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March 1, 2001
William C.Y. Lee Looks Ahead to 4G Wireless
By Bruce Christian
Calling it a patched-up system that could be inefficient, William C.Y. Lee,
one of the world’s leading authorities on mobile communications, says it may be
best if the industry were to leapfrog over third-generation wireless and prepare
for the fourth-generation.
"I don’t like 3G," says Lee, chairman and chairman of the board for
LinkAir Communications Inc. (www.linkair.com).
"It is not a very good system. I feel it is wasting our time, and the
performance won’t be as we expected."
On the other hand, "4G technology can evolve quickly, so we can skip 3G
and go directly to 4G," Lee says.
For 35 years, Lee has worked on the technology side of wireless
communications. But he also recognizes the business side and the need for
resellers and agents to offer wireless communications.
"They have to get into wireless to survive," Lee says. "In the
Lee began exploring wireless communications after receiving his doctorate at
"I chose not to go," he recalls. He was then told of Bell Labs’ new
"Sometimes you don’t choose your future," Lee says. "But this
Indeed it has. Lee has written three books on wireless and more than 200
"Dr. Lee is among the elite telecom luminaries and has been a key player
After 15 years at Bell Labs, Lee went to work for the ITT Defense
Lee’s 1990 work developing a new microcell system increased radio capacity by
In all, Lee’s work has led to 25 U.S. patents, with 11 more pending. He also
When Lee speaks of 4G, his emotions are betrayed. He becomes excited. He says
He explains that the first three generations of wireless communications have
"That is called the FDD [frequency division duplex]," Lee explains,
"New scholars have come up with special smart codes that can isolate the
According to Lee, this innovation allows a signal to be sent on one time slot
"It’s really about spectrum efficiency," he says. "With this
Lee says much of the research done to make wireless better has been focused
"Interference is the killer. But now we have these special codes. We
Lee knows something about the cost of wireless. He remembers when the first
"All the Wall Street analysts were saying it was too expensive. They
The Wall Street analysts were wrong.
"People like mobility," Lee said. "People like to travel.
Of course, Lee agrees with the industry analysts who say that the future for
"Since the Internet has come up and data transmission has started, we
That is why using the available frequency more efficiently makes more sense,
"Sometimes you may be downloading very heavy traffic, but you may only
Bruce Christian is editor of PHONE+ magazine
Read more about:Agents
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