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Firms join hands to drive WiMAX 2 adoption

Posted: 14 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiMAX? 4G? VoIP? wireless broadband?

WiMAX silicon suppliers, equipment makers and research organizations have formed a new initiative to accelerate interoperability of the next release of WiMAX technology, WiMAX 2, based upon the IEEE 802.16m standard.

As the 4G wireless broadband industry begins to take shape, it is imperative to evolve the industry model to create a better value chain for service providers. With this goal in mind, WiMAX vendors Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Sequans, XRONet and ZTE as well as the Taiwan research organization Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), have launched the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI). The group will work closely with the WiMAX Forum to accelerate the implementation of interoperable system profiles for WiMAX 2 equipment and devices with the goal of improving the economics of mobile broadband.

The 802.16m builds upon 802.16e by adding new capabilities while maintaining backward compatibility. It meets the International Telecommunications Union requirements for 4G or "IMT-Advanced," delivering higher system capacity!peak rates of more than 300Mbit/s!lower latency and increased VoIP capacity. The performance gains will enable WiMAX operators to keep up with the explosion in demand for rich, multimedia mobile applications and devices which increasingly require high speed, on-the-go connectivity

The objectives of the group include:

??Technology collaboration and joint performance benchmarking;
??Joint testing of 4G applications over WiMAX 2 solutions;
??Early network level interoperability testing;
??Plugfests to prepare for WiMAX Forum certification.

"The Taiwanese device manufacturing ecosystem is already providing all manner of clients today!standalone modems, USB dongles, embedded modules for PCs, mobile Internet devices, handsets and CE devices!for Release 1 of WiMAX," said Cheng-Wen Wu, general director of Information & Communications Research Laboratories and VP of ITRI.

The WiMAX industry is seeing a non-linear shift in mobile broadband usage models!similar in magnitude to that experienced when people went from dial-up to broadband. Consumers on some WiMAX networks are consuming 7-10Gbyte of data per month. WiMAX 1 ushered in a new, open model for high-speed, wireless Internet and WiMAX 2 will keep pushing the envelope to help operators keep up with insatiable demand.

The group will issue detailed milestones and delivery schedules within the next three to six months with the goal to support the WiMAX Forum's readiness to certify commercial products by late 2011. The group includes the top suppliers of WiMAX silicon and equipment, providing solutions to more than one hundred Mobile WiMAX operators worldwide.

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