In the past there was a clear boundary between mobile networks using 3G technology on the one hand, and fixed BWA networks using proprietary and WiMAX technologies on the other. The market acceptance of 4G LTE technology has created a new reality, known as Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), where operators may now consider using the same LTE technology to enable convergence of infrastructure for both mobile and fixed services across their network.

This convergence was well-defined by a Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading, Graham Finnie, who said: “FMC promises to obliterate some of the physical barriers that now prevent telecom service providers from reaching all of their potential customers with all types of services.”

This goal is correct, and certainly attractive, but operators should also take into account the very real constraints related to industry timing, ecosystem maturity, radio characteristics, frequency availability, application types and other concerns.

The WiMAX Forum made a decision by October 2012 to define WiMAX Advanced specifications and to allow TD-LTE to be the basic radio technology for WiMAX Advanced. In other words, WiMAX Forum has defined the specification to allow the WiMAX industry to transition from WiMAX to TD-LTE. Telrad is among the vendors who promote and contribute to support fixed BWA requirements as part of WiMAX Advanced Release (“WiMAX 2+”) activity. Telrad is working closely with various vendors to support these requirements.

WiMAX Advanced’s harmonization with TD-LTE will enable operators to benefit from the economies of scale associated with a larger ecosystem of cost-effective LTE devices. Operators in mature markets, with access to additional spectrum, have already begun deploying TD-LTE networks in parallel with their existing WiMAX networks.

As the network continues to evolve toward having a common ecosystem, Telrad will continue to proactively collaborate with the industry, while paving the way for the global operators to fully leverage the rich portfolio of TDD ecosystems, in either WiMAX or TD-LTE.