DoCoMo pushes for 3.5G


DoCoMoBetween setting up Hawaii with WCDMA through AT&T, and beginning an experimental “Super 3G” project, DoCoMo’s had a pretty busy week. The Super 3G is based off HSPA and is primarily focused on low latency and spectrum efficiency. Funny that, considering Norm Lo’s words the other day regarding 3G. Could this new technology be something RIM bites on?

In addition to this, Super 3G will be examining something called Multiple-Input Multiple-Output or MIMO, which involves multiple antennas receiving and transmitting data on the same frequency. Ultimately, they’re hoping to hit the 300 Mbps downlink mark; a noble goal, especially considering the last big project we’ve heard about was aiming for 100. The 3rd. Generation Partnership Project is on board for this one, marking Super 3G as a long-term evolution for wireless standards and aiming for a 2010 implementation. As far as Hawaii goes, Ohau should have WCDMA coverage by the end of the year, with the rest of the islands getting access early in 2008.

Sprint and Qualcomm to tag-team Broadcom


Nacho LibreYesterday’s BlackBerry 8830 release was just as telling as we had thought. Not only is Sprint carrying a Qualcomm processor in the BlackBerry World Edition, but it looks like the two companies will be working together to find an alternative technology in case the ban on certain chips can’t be stayed. If the embargo sticks, then Qualcomm’s future EVDO and WCDMA chips would need some serious reworking to get over the border. As is, some of Qualcomm’s chips are stepping on a Broadcom power management patent, forcing Sprint to use a temporary software patch to keep their devices legal in the U.S.

Sprint product manager Brita Horton said in an interview that the company would be unaffected by the ban and can bring out as many new devices as it wants this year as a result of a software update it received from Qualcomm. “Qualcomm gave us a software patch that … lets us keep shipping,” said Horton, who noted that while the software patch creates extra work for Sprint, it would not increase costs.

That’s nice that they’re trying to put on a nonchalant face, but if the dispute was really a non-issue for Sprint, they wouldn’t have any reason to help Qualcomm out. The reality is, this patch probably just disables the offending functionality, which Sprint would rather keep than scrap.

Qualcomm shares 3G love with Sagem


QualcommWhile WCDMA might not be rocking the kasbah right now, it might get a kick in the pants with a little help from Sagem, who just struck a royalty-based deal with Qualcomm to develop WCDMA hardware. This falls well in line with recent incentives Qualcomm has put forward to develop WCDMA in Europe. If the Nokia fight is slowing down 3G progress, at least Qualcomm’s got some alternative direction.

Chinese 3G on hold?


China Previous reports of China’s tri-pronged 3G licensing getting through before the 2008 Beijing Olympics may have been a bold-faced lie. Aright, fine, maybe just a little inaccurate. Right now, China’s number one priority is to get its own carrier, China Mobile up and stable with fixed-line service before worrying about CDMA2000 or WCDMA, which won’t start until October. Give the home boys a bit of a head start, you know? It goes without saying that China’s got the biggest wireless market out there, and even if it takes a little longer, it can be the most diverse in being the only country to carry three internationally-recognized wireless standards.

WCDMA falling flat


It's a stagnant pool, okay? Yes, I know it's a stretch. No, I couldn't think of a better picture to use.The Dell’Oro Group is reporting some stagnant performance from WCDMA. Although the subscriber numbers have gone up 80% compared to last year, infrastructure market growth has been altogether flat in Q1 2007. Carriers like Rogers and the “new” AT&T (sigh) seem willing to support the technology, but high costs and nagging glitches have prevented full-scale deployment. Think of it this way: how many WCDMA devices does Rogers offer right now?

Continue reading ‘WCDMA falling flat’