Friday, April 17, 2009

WCAI Wireless Policy Summit is Approaching

It was announced this week that Sean Maloney, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at Intel Corporation will give the opening keynote address at the WCAI’s Wireless Policy Summit on May 5 in Washington, DC. The Summit, being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, will gather key officials from government and industry in an open forum for the exchange of ideas between attendees. This event is an ideal opportunity to meet face-to-face with top decision-makers who are shaping the future of the industry in 2009 and beyond. As the new Administration is acting on its commitment to bring broadband access to all Americans, the Summit will examine the role of wireless in the broadband stimulus package, universal service, open access, net neutrality, and more. WCAI web site

In light of the current economy, the summit seems well timed. On April 8th, the FCC adopted a notice of inquiry seeking public comment on the national broadband plan that the Commission is required to prepare under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Fred Campbell of the WCAI commmented on his blog stating - "Wireless broadband platforms should play a leading role in the Commission’s plan to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. Wireless technology is the most cost-effective way to provide affordable broadband both to sparsely populated rural areas and urban centers. Moreover, as the only broadband platform that is capable of providing access everywhere, all the time, wireless broadband offers mobility – a connection to every person whether at home or on the go. These capabilities make wireless broadband essential to achieving the FCC’s goal of universal broadband connectivity.”

Microwave Journal and its sister publication Telecommunications will be keeping a close eye on the lobbying efforts to develop wireless broadband platforms to address the ARRA of 2009. Stay tuned as we will be working with all parties with a stake in this area. Meanwhile - are you heading to this forum? We'd love to hear from you.

MWJ April Issue is Out - Let the Battle Begin

Our April issue themed "Amplifiers and Oscillators" just came out with the lead story about the advantages and disadvantages of Si versus GaAs based semiconductor technologies for power amplifier applications (the discussion is contained to lower power levels, <1 W where they both have good performance). It discusses how Si has made many strides in this arena and could be the preferred technology for many applications.

There is no doubt that GaAs is usually better suited for higher power applications but in the high power realm, LDMOS (at lower frequencies) and GaN have made significant inroads into the market. So it seems GaAs is always getting squeezed in the market with competition on both ends. We will address this high power market in our June issue lead story as LDMOS and GaN face off. Please read the article and let us know your feedback - I am sure the GaAs proponents will have something to say!

GaAs Downturn Predicted to Not Be as Severe as 2001

Strategy Analytics issued a report “GaAs Industry Downturns 2001 vs. 2009," where the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Technologies service reiterated previous projections of a 5% - 6% drop in GaAs industry revenues for 2009, and explains why the current downturn will not be as extreme for the GaAs industry as in 2001.

As SA said previously, the GaAs industry hit a wall in the last quarter of 2008. The effects of a global economic slowdown finally caught up with the handset market—and other end markets—in which GaAs technology is used. However, Strategy Analytics believes that the expanding demand for bandwidth coupled with better managed inventory corrections will save the industry from seeing the precipitous 25% drop suffered in 2001.