WiMAX or LTE – which is better? Answer depends on who you talk to. The vendors have their own views, and the operators theirs. Consumers does not think about technology. It is about speed and seamless connectivity, and not having to buy different devices to operate on different platforms.
WiMAX is being deployed at a steady pace worldwide and will try to grab major customers in the market. Operators world wide are doing LTE trials and in Europe Telesonera also has lauched LTE services last year in December. In North america Verizon is set to launch LTE services in Q4, 2010.
Both WiMAX and LTE are based on IP packet-based data carriage, in contrast to 3G and earlier cellphone systems which were designed to accommodate circuit-switched communication. The LTE specification comes from a background of cellular telephony. It would not be surprising if LTE's QoS arrangement and more elaborate upstream and downstream arrangements make it more suitable for voice.
When used primarily for a handheld device with cellphone functions, LTE is at a considerable advantage in that when the device is beyond range of LTE base stations, it can fall back to 2.5G and 3G services, assuming it has the requisite radio technologies, with potentially seamless handover.
For operators, the choice of technology depends on a number of things including available spectrum, legacy inter-working, timing and business focus. To deploy either technology, operators will have to commit tens of billions of dollars in network upgrades for the new mobility landscape, which now includes social, video, location-based and entertainment applications and experiences.
In many countries, the current generation of mobile telecoms networks is 2.5G or 3G. In India, as the 3G auction is underway, the successful foray of WiMAX (a BWA technology) is not only being threatened by another BWA technology called Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex or TD-LTE.
So which technology has the advantageous position? This is where the debate lies. While LTE invokes the impression of mobility, seamless connectivity (due to 2G, 3G fallback), WiMax invokes the impression of computing. So in the end its all about consumers and How they would like to use them.
Recent introduction of Overdirive by Sprint has again given another dimension to mobile WiFi Hot Spots, LTE may follow same route as well.
Found an interesting presentation on LTE Vs WiMAX, by Mario Eguiluz Alebicto, sharing with you all.