LTE and WiMAX – Ericsson View

Ericsson’s Chief Technology Officer, Håkan Eriksson, has been named one of the most influential people of 2008 by a leading industry publication, Telephony Online, for his steadfast advocacy of the LTE standard.

February 4, 2009

We asked Håkan Eriksson three questions about why he stood behind the 3GPP-based Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard when others were touting WiMAX technology, and why he believes LTE will lead the way to the 4G future.

Håkan Eriksson
Håkan Eriksson

What was the argument you presented that helped to deflate the hype surrounding WiMAX?
In this industry, there are 30 mobile handsets sold every second. It does not matter if you think one technology is better than another, because the sheer economy of scale becomes the most important factor. We already have more than 300 million subscriptions on the WCDMA/HSPA standard – a 3GPP track that will lead to LTE. Mobile WiMAX subscriptions are estimated to reach 100 million by 2013. By then, the estimate is that there will be 1.2 billion WCDMA/HSPA subscribers. That is more than a tenfold scale advantage. What’s more, WiMAX’s performance cannot match the capacity of HSPA. So not only is WiMAX’s market share smaller, it loses in terms of performance also.

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