What is Wibro ?
WiBro is an acronym for "Wireless Broadband" and is actually a term that has largely been phased out in favor of the more collaborative and generic Mobile WiMAX. Korean standards makers early on adopted the term to describe their initiatives towards adopting a version of the 802.16e standard. Basically, the Korean standard chose to accept a specific mobile WiMAX iteration of 802.16e, rather than any future version that included backwards compatibility to fixed wireless 802.16 systems.
That approach has since proven to be the norm as mobile WiMAX is vastly favored over the fixed version. Korea enjoys probably the most extensive 3G deployments in the world already, and its fixed broadband access per capita is the highest in the world. What it needed was an improved mobile broadband. In fact, the Korean government issued the first three deployment licenses for WiBro/Mobile WiMAX in January of 2005. And several deployments are under way. Customer uptake has been modest so far, however, the sheer scale of broadband penetration in Korea means that customers have fewer motivations to adopt the technology. Since the WiMAX Forum has chosen to interoperate with WiBro/Mobile WiMAX, this will ultimately result in compatible systems.
WiBro/Mobile WiMAX in many respects is driving the mobile side of WiMAX at least from the point of view of vendors eager to provide products to these early deployments. What makes WiBro roll-outs a good test case for the overall WiMAX effort is that it is mobile, well thought out for delivery of wireless broadband services, and the fact that the deployment is taking place in a highly sophisticated, broadband-saturated market. WiBro will go up against 3G and very high bandwidth wire-line services rather than as gap-filler or rural under-served market deployments as is often exampled as the best fit markets for WiMAX. As such, WiBRO is now best described as a particular profile within WiMAX with 8.75MHz channel in the 2.3GHz band.
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