WGRA pushing for WiMax roaming standard

They sure move quickly: The WiMax Global Roaming Alliance (WGRA) was formed only a few weeks ago, and its leading member, RemotePipes, is already pushing for the creation of a system which will make it possible for WiMax users to roam among different WISPs. The WGRA is not a standards-developing organization, but rather a lose fedration of companies interested in developing a consensus around the preferred emerging standard. The organization may offer modifications to these emerging standards, but the emphasis will be on urging a uniform deployment and implementation of the standards.

As Eric Engbers, president of RemotePipes, said, "There is nothing worse than an accepted standard that has been implemented in 15 different flavors throughout the supply chain." Indeed, one impetus behind the formation of WGRA was the experience with the WISPr roaming standard for WiFi: The Wi-Fi Alliance promoted the development of this roaming standard but ran into incompatibility problems. "WISPr has been implemented in at least four or five distinct flavors at this point, and I think that's stood in the way of adoption," said Engbers.

Members of WGRA include Sify, StoneBridge Wireless Broadband, Dockpoint, WiMaxPro.com, Wisper ISP, Airnet Telecom, Telelink Australia, News IQ, RemotePipes, Airpath Wireless, WeRoam, Starhome, Futura Technologies, Aramova, and Minuteman Support Services.

For more on the WGRA:
- see the WGRA website
- RemotePipes website
For more background on the formation of the alliance:
- see Jeff Goldman's wi-fiplanet report

PLUS: Navini Networks has launched its Ripwave-MX product line for 802.16e. The Ripwave-MX dual-mode CPE and PCMCIA will begin shipping at the end of the year. The CPE and the PCMCIA card will be capable of switching between the current pre-WiMax mode and 802.16e mode. Report

ALSO: Siemens is starting a series of wireless broadband trials in Italy from next month, deploying kits based on fixed-wireless 802.16-2004 standard. Report

FINALLY: Alvarion is showing the BreezeMAX Si, a self-installable, indoor WiMax-ready CPE based on the 802.16-2004 standard and using the Intel PRO/Wireless 5116 broadband interface chip. It will be available for customer trials later this year. Release

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