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Industry News

The Commercial Market

March 1, 2002
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The Commercial Market


ETSI and the H2GF Co-operate to Ensure the Completion of HiperLAN2 Standard

The European Telecommunication Standard Institute (ETSI) and the HiperLAN2 Global Forum (H2GF) have signed a co-operation agreement intended to ensure the establishment of a global short-range broadband wireless infrastructure.

The agreement was signed by Karl Heinz Rosenbrock, director-general of ETSI and Martin Johnson, chairman of H2GF during meeting #26 of ETSI Project Broadband Radio Access Networks (EP BRAN).

Karl Heinz Rosenbrock commented, "Both ETSI and H2GF recognize the necessity to structure and strengthen their relationship and to foster closer collaboration to make HiperLAN2 as a standard, a success. By co-operating with the HiperLAN2 Global Forum, we shall be able to ensure the largest possible market acceptance."

The HiperLAN2 specifications are being developed by ESTI Project BRAN. HiperLAN2 is a flexible Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) standard, designed to provide high speed access (up to 54 Mbps at Physical Layer (PHY)) to a variety of networks including 3G mobile core networks, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks and Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks. It can also be used for private wireless LAN systems. Basic applications include data, voice and video, with specific Quality of Service parameters taken into account. HiperLAN2 systems can be deployed in offices, classrooms, homes, factories, hot spot areas such as exhibition halls and, more generally, where radio transmission is an effective alternative or complements wired technology.

HiperLAN2 marks a significant milestone in the development of a combined technology for broadband cellular short-range communications and wireless LANs that will provide performance comparable with that of wired LANs. Since the 5 GHz band to be exploited by the HiperLAN2 standard is allocated to wireless LANs, HiperLAN2 has the potential to enable the success of wireless LANs on a global basis.

ETSI work on HiperLAN2 is supported by the HiperLAN2 Global Forum, a consortium of world leaders in communications and information technology such as Agere Systems, Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Siemens who have joined together to ensure the completion of the HiperLAN2 standard and to promote it on a world-wide level.

Martin Johnson, chairman of the H2GF, adds: "The HiperLAN2 Global Forum is an open industry forum supporting broadband wireless LAN solutions which offer data rates up to 54 Mbps, using the 5 GHz spectrum, orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) physical layer technology. The mission of the forum is to promote the global adoption of the HiperLAN2 as the global broadband wireless technology in the 5 GHz band. This will provide connectivity for mobile devices in corporate, public and home environments."

ETSI Project BRAN is also looking into the development of conformance test specifications (both radio and protocol testing) for the core HiperLAN2 standards, to ensure the interoperability of devices and products produced by different vendors. This is a high priority within the H2GF. Equally important is ensuring the implementation of features that allow roaming between wireless LANs in different environments.

Space Systems/Loral Receives Firm Order for MBSAT Satellite

Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, announced that it has finalized a contract with Mobile Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) of Japan for construction of the MBSAT communications satellite. MBSAT will deliver digital multimedia information services such as CD-quality audio, MPEG-4 video and data to mobile users throughout Japan. On-orbit delivery of the spacecraft is scheduled for fourth quarter 2003 with service expected to begin in early 2004.

In 2001, SS/L booked five new satellites, bringing its current backlog to $1.6 B. MBC's services will be the first in the world to deliver high quality music, video and data to mobile users through various kinds of mobile receiver terminals, including those on cars, ships, trains, handheld terminals, personal digital assistants (PDA), cellular phones and home portables. A very small antenna will be sufficient to receive MBC broadcasting signals even inside office buildings and in vehicles moving at high speed. MBC will supplement its satellite service with terrestrial signal repeaters.

"We are extremely proud that MBC has selected SS/L to build its newest state-of-the-art satellite, MBSAT," said C. Patrick DeWitt, president, Space Systems/Loral. "We value the confidence that MBC has in SS/L's ability to deliver a reliable, powerful and flexible spacecraft."

In the satellite system, MBSAT will provide 2400 W RF power over 25 MHz of S-band spectrum to run more than 50 channels of audio and video from 16 S-band transmitters operating at 120 W. In addition, the satellite will provide a 25 MHz Ku-band service link to transmit the broadcast signal to terrestrial repeaters. The satellite will generate more than 7400 W of DC power continuously throughout its 12-year life.

MBSAT's payload will deliver CD-quality audio and TV-quality video, in addition to various types of data, using code division multiplexing (CDM) MPEG-4 for video and advanced audio coding (AAC) for audio. The system will be able to broadcast more than 50 programs simultaneously.

The spacecraft will be a version of SS/L's space proven three-axis, body-stabilized 1300 bus, tailored to meet the specific requirements of MBC which include a 12 meter antenna reflector deployed in orbit to transmit the MBC programming. SS/L's satellites are designed to achieve long useful orbital life through the use of bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems for excellent station-keeping and orbital stability. A system of high efficiency solar arrays and lightweight batteries provide uninterrupted electrical power. SS/L satellites have amassed more than 850 years of reliable on-orbit services.

Wireless Home Networking Becomes More Desirable

With their ability to enable cable-free networking of devices in the home, mobility throughout the residence and the sharing of Internet access among several members of the household, wireless home networking technologies are, and will continue to become, increasingly desirable to consumers, according to Cahners In-Stat/MDR. The high tech research firm reports that with Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) gateway devices generally running from $150-$200, and PC cards falling in the sub-$100 range, consumers are more willing to get on the wireless train.

The evolution of Network Interface Card (NIC) form factors has enabled the embedding of NICs into laptops and wireless gateways. As a result, the embedded market is expected to grow against the percentage of non-embedded in the home, as more and more 802.11x technology is embedded into all kinds of consumer electronic devices and gateways. Low cost, low power technologies such as Zigbee and Spike will be embedded into gaming devices, kitchen appliances and home security systems, etc. Other wireless technologies such as Ultra Wideband (UWB) and peer-to-peer mesh technology may also show up in household devices in the future. In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

  • Home and small business networking specialists, such as Linksys, D-Link, Buffalo Technology, Netgear, SMC and SOHOware, have succeeded in the highly commoditized wireless market with their expertise in the low cost, high volume small business and SOHO/consumer spaces.
  • HomeRF shipments comprised approximately 45 percent of total wireless Local Area Network (LAN) node shipments to the home in 2000, but for 2001, HomeRF will only command approximately 30 percent of the total residential WLAN market. HomeRF's percentage of the total market will continue to decrease over the forecast period.
  • Total WLAN nodes going into the home in 2001 will be 4 million worldwide, with approximately 70 percent of these being 802.11b, and the remainder being primarily HomeRF. 802.11x technologies are expected to increase as a percentage of the total WLAN nodes going forward across the forecast period into 2006. For more information, visit http://www.instat.com/catalog/cat-rc.htm.

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