July 8, 2010
By Kevin Fitchard
Two specialist vendors in the 3G and 4G equipment space are teaming up to attack the long-term evolution market. Time division-CDMA equipment–maker IPWireless and 4G silicon vendor Altair semiconductor are jointly producing multi-band software programmable LTE modems, which will span the myriad of global 3G frequencies from 700 MHz to 2.5 GHz.
Billing the platform as the first “true global solution” for LTE, the IPWireless-built USB modems and PC cards will incorporate Altair’s FourGee low-power baseband processer, which uses software-defined radio techniques to tune the modem to any frequency within a 2000 MHz range as well as support time division duplexing (and frequency division duplexing (FDD) modes. While most of the world’s LTE networks are being deployed in FDD configurations — including Verizon Wireless’ (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) and AT&T’s (NYSE:T) — China is pushing forward with TDD implementations of the 4G technology, which could lead other operators to use LTE on their TDD WiMax spectrum.
IPWireless will start selling its first modems by the end of the year, though the first batch won’t be as global as the company is billing them. They’ll be primarily European-focused, supporting the 1800 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands as well as the 800 MHz digital dividend band. But in later releases, IPWireless will add support for the range of U.S. frequencies, including the 700 MHz band and the advanced wireless service band.