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Russia and its neighbours highlight the road for WiMAX
|12 февраля 2009|
Russia and its surrounding countries have always been a prime target for WiMAX, since they have relatively low broadband penetration, huge and varied terrains, and a rapidly rising hunger for mobile web services.
In the past week alone, a hat trick of deployments has been announced in this region, demonstrating two key features of the 802.16e business case – close integration with the IP core (an aspect where Cisco is scoring highly in this part of the world), and hand-off to GSM for wide area and voice coverage.
Scartel, the most aggressive of the Russian WiMAX start-ups, is expanding its network and is poised to launch dual-mode GSM/WiMAX handsets, specially created by HTC. As its services go fully commercial in Russia’s two main cities, Moscow and St Petersburg, it is also detailing how it is using Cisco’s carrier class core network and transport systems to support its RAN.
Operating under the Yota brand, Scartel is emulating Clearwire/Sprint in various respects, and looking to take advantage of the immature state of Russian 3G to steal a march in mobile broadband. Like its US counterparts, it is creating very dense, high performance metrozones and then enabling users to hand off to a cellular network when roaming. This will be essential to any WiMAX models, beyond the purely fixed, to achieve seamless hand-off from a single device, which will be important to user acceptance.
"As Russia embraces the digital economy, the nation's broadband connectivity has to improve in parallel both in terms of penetration and bandwidth, and 4G WiMAX is the most efficient way of achieving this," said Scartel's CEO Dennis Sverdlov in a statement.
For mobile web services to be delivered effectively, especially over multiple networks, far more attention has to be paid to an intelligent core, than was usual in the days of 2G or even 3G. This is to allow new services to be launched and provisioned quickly, and subscribers accurately targeted and billed according to their preferences and devices. Scartel is using a Cisco IP MPLS data network optimized for high quality video, along with the Cisco WiMAX ASN gateway and multiservice 7600 core platform.
Further into the former Soviet Union, there is even less availability of broadband – fixed, let alone mobile. So WiMAX may move into these areas mainly on a traditional broadband wireless model, based around simple internet access, but operators are already looking forward to enhancing this model early in the next decade. This will support mobility and hand-off to partners’ cellular networks, offering an early route to mobile broadband (long before LTE or even, in some cases, 3G). Carriers also hope to form a roaming block with their larger fellows in Russia, which is set to be a major power in global wireless markets.
By Caroline Gabriel
Источник: WiMAX Trends