The WiMAX Forum announced that 28 Mobile WiMAX products in the 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz frequency bands have been submitted for WiMAX Forum certification since WiMAX Forum labs began accepting applications from vendors in late 2007. The organization further announced its official decision in support of significant market demand to expand the WiMAX Forum product development roadmap for Mobile WiMAX certification in the 700 MHz frequency band. These updates were delivered as part of a media luncheon hosted by the WiMAX Forum at 2008 GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
"With more than 260 commercial WiMAX deployments rolled-out on a global basis, WiMAX technology is the only commercially available OFDMA-based wireless technology today to support the rapid expansion of mobile broadband Internet access and the broad proliferation of the open Internet concept that so many mobile service providers are talking about here this week," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "We expect this momentum to be evident at Mobile World Congress and at the upcoming WiMAX Forum Congress event series."
Today's WiMAX Forum media luncheon displayed the global excitement surrounding Mobile WiMAX deployments with testimonials from global service providers, including Freedom4, Iberbanda, KDDI, Korea Telecom and SprintNextel and who each indicated the readiness of WiMAX technology with certified products and the optimization of WiMAX networks for broadband data services as key motivators in selecting WiMAX technology for their next generation services.
Mobile WiMAX Certification Progress
The first Mobile WiMAX products are expected to achieve the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval in Q2 2008 and to reach the market later this year. In addition, the WiMAX Forum forecasts that more than 950 products will undergo Mobile WiMAX certification testing by 2011, representing an influx of new consumer devices and infrastructure equipment to support continued rapid WiMAX user adoption in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, and 3.5 GHz frequency bands. The WiMAX Forum's current network of six labs in China, Korea, Spain, U.S. and two in Taiwan will expand to nine with additions in Brazil, India and Japan to handle the anticipated certification demand.
Last week, the WiMAX Forum announced that it selected TTC-CCS as the second designated certification lab in Taiwan for both Fixed WiMAX and Mobile WiMAX certification services. AT4 wireless, the WiMAX Forum's lead certification vendor, will facilitate the set up of the laboratory by second half of 2008 to run similar services to all the WiMAX Forum Designated Certification Laboratory (WFDCL) sites.
WiMAX Forum Technology Roadmap Expands to 700 MHz Frequency
With an increased interest in the 700 MHz band and more service providers around the world choosing WiMAX as their next generation mobile broadband technology of choice, the WiMAX Forum is adding this frequency range to its technology roadmap. Work on the technical specifications for 700 MHz WiMAX Forum certification is already underway in the association's working groups. The published specifications will be unveiled as they are completed and they will support both TDD and FDD certification profiles.
"The WiMAX Forum will continue looking at new market opportunities and expanding the capabilities of its technology standards," said Resnick. "The 700 MHz spectrum is set to become a key spectrum band globally and many administrations are now considering spectrum arrangements in the band. Interest in WiMAX deployments is also reinforced now that 802.16e is part of the IMT-2000 family of standards and certified products are becoming available. It is important to remember that the WiMAX Forum's technical specifications are driven by the needs of our member companies and we will continue to explore and push the limits of the technology to best meet the industry's needs."