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New vendor enters increasingly less crowded WiMax market
|09 сентября 2009|
While the big vendors are pulling out of WiMax, PureWave sees an opening for low-power compact base stations.
While the big vendors are looking to get out of the WiMax business, one vendor start-up is looking for a way in. Mountain View, Calif.,-based PureWave Networks next week plans to make its public debut in the WiMax scene, releasing a line of low-power compact mobile WiMax base stations.
One after one, the major vendors are putting distance between themselves and WiMax, choosing instead to focus their resources on the much more lucrative long-term evolution (LTE) market. Alcatel-Lucent has scaled back WiMax R&D and while it still sells a WiMax product it is focusing on fixed deployments rather than mobile. Fujitsu and Nokia Siemens Networks stopped development of WiMax radio technology entirely, opting to partner with specialty vendors Airspan Networks and Alvarion for their base station gear. Motorola, Samsung, and Huawei--by virtue of their Clearwire contracts--and a handful of small vendors like Alvarion are the only ones still actively pursuing the market. Most of the Tier I vendors seem fine with letting them.
PureWave, however, feels that it can carve a sizable niche for itself in market where others have failed by producing a product none of the competition has offered, said Ronen Vengosh, vice president of business development. The vendor has developed an extremely low-power compact base station completely contained within a small-footprint tower-mounted cabinet. Once the base station is installed, all it needs is an Ethernet connection and a power supply, Vengosh said. While that may sound like a picocell, Vengosh stressed its unit is a fully robust base station that can support more than 200 subscribers simultaneously.
“I can truly say—without naming them by name—that none of the big guys have anything like this,” Vengosh said. “I can say that because we’re talking to many of them about incorporating our product into their portfolio.”
Heading PureWave is CEO and President Gideon Ben-Efraim, founding CEO of broadband wireless vendor Netro and wireless networking company Go Networks. Though the company was established in 2003, it has been flying under the radar for the last five years developing its WiMax product, which it will officially unveil next week, and a future LTE product. PureWave has raised $26 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
PureWave’s Quantum base stations are built off of the vendor’s internally developed multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) beamforming smart antenna technology, which it calls PureMax, and a software-defined radio platform. Though low-power (65 Watts), PureWave’s beamforming allows it to extend the base station’s range to that of a macro-cell as well as support a full subscriber load, Vengosh said. A six-antenna array focuses radio beams directly at clients, increasing the signal’s gains while cancelling interference.
PureWave also designed its kit to be as self-contained as possible, Vengosh said. It requires no external cooling or remote components. The base station can even take over some of the elements of the network core’s access service network (ASN) gateway. Those functions can’t replace the mobility management and termination functions of the ASN in a mobile network, but if an operator is deploying WiMax in a fixed or nomadic scenario, the base station requires only a direct connection to the IP core, Vengosh said.
With its inherent flexibility, the Quantum line is being targeted at operators looking for a primary macro-network vendor as well as carriers looking to augment their networks with a spot solution, Vengosh said. PureWave is currently he trials with operators in the US--specifically California—and Japan, he said.