Enabling the WiMAX to TD-LTE Transition


Over the last decade, the telecommunications industry witnessed many Tier-2 market entrants into the Fixed and Mobile data services using WiMAX technology.  Whilst many operators still have network capacity in hand, the WiMAX terminal ecosystem has abandoned their subscriber growth and most customers are demanding smarter terminals or tablets that can be used with an LTE solution.

In most cases existing WiMAX operators have deployed substantial network assets where significant coverage has been achieved and large customer bases have been obtained.

With some fine tuning of the business model the existing site locations can be reused for TD-LTE base station technology. As a result, Tier-2 operators who possess large tranches of high capacity spectrum will now be able to directly compete with larger Tier-1 mobile network operators (MNO’s) whilst maintaining the ROI of historical WiMAX assets that can provide “quality assured” wireless backhaul spectrum at a fraction of the cost of incumbent fiber backhaul solutions.

Problem & Approach

The demand for mobile data is continuing to climb in all markets where WiMAX operators own spectrum assets. With the inclusion of 3GPP support for 3.5GHz (Band 42) and 3.6GHz (Band 43) spectrum will allow Tier-2 WiMAX operator owners and investors a real opportunity to sweat the spectrum assets in new ways and offer new customers compelling lower cost high-capacity mobile data services. In this new market, the business case for fixed wireless services is becoming increasingly valuable,as CIOs continue to opt with distributed, regional offices, and redundant enterprise connectivity over wireless as network infrastructure.

The quality assured low latency nature of these newly developed TD-LTE technologies allows a whole new “time sensitive” subscriber ecosystem to evolve into the future.

For the WiMAX Investor, this translates to the following.

  • Many investors watched CAPEX disappear into a technology that was not adopted by the mass market.  These investors want to understand the real options of what the new LTE technologies can offer today and what can be done with the business model to preserve the original ROI investment strategy by sweating the spectrum asset and developing a stronger business.  New OPEX can be introduced and many of these can be derived from building a “smarter network” and byacquiring terminals at a lower price point in the long run (prices have dropped due to increased “global” volumes of TD-LTE equipment).

For the WiMAX Operator, this translates to the following.

  • Most Operators have experienced difficulty in obtaining compelling devices to drive subscriber growth. The available device options were limited in choice due to low volume and IOT costs. Because of the dual band nature and global volume requirements for most LTE devices, this will no longer be the case.  Our team has helped operators with suitable TD-LTE reboot strategies and has developed small cell strategies and dual band strategies that can leverage the historical WiMAX CAPEX spend and ease the TD-LTE deployment integration.


The Xona team can provide knowledgeable end-to-end expertise to support all aspects of an operator’s future strategy and any related interim management specializations that may be required by a WiMAX operator undergoing transition.

Our team has helped operators with suitable TD-LTE reboot strategiesand has actual operational experience in the following areas relevant to “the TD-LTE adoption challenge”:

  • Launch Strategy
  • Engineering Recruitment Source & Selection
  • Spectrum Application Management
  • Spectrum Auction Management
  • RFP/RFQ Advisory & Management
  • Vendor Selection KPI & Advisory
  • Deployment Program Management

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