Flarion vs. WiMAX

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Flarion vs. WiMAX

This is the 3rd time today I'm come across the Flarion news about Flarion and Netgear. And I received a tip/email from someone else pointing it out.

Basically, Flarion Technologies, the architect of the FLASH-OFDM mobile broadband system, have entered into a strategic partnership to productize and deliver integrated FLASH-OFDM and Wi-Fi functionality to mobile operators worldwide through NETGEAR's line of 802.11b/g products. The first product integrating FLASH-OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) and Wi-Fi is expected to be available this quarter for evaluation and trials by mobile operators worldwide.

"Flarion's all-IP mobile broadband network for mobile operators and NETGEAR's network solutions for home and business create a unique connectivity solution for broadband customers," said Patrick Lo, NETGEAR's chairman and chief executive officer. "Whether at work, at home, or on the road, people will now be able to connect seamlessly to a mobile operator's wide area network through a FLASH-OFDM to Wi-Fi connection- creating a unique broadband solution."

The interesting thing about their wireless high-speed data technology is that it works well even when you are moving, say in a train or a car. Supposedly, WiMAX has problems when you are in motion.

Flarion is still only very localized in specific trial areas, but a little birdie told me that Nextel is a huge fan of FLASH-OFDM - and that they think this technology will succeed in spite of... or in addition to WiMAX (with all its hype and promise). Nextel won't discuss any future plans for Flarion beyond the current trial in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Also, Siemens AG of Germany said it will build network equipment based on Flarion technology.

So we shall see if Flarion's FLASH-OFDM and WiMAX will co-exist or one will supplant the other. I would assume that there is a licensing for Flarion's proprietary FLASH-OFDM, whereas WiMAX is an industry specification. So this may affect overall pricing in a large deployment. But if FLASH-OFDM delivers true high-speed mobile access, it may be worth the extra licensing fees.

It just got more interesting...

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