Motorola Demonstrates World's First WiMAX 802.16e Mobile Handoffs in Downtown Chicago

September 26, 2007

Motorola presented a mobile WiMAX experience last night that included live handoffs during an exclusive cruise along the Chicago River for media and industry analysts in town to attend WiMAX World USA. Attendees experienced uninterrupted mobile applications including web browsing, voice over IP (VoIP) calls, video streaming and MobiTV while moving past access point sites along the route of the cruise.

In addition to the cruise, Motorola has successfully demonstrated several of these applications on streets along the Chicago River while driving at speeds beyond 50 mph and while riding Chicago’s famed elevated train. These demonstrations are another step in achieving an all IP wireless mobile network that is capable of supporting VoIP, data and video.

“Motorola has reached a significant milestone in the industry by proving through these demonstrations that mobile WiMAX is real and ready for commercial deployment,” said Fred Wright, Motorola senior vice president, Home & Networks Mobility. “We tackled one of the most challenging environments -- a river lined with tall buildings, 30 feet below street level, and crossed by numerous steel bridges -- to bring this WiMAX experience to life.”

“Motorola has made tremendous progress in the deployment of our Xohm WiMAX network in Chicago. This live demonstration provided just a glimpse of what WiMAX technology can deliver,” said Barry West, Sprint Nextel CTO and president, Xohm Business Unit. “We are on schedule to begin Xohm pre-commercial service in Chicago by the end of 2007, with commercial service planned in that and other markets beginning April 2008.”

Motorola, a market-leading provider of end-to-end WiMAX solutions with 40 WiMAX trial deployments with customers around the world and contracts with 12 of them for commercial WiMAX systems, showcased its latest high mobility software on Sprint’s pre-commercial Xohm network. The array of devices used during the outing included Motorola’s trial WiMAX mobile handset developed for high speed video telephony and laptops enabled with Motorola’s WiMAX PC cards. The network infrastructure used for this demonstration was standard Motorola WAP 25400 access points with backhaul provided by Motorola’s wireless IP backhaul equipment to its Innovation Center in Schaumburg, Ill., where a Motorola IMS provided connection to the public switched telephone network.

“Motorola continues to drive market acceptance of WiMAX technology by delivering products and deploying networks that meet the diverse needs of many types of operators worldwide,” said Phil Marshall, vice president of Yankee Group’s Enabling Technology and Asia-Pacific Research and Consulting practices, who was also on the cruise. “From the nationwide 802-16e network it deployed in Pakistan to connect the previously unconnected, to the network it is building for Sprint to deliver a whole new mobile internet experience, Motorola has proven itself to be a leading supplier of end-to-end WiMAX solutions.”

The Chicago market is one of six in the U.S. that Sprint (NYSE:S) has awarded to Motorola to build WiMAX network infrastructure to support its recently announced Xohm mobile Internet services.

With Xohm mobile Internet, customers will be able to experience a new form of interactive communications, high-speed Internet browsing, local and location-centric services, and multimedia services including music, video, TV and on-demand products. Sprint also plans to bring Xohm WiMAX mobile Internet customers search, interactive communications and social networking tools through a new mobile portal in a deal announced with Google.

WiMAX technology is changing the way the telecommunications industry is looking to connect people to people, and to the information and entertainment they want on-the-go. WiMAX technology will allow consumers, businesses and government to experience a data network that offers faster speeds, greater convenience and enhanced multimedia quality. WiMAX also makes broadband accessible in all regions of the world for fixed, portable and mobile users with the most cost-effective, fastest and easiest-to-deploy option in the market today, often providing an economical way to provide telecom service where previously there was none.

The WAP 25400 is part of Motorola’s WAP 400 series which features diversity antenna techniques and provides Non-Line-of-Sight, fixed and mobile wireless broadband connections. These access points are based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 technology standard and include spectrally efficient S-OFDMA interface, low latency performance, and IP based architecture.

Enhanced system gain, supported by diversity MIMO antenna capabilities, allows strong indoor penetration as well as support for cellular-like mobility applications. Additionally, QoS capabilities, security features, and redundancy options make the WAP 400 series platform a true carrier-class solution. The WAP 400 series access points, paired with a common IP core, will support seamless inter-technology handovers.

Source: Motorola

Explore further: Intel Ships its Next-Generation WiMAX Chip with Support for Mobile Networks

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