The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly took a decision of global importance to include WiMAX-derived technology in the framework of the IMT-2000 set of standards. This agreement paves the way for the deployment of a range of voice, data, and multimedia services to both stationary and mobile devices. Significantly, it opens the door to mobile Internet, catering to demand in both urban and rural markets.
The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-07) formally recognized technology derived from IEEE 802.16 by incorporating it as the sixth terrestrial IMT-2000 radio interface. This is the first addition to IMT-2000 since the original five were adopted years ago as part of the 3G radio standards being used globally and significantly pushes the technological envelope of IMT-2000 capabilities.
IMT-2000 "International Mobile Telecommunications" is a global standard defined by ITU in a set of interdependent ITU Recommendations, which include the specifications for the radio interfaces of advanced wireless communications systems such as 3G mobile.
An initial application for the IMT-2000 Advanced standard was made at the ITU-R WP8F meeting in Kyoto, Japan, in January this year. The adoption of the latest radio interface was the culmination of tireless effort among administrations, industry and ITU experts.
"It gives me great satisfaction to observe that the ITU Radiocommunication Sector continues to be responsive to the most pressing needs of the wireless industry in the deployment of innovative technological solutions," said Valery Timofeev, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. "The successful approval of the two new Resolutions and four draft Recommendations dealing with IMT technologies represents a pinnacle in the recent technical achievements of the Sector."
WiMAX extends access to global population
"WiMAX technology currently has the potential to reach 2.7 billion people," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "Today's announcement expands the reach to a significantly larger global population."
The new technology will facilitate delivery of broadband wireless services at lower cost and include multiple wireless broadband Internet services, including VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). The specific terminology of the IEEE 802.16 standard in ITU-R M.1457 Recommendation is 'IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN'.
Roger Marks, Chairman of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access, said, "I am immensely gratified that the international community, through ITU, has recognized the significance of the IEEE 802.16 WirelessMAN standard."
Proposals to the forthcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) starting next week in Geneva that will be requesting additional spectrum for the deployment of the IMT 3G-type systems worldwide will take into account the new IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN standards derived froom the IEEE 802.16 mobile component.
Future direction of radiocommunication
The Radiocommunication Assembly closed today in Geneva after deliberating for a week on new directions in radiocommunications. Held every three to four years, RA-07 deliberated the future direction of radiocommunications, including a new Study Group structure and the establishment of a work plan for the study groups of ITU's Radiocommunication Sector.
RA-07 was chaired by Mr Bruce Gracie (Canada) and assisted by six vice-presidents: Mr R. Beaird (United States), Mr E. Sestacov (Moldova), Mr M. Matsumoto (Japan), Mr N. Kisrawi (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr R. Liebler (Germany) and Mr I. Jazairy (Algeria). Over 600 participants attended the Assembly.
Discussions covered several areas:
1. the working methods and procedural issues of the Study Groups with review of the ITU-R Resolutions that describe the structure, working methods and work programme of the ITU-R Study Groups
2. Technical issues which included International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for which two new draft ITU-R Resolutions were approved relating to future studies on IMT
3. Emergency communications and disaster relief: Since the tsunami of December 2004, attention focused on increasing the effectiveness of telecommunications in emergency situations and in responding to disaster relief. Two new Resolutions were approved placing on a sound footing the activities of the Study Groups on this topic
New or revised ITU-R Recommendations were approved, covering areas such as spectrum management, radio-frequency sharing systems, regulatory and procedural matters and new radio standards.
Among the important decisions taken at this year's Assembly include refining many of the basic Resolutions describing the working methods of the Study Groups. In particular, Resolution ITU-R 1 been brought up-to-date to reflect current practices within the Sector and Bureau. With respect to the new structure, the Assembly agreed on two new Study Groups -- one dealing with Terrestrial Services; the other with Satellite Services, as reflected in Resolution ITU-R 4:
Study Group 1: Spectrum Management
Study Group 3: Radiowave Propagation
Study Group 4: Satellite Services
Study Group 5: Terrestrial Services
Study Group 6: Broadcasting Service
Study Group 7: Science Services
Coordination Committee for Vocabulary - CCV