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WiMAX Forum opens certification labs

Posted: 16 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiMAX? network? certification lab?

The WiMAX Forum has launched the Open Retail Initiative designed to increase availability of WiMAX devices while reducing the technical and capital overhead by WiMAX network operators to test products on their network. The aim of this comprehensive new certification program is to drive the proliferation of WiMAX consumer devices, sold direct or through retail channels that can be activated with ease by the consumer over the air (OTA) on the network of any participating operator. To fully support this new program, the WiMAX Forum will have its designated certification laboratories ready to test and certify mobile Open Retail devices for interoperability in May 2010.

As part of the new certification program, a significant number of new capability requirements have been added, and a new set of testsincluding radiated performance testing (RPT) thresholds and operator interoperability testing (IOT)have been implemented. The program aims to dramatically decrease a mobile operator's interoperability testing overhead. In addition, these tests will ensure equipment interoperability at the level operators require. In order to address and scale to market demands, the WiMAX Forum has the following independent lab resources available to certify equipment and devices in an end-to-end IOT environment: AT4 Wireless (United States and Spain labs), Bureau Veritas ADT (Taiwan), Telecom Technology Center (Taiwan), China Academy of Telecommunication Research (China), and the Telecommunications Technology Association (Korea). The WiMAX Forum will also add another test facility in Malaysia.

"The introduction of the Open Retail Initiative is a pivotal step for the WiMAX ecosystem to remain on the current accelerated path for mass adoption through a certification and IOT program that provides significant benefits to operators and vendors," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "For operators, this means a reduction of in-house IOT resources and costs, and quicker time to market and reduced risk for introductions of new devices on their networks. For device vendors, the program will enable instant access to participating operator networks, enabling them to market the same model of innovative product to operators around the globe."

A key element of the Open Retail Initiative is Certification Version Signaling, which allows participating operators to automatically identify the subscriber device and review its feature-by-feature certification test records during the network entry request. This process empowers the operator to automatically enforce policies to prevent uncertified devices from disrupting efficient network operation. Another important element of Open Retail is OMA DM device management, as specified by the Open Mobile Alliance. This will allow operator's networks to automatically configure and maintain Open Retail devices over the air throughout the device lifecycle.

"The response from operators and manufacturers has been positive as this is a win-win for growing the market opportunity for WiMAX worldwide," added Resnick. "The Open Retail Initiative enables innovation with a robust, lower-cost device ecosystem and enhanced distribution channels for WiMAX devices. Consumers will have more choice of devices with a greater number of operators and a growing number of consumer retail outlets."





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