer wireless broadband services over. Alvarion expects to engage in TD-LTE field trials in the first quarter of 2011 and will incorporate TD-LTE support into its 4Motion infrastructure portfolio.

Eran Gorev, president and CEO of Alvarion, was quick to point out that the company will continue to actively drive WiMAX standardization activities, ecosystem development and product delivery, but said “The trend in wireless spectrum availability around the globe supports the fact that unpaired TDD spectrum will have an even greater role to play for broadband wireless deployments in the future.”

“TDD spectrum is relatively plentiful, cost effective and creates attractive opportunities for broadband applications over this spectrum,” said Gorev. “Our development effort over the past two years has been designed to accommodate the support for TD-LTE as a natural extension of our existing solution.”

Indeed, TD-LTE has surprised a number of industry commentators by the level of support it is winning. When recently spoke to Stéphane Téral, directing analyst at Infonetics Research, he said: “One year ago it was not clear that TD-LTE had a future, until China Mobile confirmed it was moving away from 3G (TD-SCDMA) anyway. But now other operators outside of China are looking at TD-LTE technology and finding some potential,” Téral said. “If you are a mobile operator who is challenging an incumbent you may well not have paired spectrum, and if you want to upgrade unpaired spectrum onto LTE then TDD looks like a very good proposition. So now there is a clear case for TD-LTE everywhere in the world

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