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WiMAX's massive network: 430M people

Posted: 27 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiMAX? deployments network? provider service?

WiMAX service providers are now offering networks covering 430 million people, or POPS, globally and are on a path to nearly double to 800 million people by the end of 2010, according to the WiMAX Forum.

In addition, global WiMAX network deployments are approaching 460 million in more than 135 countries for fixed, portable and mobile networks. The WiMAX Forum also met key milestones with the first Mobile WiMAX 3.5GHz products receiving the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval.

"WiMAX coverage is here now and is the catalyst in the global marketplace to deliver 4G broadband Internet access to countries that don't want to wait," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "These new deployment numbers reveal the mobile Internet WiMAX ecosystem has achieved strong growth and will continue to satisfy the market demand to deliver high-speed broadband services in 2009. Certified products in the 3.5GHz band will now give more operators access to the equipment and devices needed to deliver mobile broadband services."

Accelerated growth
With more than 430 million POPS already covered by WiMAX services and new spectrum licenses anticipated to be allocated in countries such as Brazil and India, WiMAX Forum expects to see accelerated growth of WiMAX's global footprint in 2009. And, the ecosystem can expect to see continued subscriber growth as consumers and enterprises recognize the availability of WiMAX as a high-speed low-cost alternative to other Internet technologies.

During a teleconference, Intel highlighted the WiMAX Forum findings, as well as additional global WiMAX news and momentum.

"After several years in development, 2008 was the year that WiMAX became a global reality," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president at Intel. "In both emerging markets and mature countries, companies and governments are deploying 4G WiMAX networks to help bridge the digital divide and bring affordable, super-fast mobile broadband to their citizens. As countries look to accelerate broadband in 2009 to address economic recovery, WiMAX is readyit's the right technology at the right time. There is no need to waitWiMAX is a reality today."

More certifications
Signaling continued WiMAX momentum, Samsung and ZTE Corp. received the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval for products for the 3.5GHz spectrum band. This milestone also marks the first of many certified products to come out of the Telecommunications Technology Association lab in Korea, one of six global WiMAX Forum Designated Certifcation Laboratories (WFDCL).

Samsung's 3.5GHz base station, the U-RAS Flexible, is a new addition to Samsung's WiMAX Forum Certified products in 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz bands. This base station is now being deployed for Lithuania's first WiMAX commercial service. U-RAS Flexible is separated into two parts including the digital unit and remote radio head. The optic interface between digital unit and remote radio head minimizes cable loss. Its powerful RF output effectively covers macro network areas. It adopts MIMO technology and is ready for beamforming, ensuring consistent quality service for years to come.

ZTE's 9100+R9100 base stations also achieved certification. These add a new frequency band to ZTE's resume, which already includes WiMAX Forum Certified products in the 2.6GHz and 2.3GHz bands. ZTE B9100+R9100 are distributed base station systems developed on MicroTCA hardware platform equipped with features such as easy upgrade path, compact design and low total cost of ownership (TCO). It supports advanced MIMO technology, which enhances the signal transmission quality of single base station. ZTE's most recent products were certified at the Taiwan WFDCL Bureau Veritas ADT.

More than 50 Mobile WiMAX Certified products achieved certification in 2008. Currently, more than 35 WiMAX Forum member companies manufacture WiMAX base stations, 30 companies provide PC cards, USB modems, MIDs and other personal devices; 25 companies produce chipsets and reference designs, and six of the top seven global device manufacturers develop WiMAX products. The WiMAX Forum estimates that by 2011 there will be more than 1,000 Mobile WiMAX Forum Certified products found throughout the world.

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