The WiMAX Forum® today announced the launch of its Global Roaming Program that allows operators and vendors to easily obtain the information required to establish WiMAX roaming services. The program is now live and can be easily accessed through a link on the WiMAX Forum public web site at www.wimaxforum.org or directly at www.wimaxroaming.org .
Roaming capabilities are vital for mobility as roaming allows subscribers to access WiMAX and other services while traveling outside their home network geographical coverage area. The WIMAX Forum Global Roaming program includes several documents for WiMAX Forum member companies implementing roaming services, including technical specifications, a test plan, a roaming contract template and a guide to follow when implementing roaming.
"Member companies have yet another tool to facilitate the advancement of their WiMAX technology innovations and make 4G a seamless experience for customers," said John Dubois, Global Roaming Director of WiMAX Forum. "We are already beginning to see how WiMAX technology will drastically improve the next-generation of broadband applications and services, and this roaming readiness program is another example of how the WiMAX ecosystem is working to extend the availability of services to subscribers."
The Roaming Program documents were developed by WiMAX Forum members with input from over twenty WiMAX operators and the support of several roaming exchange, clearing and settlement providers including Accuris Networks, Aicent, Comfone, I-Pass, MACH-Cibernet, QuiConnect, Syniverse and Verisign. According to Ali Tabassi, Senior Vice President, Global Ecosystem and Standards with Clearwire, "The Roaming Program provides operators with a much needed set of common specifications and processes to follow in establishing roaming services." Mr. Sang Ho Ough, Deputy Director of KT's Mobile WiMAX Business Unit Planning Department, indicated that "KT plans to establish roaming services in 2009 using the specifications and processes provided by the WiMAX Roaming Program."
WiMAX Forum Certified devices contribute to the success of WiMAX global roaming. In order for users to access WiMAX services outside of their operator's WiMAX network coverage area, devices must be interoperable across other WiMAX networks and between various vendors' equipment. The WiMAX Forum certification process is important to ensure interoperability of devices across different operators' networks.
The WIMAX Forum Global Roaming Program includes:
A "how-to" manual to understand and launch WiMAX roaming services.
Roaming specifications that include a breakdown of the technical specifications for operators and help to define how operators exchange information to track usage, create invoices, and perform financial settlements.
A contract template that operators may use when entering into roaming agreements.
A pre-launch roaming test plan that operators can follow in testing roaming services with other operators when establishing roaming services.
With more than 407 WiMAX deployments in 133 countries, the availability of these critical roaming tools at such an early stage provides extra value to service providers.
A WiMAX Forum mission is to facilitate the adoption of Mobile WiMAX by operators across the world and ensure that the products used are interoperable through its certification programs. Toward this end, the WiMAX Forum has been organizing PlugFests since August 2005. Record participation in Mobile WiMAX PlugFests signals of product vendor's endorsement of fundamental WiMAX equipment functionality to make cost-effective network deployments. WiMAX Forum roaming trials and a Mobile WiMAX /Interoperability Testing (IOT) PlugFest is planned for 2H 2009.