Evidence mounts against Wimax in C-band debate

It was the week that saw escalation in the satellite/Wimax interference debate, new frontiers for ZigBee, an official GSMA-approved NFC standard, and validation for Siemens' claims on PoE for 802.11n.

In the ongoing question over whether regulators should allocated spectrum in the extended C-band for mobile Wimax services, the Satellite Users Interference Reduction Group (SUIRG) weighed in this week with findings from a field test in Q4 2007 confirming earlier studies showing that mobile Wimax and satellite services cannot coexist in the band without interfering with each other.

SUIRG has argued as much for some time, as have other satellite organizations like CASBAA. Even the Wimax Forum has conceded the point, but many regulators considering Wimax licenses haven't yet made a final decision on the matter, and Wimax proponents looking for whatever spectrum they can get have argued that a case-by-case market approach could be a feasible alternative. Satellite players reckon the SUIRG study strengthens their case even more.

It was also the week that saw new initiatives from the ZigBee Alliance to expand ZigBee's existing IP capabilities by making it easier for developers and system integrators to deploy ZigBee and to add additional features and functions, including IPv6  support.

Meanwhile, the GSM Association's contactless mobile payments push got a boost during the week with news that the European Telecommunications Standards Institute had completed its technical standards for mobile near field communications services. The final spec, which covers the dedicated interface (a.k.a. host controller interface, or HCI), a software protocol to control communication between the handset's NFC chip and the SIM card, was officially adopted by ETSI last week. The GSMA, which backed all of the specs adopted by ETSI, says the road is now clear for mass production of NFC-enabled handsets

It was also a good week for Siemens - at least when it comes to using 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) for 802.11n access points. Test results by Craig Mathias of Farpoint Group confirmed claims made by Siemens earlier this year that its new HiPath 802.11n APs can deliver dual-radio, 3x3 MIMO 802.11n functionality using PoE - a feat that usually requires workarounds, as 802.11n power requirements typically exceed the 12.95 Watts that PoE supplies.

Result: Siemens is officially the first company to make a PoE-powered MIMO Wi-Fi access point. Oh, and it was certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance the same day the FarPoint report came out.

Deals for the week included a contract win for Secured Digital Applications, who will install a RFID-enabled warehouse management system for a third-party logistics operator's warehouse in Guangdong, and a partnership between Axeda and Digi International to provide an end-to-end solution for connecting and remotely servicing intelligent devices.

And finally, it was the week where we all learned the next consumer electronics device to be integrated into mobile handsets will be projectors. IMS Research concluded in a new report that with so many companies getting into the miniature display market, prototypes of handsets equipped with projectors on show at MWC last month could conceivably hit shelves by the end of this year. IMS reckons 50 million projector-enabled phones could ship by 2012.