Interview with Eran Eshed of Altair on LTE developments & trends

LteWorld had the opportunity to interview Eran Eshed , Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development at Altair,  a leading developer of ultra-low power, small footprint and high perf

LteWorld had the opportunity to interview Eran Eshed , Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development at Altair,  a leading developer of ultra-low power, small footprint and high performance 4G semiconductors. 

In a telephonic conversion with LteWorld, Eran Eshed talked about Altair’s LTE products & future plans in detail. Today itself, IPWireless and Altair Semiconductor have announced a partnership to develop a suite of multi-band LTE modem products which will be commercial availability before the end of this year.

What is Altair’s main focus in LTE domain?

Altair’s focus in LTE domain is pretty wide with strong focus on terminal side.  With Software Defined Radio (SDR), Altair offers unique LTE baseband and LTE RF transceiver chipsets, covering all relevant LTE bands and modes globally. 

What LTE products Altair is offering?

Altair’s offerings include baseband processors, multi-band RF transceivers for both FDD and TDD bands, and a range of reference designs, software tools and product level protocol stack software. 

Based on Altair’s O²P Software Defined Radio architecture, FourGee-3100 LTE chipset is designed to support a wide range of device applications, including handsets, routers, dongles/datacards and CPEs.

Altair’s product portfolio also includes FourGee-6200, a high-performance, wideband FDD/TDD RF transceiver IC which operates in most global LTE frequency bands.

What all LTE spectrum bands Altair’s products would support?

Altair’s products cover any 3GPP LTE frequency band in the range between 700-2700MHz. 

LTE USB modem device announced with IPWireless will support multiple frequency bands including the 800MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.5 GHz. Subsequent devices will also support the entire US 700MHz and AWS frequency.

Why Altair’s chipsets are the most comprehensive in the LTE industry?

We believe that our chipsets are the most comprehensive in the LTE industry as these chipsets support complete range of FDD/TDD band and are fully IOT tested in accordance to 3GPP specifications.

What is Altair’s current LTE market reach and what is expected growth path?

With more than 80 LTE trials world wide, only less than 10 are going to be commercialized this year. We are currently part of many ongoing LTE trials and expect sales of several thousand in numbers in 2010. It is more than what we had expected this year. For next year and onwards, there would be high demand with numbers in millions; we expect a big share of it.

2011 revenue is dependent on 2010 investments, and we are currently investing heavily in it and expect good return in future.

IPWireless and Altair today announced partnership, what does Altair expect from it?

We are working with many customers but IPWireless, a leading provider of 3GPP technology, is first one to announce it officially. We expect strong revenue growth & have robust forecast for it. 

More announcements would come in next few months and we look forward to solidify our position in chipset market.

What future do you see for WiMAX vs LTE ?

Historically we had been working on WiMAX however we have halted WiMAX investments 6-9 months back. We have 100% focus on LTE now. We had been doing LTE development since 2006 and current products are outcome of that.

WiMAX is not dead but definitely it has lost 4G battle to LTE. After recent (BWA) spectrum auction, Indian operators seem to moving towards TD-LTE instead of WiMAX against initial expectations.

Answering a question about providing WiMAX & LTE functions together, he said that it can be supported but Altair does not see much market value for it.


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