News Release Details

Message from the CEO


Message from the CEO

Mobile Broadband Demonstration

Wi-LAN recently demonstrated a mobile broadband system with seamless handoff capability at speeds of more than 110 km/h. Wi-LAN’s long-term strategy is to develop systems that meet the needs of the Fixed Broadband Wireless Access (FBWA) market and also be the foundation of the Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) market. The IEEE standard 802.16-2004 and 802.16e are effectively implementing the same vision.

The demonstration was performed using equipment based exclusively on Wi-LAN’s W-OFDM expertise. Backhauled by Wi-LAN’s LIBRA 3000, two LIBRA 5800 TM Access Units with hand-off capability provide wireless connectivity of 32 Mbps to a Mobile Unit traveling in excess of 110 km/h. The demonstration was shown over a 3 km stretch of highway north of the Calgary International Airport.

Figure 1. - Overview of the Mobile Network. In Stage 1, the Mobile Unit (MU) is connected via AU2. In Stage 2, the MU is connected via AU2 but determines that handoff is required and performs a handoff to AU3 when AU3 has established a stable link with the MU. In Stage 3, the MU is connected via AU3.

The handoff capability demonstrated was with four simultaneous video streams. The seamless handoff is known as a make before break type of handoff. The video streams continued uninterrupted without any glitches or pixilation (where portions of the image are destroyed due to lost or distorted packets), to the point that we need to show one of the control screens of the mobile unit to indicate at which instant the handoff actually occurs.

The throughput of this system, the speed at which it operates robustly, and the short time required to effect the handoff are all well beyond the performance requirements being currently studied by operators and regulators (see in particular the recently released WiBro requirements from South Korea).

As those of you who follow this market closely know, the promise of WiMAX Forum Certified systems for FBWA is enhanced by the much larger promise of Mobile WiMAX. Some analysts predict the FBWA market could be as large as US $3-5 Billion per year by 2007, but the MBWA market could potentially be significantly larger. This market is generating a tremendous amount of interest, with IEEE Standard 802.20 being developed, the WiBRO initiative in Korea, and the current 3G standards (WCDMA and CDMA 2000) all vying to be the future standard. Therefore, successfully demonstrating the technical feasibility and usability of W-OFDM (the basis of the WiMAX Forum Certified standard) in the mobile environment is a noteworthy milestone.

In addition, for Wi-LAN this demonstration is a key element in establishing the company’s credibility and in validating its technology for use in MBWA. It could also open doors to target customers such as the mobile operators and/or the OEM’s that supply equipment to these operators.

With advances in this technology being made every day, Wi-LAN is committed to striking the delicate balance between offering our investors and shareholders important information while still maintaining a competitive advantage. Confidentiality from competitors is of the utmost importance and yet we recognize there are loyal followers who are interested in the progress the company is making towards realizing its substantial potential. Therefore we want you to know we are excited and energized by the prospects for our future and we will continue to share important developments with you as they materialize.

I look forward to being able to report further progress as it happens. This is a very exciting milestone and proof of concept, and it validates a lot of our current long-term strategy.

Dr. Sayed-Amr (Sisso) El-Hamamsy
President and Chief Executive Officer

August 10, 2004

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