Motorola plans LTE technology

Experience in WiMax will help create new LTE offerings

CORRECTION: This story has been changed since it was originally posted because the word "not" was inadvertently left out of a comment from analyst Jack Gold in the third paragraph, which gave the wrong meaning to his comment on Motorola's efforts regarding WiMax technology. The corrected version is below.

Motorola Inc. announced plans today to release technology next year that supports Long-Term Evolution high-speed wireless networks, first for the 700-MHz and 2.6-GHz spectrum bands.

It was assumed that Motorola would build such technology for wireless base stations because the company has a long tradition of manufacturing just about any technology sought by various carriers, said Jack Gold, an analyst at J.Gold Associates in Northboro, Mass.

The news does not means Motorola is abandoning or lessening efforts in building out WiMax technology, which has many similarities with LTE, Gold said. For example, both technologies rely on Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation (OFDM) for downlinks and Multiple Input-Multiple Output (MIMO).

Motorola is helping Sprint Nextel Corp. build a WiMax network in Chicago, although a commercial launch date has not been set. Motorola officials have stated strong support for WiMax development in the U.S., even as Sprint was searching for investors earlier this year. Sprint is working in a joint venture with Clearwire Inc. and investors that include Google Inc. and several cable companies.

While Sprint has a strong focus on WiMax, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless have supported development of LTE networks as a natural progression from their existing networks. LTE could arrive in the U.S. perhaps a year after WiMax, which should be widely available in late 2010.

In a statement today, Motorola said its LTE technology will help operators increase coverage and capacity of their networks as they try to meet demand for mobile broadband services.

Motorola has said that its experience in deploying and managing WiMax networks will contribute to development of its LTE technologies.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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