It is here. The final version of 802.16e will likely be ratified by the end of September, prompting an acceleration of the development of mobile WiMax products and services. Fixed WiMax products, based on 802.16-2004, are already being deployed, and will be launched on a broader scale during the first half of 2006. Interoperability testing has been delayed by several weeks to iron out a few wrinkles, and the commercial launch next year will have the benefit of customers being assured of interoperability. The certification testing and product availability of 802.16e-based products will take place in the second half of 2006, or a bit later. Rumor has it that the new standard will be designated 802.16-2005.
Many companies cannot wait for mobile WiMax to arrive. More than a few cellular network operators have decided to skip 802.16d altogether and concentrate on offering 802.16e-based services. Among them: LG Electronics; Motorola (see below); Nokia; Nortel; and Samsung. Other companies, such as Adaptix and Runcom, are already busy developing 802.16 solutions.
PLUS: As businesses outgrow DSL lines, they often find that T1 lines are too expensive. WiMax provides an ideal low-cost option, writes Nancy Gohring.
ALSO: Visant Strategies says that it is the fixed version of WiMax, not its mobile version, which will, at least for a while, lead the way in growth and revenues: There are about 5 million wireless broadband users world-wide today; this number will grow by 40 percent yearly through 2010. Visant foresees a market of $3.4 billion annually for fixed and portable broadband equipment by 2010. Report
FINALLY: Among the many companies which disagree with Visant is Motorola. It is ignoring 802.16d in favor of getting 802.16e products to market by the second quarter of 2006. The Moto Wi4 portfolio of mobile WiMax solutions Motorola's company-wide development initiative based on 802.16e. Report