Motorola introduces single RAN solution aiding WiMAX to LTE transition

Capitalizing on the WiMAX to TD-LTE migration talk, Motorola (NYSE:MOT) introduced a solution for WiMAX operators looking to upgrade their existing networks to 802.16m or TD-LTE or add LTE to their existing WiMAX networks.

Based on a single radio access network (RAN) solution, the WiMAX Evolution solution is designed to help operators upgrade their networks while preserving their investments. Motorola said the solution reuses most of the base station for migration and can reuse up to 100 percent of other major network components such as the IP core, backhaul and device management. Motorola said its access points are also easily upgradeable to 802.16m, TD-LTE, FDD LTE or LTE Advanced.

Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), a major Motorola customer, has voiced its interest in deploying LTE, but it's not clear whether that would be an overlay network or a side-by-side network since Clearwire has a vast amount of spectrum. Other WiMAX operators, say analysts, have the opportunity to flip to LTE when they contemplate their next-generation plans for their networks.

Last month, Clearwire CFO Erik Pursch said the ecosystem for WiMAX and LTE was converging so much and that the underlying technologies of LTE and WiMAX were close enough that Clearwire could make the transition rather inexpensively when it comes to network costs. Handsets might be the sticking point, however, if Clearwire makes a change to its radio network.

Recently, WiMAX Russian operator Yota announced plans to deploy LTE in favor of WiMAX in the rest of its markets. (Although it's not clear if it is deploying TD-LTE or using different spectrum to deploy FDD LTE.)

For more:
- see this Motorola release

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