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Logo for iBurst
Invented by ArrayComm
Current supplier Kyocera

iBurst (or HC-SDMA, High Capacity Spatial Division Multiple Access) is a wireless broadband technology originally developed by ArrayComm. It optimizes the use of its bandwidth with the help of smart antennas. Kyocera is the manufacturer of iBurst devices.


iBurst is a mobile broadband wireless access system that was first developed by ArrayComm, and announced with partner Sony in April 2000.[1] It was adopted as the High Capacity – Spatial Division Multiple Access (HC-SDMA) radio interface standard (ATIS-0700004-2005) by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). The standard was prepared by ATIS’ Wireless Technology and Systems Committee’s Wireless Wideband Internet Access subcommittee and accepted as an American National Standard in 2005.[2]

HC-SDMA was announced as considered by ISO TC204 WG16 for the continuous communications standards architecture, known as Communications, Air-interface, Long and Medium range (CALM), which ISO is developing for intelligent transport systems (ITS). ITS may include applications for public safety, network congestion management during traffic incidents, automatic toll booths, and more. An official liaison was established between WTSC and ISO TC204 WG16 for this in 2005.[2]

The HC-SDMA interface provides wide-area broadband wireless data-connectivity for fixed, portable and mobile computing devices and appliances. The protocol is designed to be implemented with smart antenna array techniques (called MIMO for multiple-input multiple-output) to substantially improve the radio frequency (RF) coverage, capacity and performance for the system.[3] In January 2006, the IEEE 802.20 Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Working Group adopted a technology proposal that included the use of the HC-SDMA standard for the 625kHz Multi-Carrier time division duplex (TDD) mode of the standard. One Canadian vendor operates at 1.8 GHz.


An iBurst desktop modem by Kyocera in 2008

The HC-SDMA interface operates on a similar premise as cellular phones, with hand-offs between HC-SDMA cells repeatedly providing the user with a seamless wireless Internet access even when moving at the speed of a car or train.

The protocol:

  • specifies base station and client device RF characteristics, including output power levels, transmit frequencies and timing error, pulse shaping, in-band and out-of band spurious emissions, receiver sensitivity and selectivity;
  • defines associated frame structures for the various burst types including standard uplink and downlink traffic, paging and broadcast burst types;
  • specifies the modulation, forward error correction, interleaving and scrambling for various burst types;
  • describes the various logical channels (broadcast, paging, random access, configuration and traffic channels) and their roles in establishing communication over the radio link; and
  • specifies procedures for error recovery and retry.

The protocol also supports Layer 3 (L3) mechanisms for creating and controlling logical connections (sessions) between client device and base including registration, stream start, power control, handover, link adaptation, and stream closure, as well as L3 mechanisms for client device authentication and secure transmission on the data links. Currently deployed iBurst systems allow connectivity up to 2 Mbit/s for each subscriber equipment. Apparently there will be future firmware upgrade possibilities to increase these speeds up to 5 Mbit/s, consistent with HC-SDMA protocol.[citation needed]

Commercial use[edit]

Various options are already commercially available using:

  • Desktop modem with USB and Ethernet ports (with external power supply)
  • Portable USB modem (using USB power supply)
  • Laptop modem (PC card)
  • Wireless Residential Gateway
  • Mobile Broadband Router

iBurst was commercially available in twelve countries in 2011 including Azerbaijan,[4] Norway, Ireland, Canada, Lebanon,[5] and USA.[6] iBurst (Pty) Ltd started operation in South Africa in 2005.[7] iBurst Africa International provided the service in Ghana in 2007, and then later in Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.[8] MoBif Wireless Broadband Sdn Bhd, started service in Malaysia in 2007, changing its name to iZZinet.[9] The provider ceased operations in March 2011.[citation needed]

In Australia, Veritel and Personal Broadband Australia (a subsidiary of Commander Australia Limited), offered iBurst services however both have since been shut down after the increase of 3.5G and 4G mobile data services. BigAir acquired Veritel's iBurst customers in 2006,[10] and shut down the service in 2009.[11] Personal Broadband Australia's iBurst service was shut down in December 2008.


  1. ^ Geneva Sapp (May 1, 2000). "The Wireless Advantage". Computerworld. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "ATIS Standard Enables Seamless Wireless Wideband Connectivity at High Speeds". News release (ATIS). September 26, 2005. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ David Brunnen (June 30, 2005). "Mobile Broadband - A Third Generation - but not as we know it". Groupe Itellex. Archived from the original on October 27, 2005. 
  4. ^ iBurst in Azerbaijan
  5. ^ iBurst in Lebanon
  6. ^ Radhakrishna Canchi (March 11, 2011). "Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Systems Supporting Vehicular Mobility" (PDF). Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ "About iBurst: The iBurst way". Provider web site. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  8. ^ "iBurst Africa: Wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP) in DRC". Provider web site. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  9. ^ Rudolph Muller. "iBurst now available in Malaysia". MyBroadband (South Africa). Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  10. ^ "BigAir acquires iBurst customers". Computerworld. June 8, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  11. ^ Tim Lohman (March 16, 2010). "BigAir touts wireless market opportunities". Computerworld. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]