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28 | June 2008 |
Suppliers’ own testing programmes might be suffi cient to
alleviate operators’ concerns on network interoperability
Monica Paolini, Senza Fili Consulting
more work to be done on interoperability is have yet to come across CPE from one vendor and nomadic services. Rizwan says there is little
when you offer more advanced features, which working on the 802.16d network of another, and prospect of the regulator allowing true mobile
will become increasingly necessary. WiMAX this is for equipment that has been certifi ed to services over its 802.16e network, so the need for
operators are not going got get a lot of custom- be interoperable,” says Rizwan Tiwana, Wateen infrastructure interoperability diminishes.
ers and be successful if they can only offer Telecom’s CTO. “Th at speaks volumes about the On CPE interoperability, Rizwan is beginning
basic features.” scale of the task in front of the WiMAX com- to see some progress. “We expect to name two
Aptilo’s CSN soft ware has ‘advanced logic’ munity for the recent 802.16e standard.” other CPE manufacturers for our network other
which can off er a wide variety of extra features, Using base station and 802.16e ASN gateway than Motorola by this summer,” he says. “Th ere
such as the ability to dynamically modify QoS and BTS equipment from Motorola, Wateen Tel- is a number CPE manufactures who have no
and end-user service levels. “In the case of a ecom has rolled out fi xed and nomadic services infrastructure development plans but are target-
post-paid customer, for example, late payments in 22 of Pakistan’s cities in the 3.5GHz frequency ing low-cost CPE to help improve broadband
would trigger this logic for a graceful service band. Th e plan is to extend that to 100 cities by penetration in developing countries.”
downgrading that would include reducing the the end of the year. Wateen’s CPE costs currently range from $150
usable bandwidth on a weekly basis until paid,” Putting pressure on Motorola to move to to $250 per unit depending on the confi guration of
says Ward. “For pre-paid customers it would be profi le C is not, however, on Rizwan’s agenda. “I the device. By introducing competition from low-
applied so that a customer is pre-paying for a have infrastructure deployed conforming to a cost manufacturers, Rizwan expects to bring the
certain amount of data that is included in the ba- particular profi le,” he says. “Th e present urgency cost below $100 per unit by the end of the year.
sic service package, and once half of the allowed is to fi nd compliant CPE.” Th e process of ensuring CPE interoperability
data transfer has been consumed the degrada- Rizwan does say, however, that he wants to has been, for Wateen Telecom, one of self-help.
tion logic is used to both steer the customer sign up another infrastructure vendor this year Th e operator has carried out its own testing and
gracefully toward the monthly limit, and also to to contribute to Wateen’s WiMAX expansion and has instructed its prospective second infrastruc-
off er the customer the opportunity to execute an spark some competition in the deployment. “We ture vendor to establish an IOT process through
online upgrade and top up with more payments need to keep our options open,” he says, adding which the third-party CPE can be certifi ed.
to a higher service level that would allow for that the second vendor’s kit “would not neces- “Operators need to work proactively in getting
more data and higher speeds again.” sarily have to be interoperable” with Motorola’s infrastructure providers and CPE suppliers to
equipment on the infrastructure side. Th is is work together,” says Rizwan.
CPE and BTS gaps because the second vendor’s kit will be primarily End-to-end interoperability is good for eve-
Top of Wateen Telecom’s wish list for interoper- rolled out discretely in diff erent cities from ryone, it seems, apart from determined ‘turnkey’
ability is between the CPE and base station. “I where Motorola has a presence to provide fi xed suppliers using closed interfaces.
Intel to set up systems integration company in Taiwan
“In getting a WiMAX network up and running, certifi cation is a “The problem we
fairly small part of the whole equation,” says Lil Mohan, managing are trying to solve is
director of Intel’s WiMAX programme. “What is required to that even if you have
achieve full interoperability is end-to-end systems integration.” certifi ed equipment
To help make up this interoperability shortfall, Intel signed or it adheres to open
a MoU with the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOAE) standards, it doesn’t
in April 2008 to evaluate the creation of a business entity for mean it’s going
WiMAX system integration. to work together
“We expect this entity to be up and running by the end of 2008, immediately,” says
but we don’t know yet what the ownership’s structure will be or Mohan.
how much we [Intel Capital] will invest in it,” continues Mohan. “We Different operators
want to create a system integrator template company, if you will, will, of course, have
to be used with operators around the world to help them complete different requirements. “For those who already have a core
the process of building out their WiMAX networks.” IP network, plugging the access network into that—while not
Taiwan is home to a sizeable WiMAX ODM community, simple—doesn’t require a lot of handholding,” says Mohan.
helped along by government backing, which makes it an ideal “Interoperability between CPE and base stations is not so
place in which to set up the systems integrator company. straightforward.”
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