At an ITWeb IT Confidence Conference held in Johannesburg, Canadian technology entrepreneur, venture partner and author Leonard Brody claimed that the country has to roll-out WiMAX if it is to be a global competitor in the technology arena.
He pointed out that Canada had learned many lessons in turning around from a disastrous financial deficit in 1993 to become the top technology producer in the world and said South Africa could learn from these experiences.
In response to this, Malan Smith: divisional director, Networks at Siemens Communications, says that the company already has outstanding know-how on cellular infrastructure as well as many years of experience and a leading market position in the mobile and microwave business, including Point to Multipoint solution for Mobile backhauling.
“Therefore, as a solutions provider and systems integrator, Siemens is already able to offer its customers an end-to-end and integrated WiMAX solution,” says Smith.
“The WiMAX-certified broadband wireless solution supplied by Siemens is known as the WayMAX system and supports data, voice and video services to fixed, nomadic and portable users.”
According to Smith, one of the WayMAX system’s key advantages lies in the fact that it is the company’s in-house developed product, unlike other major vendors which use re-branded OEM (original equipment manufacturer) products.
“The real benefit to the market from this perspective lies in the fact that – since it is not distributed via re-sellers – we can offer clients much more reliable technical support, since there are no middle men, so to speak,” he says. “I believe that Siemens is the first large traditional communications vendor or system house that has entered the WiMAX market with its own product, rather than going the OEM route. The rest of the serious WiMAX players are niche market players historically specialising in Broadband Wireless.”
He points out that the WayMAX radio subsystem offers the highest range due to a number of built in mechanisms, including receiver diversity, sub-channelling and high-power base station transmitters, and states that product range will eventually support both the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.16-2004 and IEEE802.16-2005 standards. In addition, the equipment is software upgradeable to the new IEEE 802.16e standard.
These wireless standards will eventually take the place of xDSL, Cable and fibre optic broadband technologies, as they offer wider coverage areas and higher throughput without increasing the transmission power of user terminals.
“Because of its range, support and diversity, this system offers a cost-effective solution for delivering broadband services to residential users, small-office-home-office (SOHO) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because it caters both for business and consumer applications and end-user scenarios,” says Smith. “Siemens has partnered with Intel for their range of chipsets to be used in mass-market end-user devices and is also working with software house ATDI to co-develop and maximise the reliability of a WiMAX radio propagation model for the company’s ICS Telecom nG software tool, which is a reference tool for planning telecommunication networks and managing frequency spectrum.”
He says that in preparation for South Africa’s impending WiMAX explosion, Siemens is involved in the WiMAX Forum, having joined and served as an active member of the organisation since 2003.
“Siemens equipment has been certified by the WiMAX forum during March 2006. The WiMAX wave is ready to hit South Africa, and thanks to Siemens participation in the WiMAX Forum and its new WayMAX system, the company aims to be at the forefront of this new communications revolution,” he concludes. by Moneyweb journalists 6 June 2006