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Game on: WiMax will battle LTE in the trenches

March 24, 2010 08:18 PM ET

Clearwire CEO William Morrow, also speaking to the CTIA crowd, urged other carriers adopting LTE to interoperate with WiMax. "We have the opportunity to converge [WiMax and LTE]," Morrow said. "Let's work together and go forward."

He noted that Intel and Vodafone, among other companies, "all believe the time is now to integrate this and move forward."

Morrow also noted that chip maker Beceem Communications recently announced a chip that supports both WiMax and LTE.

Verizon and AT&T representatives' responses to questions at CTIA about whether they would be willing to allow future devices to work over both LTE and WiMax were less than encouraging.

A spokesman for Verizon said that interoperability was "not something we are looking at."

But Glenn Lurie, AT&T's president of emerging devices, was more blunt, saying that even though AT&T was wirelessly enabling all types of devices, not just smartphones, WiMax was not in the mix. "At AT&T, it's all about Wi-Fi. We're not supporting WiMax," he said.

ABI analyst Kevin Burden said it might make some sense for AT&T and other LTE carriers to interoperate with WiMax, at least in terms of a dual chipset in devices that will work on both standards. "What's it going to cost to add WiMax capability to a phone? Maybe $10?" Burden said.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter @matthamblen or subscribe to Hamblen RSSMatt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.



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