Beceem & Motorola To Combine WiMAX & LTE In A Single Chip

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News Posted: Thu, Feb 18 2010 10:59 PM
When it comes to 4G technologies, there are two competing standards: WiMAX and LTE. While LTE has potential to be more prevalent long-term once Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile all deploy the technology, Sprint and Clearwire's WiMAX offering has a head start since it's already available. Thanks to a new chip that's being developed from Beceem and Motorola, however, you may never have to choose one type of technology over the other.

Beceem makes the WiMAX chips inside "every device in Clearwire's network." The company is working with Motorola to pair Motorola's 4G WiMAX infrastructure with Beceem's upcoming BCS500 4G chip. The 4G modem that will result will be able to handle both LTE and WiMAX. As an added benefit, the new modem will be able to move seamlessly between both standards to provide the best connectivity possible. The new dual-mode chips are scheduled to start sampling later this year and reach mass production by early 2011.

Beceem and Motorola Accelerate Availability of 4G Chip Solution

Collaborative Effort Will Enhance Product Performance

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile World Congress -- Beceem Communications, the leading provider of 4G chips, and Motorola announced today that both companies are working together to pair Motorola's advanced 4G WiMAX infrastructure with Beceem's upcoming BCS500 4G chip.

The BCS500 4G chip supports WiMAX 16e and 16m as well as UE Class 4 LTE capabilities in both the TDD and FDD configurations, including plans for handoff between WiMAX and LTE. The optimization of TDD and FDD coexistence for LTE is important for many operators with disparate spectrum holdings. This WiMAX chip is expected to be the first to support TDD and FDD flavors for LTE with future plans for LTE-to-WiMAX roaming.

"The know-how gained during the development and deployment of our leading 4G WiMAX solution has contributed to our work with Beceem to offer this advanced chipset solution," said Bruce Brda, senior vice president, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Networks business. "We look forward to the opportunities provided by this capability to address market demand."

"Our 4G-WiMAX chips are powering every device in Clearwire's network, and we would not have been able to achieve this level of performance and market success without our collaboration with Motorola," said Babu Mandava, CEO of Beceem Communications. "We are pleased to enter the 4G-LTE market later this year with our new BCS500 4G-LTE/WiMAX chip that will become the performance benchmark of the 4G industry."
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rapid1 replied on Fri, Feb 19 2010 12:42 AM

This is very cool. With one of these chips you can connect to anyone anywhere. It adds to the fact that LTE the widest supported 4G coverage in America when it is all finished is actually not actually certified 4G. Yes it is close, but actual 4G is more efficient, can bear more traffic and is the only one of the two that is certified. While either will beat 3G hands down with ease between the two that's the truth. Combined though you have the best of both worlds. One of the things that confuses me really is that Verizon and Sprint which are tower partners will be using different versions that seems odd, although I have heard that Sprint uses a combination 4G/3G, and Verizon will be 3G/LTE as will most it seems, and either supports 3G as a default I guess you would be connected in some way anywhere with this chip no matter your provider.

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This would be absolutely AMAZING!! Giving the customer the flexibility to pick either platforms will create lots of competition which as we all know, is a great thing! End user benefits with higher speeds and better pricing models. Someone has yet to solve the whole CDMA vs GSM argument. I for one am with Verizon which arguably offers the best call quality (Here in NYC, anyway) but I'm stuck with CDMA until someone creates a chip allowing for transitioning from CDMA to GSM (and vice versa). 

It's great to see a company implementing a revolutionary idea such as this EVEN before companies like Verizon begin their 4G services. 

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