Since the first commercial launch of Mobile WiMAX (IEEE802.16e) approximately two years ago in Baltimore, Maryland, 4G broadband communications have become a sudden reality for vast metropolitan area populations world-wide. By the end of this year, Clear will have launched close to eighty WiMAX networks in the U.S alone - with Clear, Sprint, Timewarner, Comcast, and Best Buy, all selling 4G network service plans for various devices: 4G-ready PCs, 4G USB adapters, 3G/4G hotspots, and 4G/WiFi hotspots to consumers and enterprises.
From a very rudimentary perspective, netbooks, notebooks, slate tablets, and smart phones can be utilized as the traditional cellular phone – in terms of staying connected while traveling in a car, bus, train, etc. Consumers, who had to search out a coffee shop or book store in order to get on the Internet, can now stay connected to the web throughout the city.
Recently, the Internet has unleashed a flurry of uses for both the consumer and the enterprise (e.g. communications, entertainment, collaboration, multimedia, and services like Google Maps, Netflix, etc.). In the midst of all this, a slew of smartphones (like Sprint EPIC 4G, Sprint HTC EVO 4G, Apple iPhone 4, etc.) and slate tablets (the Apple iPad, ExoPC Slate, etc.) have been released like hot cakes into markets.
What makes these smartphones and tablets so versatile and invaluable to the end-user is not just the sexy size, look and feel. There are an infinite number of creative applications and services that can be developed, downloaded, and utilized from an app store, store front, market, etc. using a variety of operating systems such as Meego, Linux, Android, and Windows. All these applications and services require broadband communications in order to function superbly.
On top of that, when you add entire population centers (Manhattan, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, etc.) sending and receiving huge amounts of Internet data all at the same time, this requires a multi-lane highway with quality of service for each lane: a far left lane for fast power users and far right lane for slower Internet browsers… This is exactly the self fulfilling prophecy behind Mobile WiMAX which was formulated and developed into the one and only 4G reality in the world today by IEEE.
One company, Vidyo Inc., stands poised to harness the broadband infrastructure by offering high definition, low-latency, error resilient multi-point videoconferencing on conference room systems, desktop, and mobile systems strung along the IP network. Intel and Vidyo have performed video conferencing over WiMAX demonstrations during the past several years (Intel Developer Forum 2010 at the Intel Pavilion in the Moscone Center, in San Francisco), Intel Developer Forum 2009 (click here to see Dadi Perlmutter’s Keynote demo on stage at Moscone Center, San Francisco), Computex 2009 (Sean Maloney’s Keynote demo on stage at TICC building, Taipei, Taiwan). For Computex 2009, a Vidyo conference was showcased over the Amsterdam, Netherland’s Worldmax WiMAX network into the TICC Keynote, and for IDF2009, a Vidyo conference was showcased over the Portland, Oregon’s Clear WiMAX network into the Moscone Center keynote.
In addition to being equipped with a USB webcam and a noise cancelling headset, each of the Intel PCs (Intel Core 2 Duo or i3/i5/i7 core processor-based) was loaded with VidyoDesktop software with its configurations managed by the VidyoPortal. The VidyoRoom was set-up remotely by Vidyo.
Vidyo’s proprietary distributed computing solution significantly eliminates long delays, choppy frames, and broken pictures, etc. in multipoint video conferencing over the Internet – Vidyo technology divides and buckets the video bitstreams into highly reliable and low reliable channels. In this way, the video components allow the distributed system to dynamically adapt to changing network conditions (e.g. network bandwidth, packet loss, jitter, network delay, etc.).
The multiple bit stream components also allow for the distributed IP network to adapt to the dynamic nature of computer processing amongst all the client devices engaged in the video conference. WiMAX, as the wireless broadband communication medium, offers speeds which are ten times faster than 3G with corresponding 10MHz channel bandwidth as well as a QoS infrastructure which intelligently allocates an appropriate modulation scheme for users on the network.
Hence, Vidyo in conjunction with WiMAX offers the most robust video conferencing solutions/experiences to date - especially for clients who are un-tethered to a wired network (DSL, Cable Modem, etc.) and on the go.
Sanjiv S. Gupta is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Intel Corp with focus on WiMAX enablement world wide – primarily in U.S., Latin America, India and the EU. He has been with Intel Corporation for twelve years and has been directly responsible for the marketing/integration of Intel’s graphics and wireless components into OEM PCs worldwide. Sanjiv S. Gupta received a BSEE from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a MSEE from the University of Texas, Arlington in 1988 and 1995, respectively. His experience in high technology spans more than twenty years with past roles as Senior Microwave Design engineer at Texas Instruments, Senior Product Engineer at Cirrus Logic, and Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Brooktree Corp.