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WiMAX Forum Certifies First 2.5GHz Mobile WiMAX Products
By: MarkJ - 20 June, 2008 (8:51 AM)

The mobile derivative of WiMAX (802.16), which is designed for use by mobile phone operators to help deliver faster next-generation 'Mobile Broadband' (4G) services, has been given a major boost after the WiMAX Forum certified the first ten 2.5GHz based products.

The WiMAX Forum also revealed its roadmap for 3.5 and 2.3GHz equipment certification, with plans for equipment in the 3.5GHz band to achieve certification by the end of 2008:

"With the unwavering support of our members, the WiMAX Forum team has fulfilled our promise to ensure that WiMAX operators have the certified equipment and devices needed to deliver mobile internet services that consumers want," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum, during a news conference in Amsterdam. "With the successful completion of extensive 2.5 GHz testing, we've laid the groundwork to speed up additional profile certifications and ultimately to continue advancing global WiMAX deployments at a record pace."

Following months of testing to ensure that each product met the strict interoperability and conformance standards, the announcement included four base stations and six mobile station modules (terminals) operating in the 2.5 GHz frequency band from eight member companies, including Airspan Networks, Alvarion Ltd., Beceem Communications Inc., Intel Corporation, Motorola Inc., Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd., Sequans Communications and ZyXEL.

Certification could give mobile operators more reason to favour WiMAX technology over its chief rival Long Term Evolution (LTE), which is still being developed. The WiMAX Forum estimates that more than 100 Mobile WiMAX products will be certified by the end of 2008, and by 2011 more than 1,000 products will undergo Mobile WiMAX certification.

However, itís likely that most UK based mobile operators will simply wait to see what LTE brings to the table and spend any spare time developing their existing HSPA based 3G Mobile Broadband products instead. Intel, WiMAXs main backer, has also signalled that it would like to see both mobile WiMAX and LTE becoming more interoperable.

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