LONDON picoChip has signed a breakthrough agreement with one of the most aggressive operators of broadband wireless in Korea. The non exclusive partnership with Korea Telecom (KT) calls for the companies to develop WiBro / WiMAX access points, sometimes called Femtocells.
KT is one of the few operators to have launched a commercial WiBro service, initially to serve the Seoul area but with plans to cover almost all of South Korea by 2008.
The basestations under development, with other partners, will use picoChip’s multi-core DSP, which is also being widely used for W-CDMA Femtocells.
“This is a hugely important development partnership for us. KT is one of the most serious operators of the Korean version of WiMAX, and the operator is determined to make this work and pump-prime the technology and use of small, cost-efficient home basestations,” Rupert Baines, vice president of marketing at picoChip (Bath, England) told EE Times .
The reference design to be developed, deploying picoChip’s recently introduced PC20x range of processors, will be built according to KT’s demanding specifications, added Baines.
Femtocells are small, low-cost basestations, intended to be used in residential or corporate environments where high-speed coverage would otherwise be limited. By enabling cost-effective deployment they allow carriers to complete with UMA or voice-over-WiFi.
The idea is increasingly recognised in the 3G community, but KT is the first to develop such a program for WiMAX, said Baines.
WiBro, the South Korean wireless telecommunications standard, is compatible with WiMAX 802.16e-2005 (mobile WiMAX).