July 14, 2010
By Lynnette Luna
IPWireless has teamed with LTE chipset maker Altair Semiconductor to develop a series of multiband modem products that will support the key frequencies in which LTE will be deployed, including the entire 700 MHz band and the 2.5 GHz band.
IPWireless has been targeting its TD-CDMA mobile broadband solution at public-safety agencies and commercial operators as a way deploy mobile broadband technology now and migrate to LTE later using the same platform. New York City and Gillette, Wyo., have deployed TD-CDMA systems for public-safety and government use in the 2.5 GHz band. But IPWireless sees an opportunity to marry 2.5 GHz deployments with public-safety 700 MHz deployments.
Jon Hambidge, chief marketing officer with IPWireless, said such a capability will become important for public-safety entities given the fact that they will likely only get 10 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum.
“It makes sense for the cities we are talking to,” Hambidge said. “Most of our initial deployments are in the 2.5 GHz band, and we are very comfortable supporting roaming between that band and networks in the 700 MHz band.”
In fact, many commercial operators around the world are looking at deploying LTE in two different frequency bands, Hambidge said. Lower frequencies such as the 800 MHz and 700 MHz bands would be used to provide broad coverage, while higher frequencies such as the 2.5 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands would augment that coverage by providing higher capacity in hot spots such as urban areas, where data consumption is the highest.
Altair offers a software-defined radio chip that covers any LTE frequency band in the range between 700 MHz and 2.7 GHz.
At the same time, IPWireless has been touting TD-CDMA technology’s seamless migration path to LTE. Today, the TD-CDMA network in New York runs a variety of public-safety and city communications, such as traffic light transmissions, video surveillance and automated meter reading. Adding a migration strategy for devices means IPWireless has a complete migration story, Hambidge said.
“We’ve always had a strong evolution story,” Hambidge said. “If we want to be a satisfactory solution for waiver cities, we have to show a good migration path to LTE. We think it’s very important to show a seamless roadmap. What makes IPWireless unique is that we do the full end-to-end solution with network and devices, and we can customize applications.”