Thursday, 12 August 2010

NewMax Vs xMax

There's an interesting post over at Brough Turner's Blog HERE. He's an acknowledged radio expert who seems to know his stuff. Back in 2006 he had much the same conclusions as Phil Karn that to work as they then claimed xMax would have to violate physical laws, and/or FCC regulations. Then the claims were of 10,000 times less power than other systems for the same data-rate, cities covered with 4 basestations, and networks run on watch batteries. It was madness. To make matters worse the company was promising an imminent launch of this impossible system: The R&D is over said Mooers in March 2006 "We’re at the commercialization and product stage now." The launch was promised before the end of 2006, with 4G networks coming shortly after. Well, that went well.

This obviously made them a laughing stock and exposed the ridiculous lack of knowledge (like the Shannon Bound) of basic communications theory of the inventor Joe Bobier, and the psychotic optimism of Arsehole Rick Mooers. The fact that xG were touting for investors to buy shares in an invention that couldn't possibly work was fraud pure and simple. And they could never claim they were ignorant of this: Karn told them, I told them, it was all over the Internet.

Then, somehow, Joe seemed to have been introduced to the real world. This culminated in the FCC certification of BSN250. This was a basestation that seemed to use perfectly ordinary modulation methods. Nothing spectacular. Nothing unusual. Boring, but it would at least work.

The problem with that is twofold
1) Investors were promised a Ferrari, xG unveiled a bog standard hatchback. It was the most outrageous misrepresentation.
2) Nobody thought of telling the stockmarket that xG's only product had changed 180 degrees in violation of many stockmarket regulations.

To xG's credit they have used this conventional radio modulation system to make a network. Gone was the Wavelet Pass Filter which Bobier and Schwartz had claimed was the "key to xMax", which meant that interference was 'eliminated' (unless you were conducting a xMax demo obviously), and in was a conventional system that switches frequency many times a second.

In July 2010 Brough actually went to visit Joe to see the system. As we imagined the modulation was standard, and running at 2G speeds, not the 4G promised four years ago. There's nothing special. Most fascinating for me though is an entry in the comments:

Thanks for the fair overview of where xG is today. It did take a reinvention of the company to move into our new direction of offering carrier class cognitive radios. Hopefully we can get this technology into the standards at some point.

Rick Rotondo
VP Marketing
xG Technology

That, to me is incredible. He's admitted the bait and switch - The 'reinvention'. He's as good as said what they have now is a standard modulation, not the amazing low power/high data rate modulation they were flogging initially. The system around it may be cute, but there are many other cute systems out there.

I'll email Mr Rotondo to comment here. I wonder if he will.

Edit: Surprise! No news from Mr Rotondo. There's another blog over at 4G Wireless Evolution that mentions xG. Carl Ford says:
The chip makers for WiMAX are all finding their way into LTE - mostly through Time Division over Frequency Division, which according to our friends at xG Technology, is a secret sauce that will allow beam forming and cognitive radio to live in noisy spectrum.

TMDA and FDMA (Time and Frequency Division Multiple Access) are fairly common among modern radio systems. The 'Key to xMax' - the wavelet pass filter - is gone. The incredible modulation is gone. And so is the $1.5Bn valuation.

Don't look at the man behind the curtain. Move along, nothing to see here.


  1. No doubt you cannot read sop...regulations in the US doesn´t allow the true value of xMax to be used, but the US is not the rest of the do realize that. Ugly Karn screaming about Shannon Bound was another sideshow in the circus that is his life.
    Also Brough says it is a great tech to TAKE OVER FIXED LINES!!!

  2. You know, the more I think about it, the more your post, Ugly´s campaign and Huangs gookiness should be pointed to as criminal acts. Is the FCC a global entity? What a bunch of fucking mongos. Karn was never right, and you are a dumb drunk sheep.

  3. Thanks Anon,

    "the RF technology is now very conventional"
    "the RF technology is now very conventional"
    "the RF technology is now very conventional"

    It's worth repeating a few times. BTW are you Mr Rotondo?

  4. John, Getting the main idea not your strong point I see. Too funny. So Wimax will move into LTE through xMax chips but there is nothing to see here...ok, great!

  5. Which parallel universe are you on Anon?

    Think back to the car analogy:

    xG say they've invented this amazing engine (the modulation) that can go 1000 miles (amazing range), at 400 mph (amazing data rate), on a teaspoon of petrol (powered by watch batteries). No-one believes it, so they say they're going to build a car around the engine to prove it. This engine makes the company making it worth $1.5Bn.

    When the car arrives all looks good until people ask to see the engine. That's not allowed because of 'intellectual property'. But when the performance; power/data-rate/range are tested they're standard (2G, not 4G), boring, average.

    "Look, that doesn't matter", squeals Mooers, "we did it we built a car, you are all wrong." Bullshit.

    I grant you, It's impressive for a company with no experience of building cars to build one, but their claimed advantage, the only point of difference, just isn't there.

  6. Sure, thats the ticket.

  7. Don't worry, I'm on Marc Dannenberg's crap list now. After "Tales from the Towers" on, he is sending me nasty emails like this:

    "Rory you dumbass you have one person who recommends you in the world of wireless. You are a hero in your own mind you loser."

  8. Hi Rory,

    Sorry about the slow reply. Read your blog. Hilarious! I've added it to the permanent links section to the right. Should be compulsory reading.

    Marc's a freak. Just remind him as often as possible about his erectile dysfunction. :-)