7/19/2005 - South Korea's wireless broadband technology, WiBro (formerly known as HPi), has been making headlines recently after US operator Sprint and Japan's KDDI announced they would launch pilot WiBro services in their respective countries by the end of 2005. In the light of these developments, visiongain has reviewed the business case for WiBro in Korea and abroad, and investigates whether WiBro is set for global expansion.
The High Speed Portable Internet (HPi), developed by Samsung, SK Telecom and the Korean Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), is set to be deployed as a national standard in South Korea in 2006. In 2004 HPi was re-branded as WiBro to give it a more standards-based image.
WiBro is a high-speed wireless data access technology, designed for "nomadic" users who tend to remain at one particular location for some time. Although the technology supports mobility at speeds of up to 60 km/h, WiBro is not intended for users moving at such high speeds. Rather, it is a solution that is portable, but not mobile. WiBro uses the 2.3GHz band, with an aim to achieve data transmission at 50Mbps (maximum) with smart antennas in 2006. Indeed, ETRI, Samsung and POS Data are currently upgrading the speed of WiBro from the current 30Mbps to 50Mbps by the end of 2005.
WiBro delivers WiMAX-class data rates and is, in fact, part of the 802.16 family of standards. Although close to WiMAX in many ways, WiBro uses a 2,048-carrier implementation of OFDM, while the IEEE has favoured a 1,024-carrier system, which Intel claims offers better mobility than the Korean technology. Furthermore, the fixed versions, 802.16a/d, does indeed support 2,048-carrier, although its mainstream implementation is over 256 carriers. Table 2 provides a comparison of WiBro with the main broadband wireless access (BWA) solutions on the market.
If you are interested in WiBro – Analysing Korea’s home grown BWA standard white paper. Please send an email to Senh Ip – Corporate communications at – Senh.firstname.lastname@example.org including: Full name, Company name, Title, Contact Tel Number, Fax and Email, and details of where you saw this release.
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