Yes, it's only a demonstration. Even so, Samsung's trial of WiMAX 2 technology that touched speeds of 330Mbps is still impressive.
Samsung is holding a public demonstration of the yet-to-be-finalized WiMAX 2 standard at the CEATEC IT and electronics tradeshow in Japan this week. In teaming up with Japan's UQ Communications ISP, Samsung is wirelessly streaming full-HD 3D videos over a WiMAX 2 trial network. WiMAX 2 is an evolution of the WiMAX standard that is currently used by Clearwire and Sprint to deliver the fastest wireless data services in the United States, with typical download speeds in the 4Gbps to 5Gbps range.
The WiMAX 2 standard, formally known as 802.16m, is due be finalized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) this November. 802.16m is expected to be significantly faster than its predecessor and the WiMAX Forum industry group projects that it will be able to deliver average downlink speeds of more than 100Mbps to users.
But while 802.16m will give WiMAX a major speed boost, don't expect it to propagate any further than the current WiMAX technology that covers around 31 square miles per access point. 802.16m will also be backward compatible with 802.16e, the WiMAX standard currently used by operators in the United States. This means that when U.S. ISP Clearwire upgrades to the new standard it will be able to do so at a relatively low cost and with minimal disruption.
Clearwire is the only major U.S. carrier to operate a wireless network based on the 802.16e WiMAX standard. Clearwire wholesales access to its network out to companies that want to offer customers high-speed wireless data services but that do not own WiMAX infrastructure of their own, including Sprint, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all planning to commercially launch LTE services at some point over the next two years.
Both WiMAX and LTE are hitting the market during a time when Cisco projects that mobile Internet traffic will double every year between now and 2013, when it will total an average of 2.2 million terabytes per month. Cisco predicts that the biggest driver for the traffic increase will come from video, which will account for roughly 64 per cent of all mobile data traffic in 2013. In 2008, video traffic averaged around 13,000 TB per month, or roughly 39 per cent of all mobile traffic. By 2013, video traffic will increase by more than 100 times and will average around 1.3 million TB per month, Cisco projects.
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