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NGMN and Sprint separate, while iPhone 3G blends

July 18, 2008 - 1 Comment

iPhone 3G: Will It Blend?Following up my earlier entry about the NGMN conference in Frankfurt, founding-member Sprint just indicated they will leave the group. Intel will follow suit. During the Frankfurt conference, the NGMN Board announced the selection of LTE as the first approved technology which broadly meets NGMN requirements. Given the commitment of Sprint and Intel to WiMAX, this selection probably made their ongoing participation in NGMN untenable.While understandable, this schism undermines the original NGMN vision of multiple operators collaborating on a coherent view of what the community would require beyond 2010, creating “one integrated network for the seamless introduction of mobile broadband services.” Even as the old battle between CDMA2000 and WCDMA fades, a new division widens between the OFDMA standards, LTE and WiMAX (Qualcomm UMB seems all but abandoned).The polarization over radio standards seems somewhat backwards looking. As discussed in a previous entry, radio access technologies seem sure to multiply and change rapidly, so the design emphasis should shift to a stable foundation in the core network, built using IP. Both LTE and WiMax, plus other radios from 3G femtocells to WiFi, can serve as useful components in the Mobile Internet.Meanwhile, Apple introduced the iPhone 3G last week. It sold over 1 million units in its first weekend, generating an estimated $330 million in revenue according to some estimates. Impressive results, but more impressive still is this experiment to determine, Will It Blend?

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  1. More news about LTE and WiMax: the European Commission will allow regulators to be flexible in the amount of FDD (paired) and TDD (unpaired) spectrum they award in the 2.6GHz frequency band. FDD aligns with LTE (hence support from Ericsson), while TDD aligns with WiMax. This ruling suggests European regulators are moving towards allowing the market to determine technology direction.