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Samsung, Verizon Herald High-Speed Data Nets

At the CEATEC show in Tokyo this week Samsung demonstrated its WiMAX2 system that is capable of a wireless network speed of 330 Mbps. Samsung and UQ Communications transmitted 16 full-HD videos over Samsung's trial WiMAX2 system and displayed them on four big screen TV sets.

As the RETHINK wireless article points out, showcase networks—which don't have to deal with random user behavior—always achieve high performance. However, 330 Mbps is impressive. I did not see what frequencies were being used for the trial system but I would expect them to be in the same 2.5 GHz spectrum used for existing WiMAX systems, since Samsung said WiMAX2 was backwards compatible with current mobile WiMAX.

WiMAX vendors such as Samsung are now competing with LTE (Long Term Evolution), another high speed wireless technology. Wednesday Verizon Wireless announced it will launch 4G LTE in 38 major metropolitan markets by the end of next year. Verizon expects 4G LTE average data rates to run 5 to 12 Mbps, matching most cable modem data rates. Uplink speeds are predicted in the 2 to 5 Mbps range, which exceeds what's available on many, if not most, cable modems. Verizon's LTE roll-out will use 700 MHz spectrum Verizon won in FCC auctions. More information is available at the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.