A milestone in the development of WiMAX has just been acheived, with the WiMAX Forum granting the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval to Mobile WiMAX 3.5GHz products for the first time. WiMAX Service Providers are now offering networks covering 430 million people, or POPS, globally and are on a path to nearly double to 800 million people by end of 2010. In addition, global WiMAX network deployments are approaching 460 in more than 135 countries for fixed, portable, and mobile networks.
"WiMAX coverage is here now and is the catalyst in the global marketplace to deliver 4G broadband Internet access to countries that don't want to wait," said Ron Resnick, President and Chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "These new deployment numbers reveal that the mobile Internet WiMAX ecosystem has achieved strong growth and will continue to satisfy the market demand to deliver high-speed broadband services in 2009. Certified products in the 3.5 GHz band will now give more operators access to the equipment and devices needed to deliver mobile broadband services."
With more than 430 million POPS already covered by WiMAX services, and new spectrum licences anticipated for countries such as Brazil and India, WiMAX Forum expects to see accelerated growth of WiMAX's global footprint in 2009. The ecosystem also can expect to see continued subscriber growth as consumers and enterprises recognise WiMAX as a high-speed low-cost alternative to other Internet technologies.
Intel has been highlighting the WiMAX Forum findings, as well as additional global WiMAX news and momentum: "After several years in development, 2008 was the year that WiMAX became a global reality," said Sean Maloney, Executive Vice-President, Intel. "In both emerging markets and mature countries, companies and governments are deploying 4G WiMAX networks to help bridge the Digital Divide and bring affordable, super-fast mobile broadband to their citizens. As countries look to accelerate broadband in 2009 to address economic recovery, WiMAX is ready - it's the right technology at the right time. There is no need to wait - WiMAX is a reality today."
WiMAX Forum certifies first 3.5 GHz products
Signalling continued WiMAX momentum, the WiMAX Forum has announced that Samsung and ZTE Corporation have received the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval for products for the 3.5 GHz spectrum band. This milestone also marks the first of many certified products to come out of the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) lab in Korea, one of six global WiMAX Forum Designated Certification Laboratories (WFDCL).
New to Samsung's WiMAX Forum Certified products in 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz bands, is Samsung's 3.5GHz base station, the U-RAS Flexible. This base station is now being deployed for Lithuania's first WiMAX commercial service. U-RAS Flexible separates into two parts, including the digital unit and remote radio head. The optic interface between digital unit and remote radio head minimises cable loss, its RF output covers macro network
areas and adopting Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology.
* More than 50 mobile WiMAX Certified products achieved certification in 2008. Currently, more than 35 WiMAX Forum member companies manufacture WiMAX base stations, 30 companies provide PC Cards, USB modems, MIDs, and other personal devices, 25 companies produce chipsets and reference designs, and six of the top seven global device manufacturers develop WiMAX products. The WiMAX Forum estimates that by 2011 there will be more than 1,000 Mobile WiMAX Forum Certified products found throughout the world.