WiMAX Forum announces long-awaited Wave 2 certification

It's the moment the WiMAX industry has been waiting for. The WiMAX Forum today announced certification for Wave 2 products using MIMO in the 2.5 GHz band. The announcement includes four base stations and six mobile-station terminals operating in the 2.5 GHz band--the spectrum the new Clearwire will be launching nationwide 2.5 GHz mobile station modules passed the mandatory MIMO testing protocols.

The eight companies not surprisingly include Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Beceem, Sequans, Alvarion, Airspan, and Zyxel. Alvarion, Motorola, Samsung and Sequans each received the WiMAX Forum Certified Seal of Approval for a 2.5 GHz base station. Airspan, Beceem, Intel, Samsung, Sequans and Zyxel each received the WiMAX Forum Certified Seal of Approval for a 2.5 GHz mobile station module.

Ed Iges, co-chair of the WiMAX Forum's certification working group, told FierceWireless that certification for MIMO for 2.5 GHz products sets the stage for the quick implementation of future profiles. As such, the forum announced that it will begin to accept certification applications for 3.5 GHz equipment during the third quarter, with testing to begin in the fourth quarter and certification completed for those products before the end of the year.

The WiMAX Forum estimates that more than 100 Mobile WiMAX products will be certified by the end of 2008, and by 2011 more than 1,000 products will undergo Mobile WiMAX certification. The WiMAX Forum said it plans to stay ahead of the demand for certification with a robust global lab infrastructure, including six WiMAX Forum partner labs that are now open and ready to accept products for certification testing in China, Korea, Spain, and the U.S., along with two labs in Taiwan, ADT and TTC/CS. The WiMAX Forum plans to open two more certification labs by the end of 2008 in India and Japan and an additional lab in Brazil in 2009 in order to support the anticipated growing demands in those regions.

Wave 2 certification has taken some time to achieve because of the complexities associated with MIMO technology. "The challenge has been getting MIMO on the uplink," noted Iges. "It's not easy to certify having multiple scenarios. What happens on MIMO is that we are adding more stress to the base station."

For more:
- read the WiMAX Forum's release

Related stories:
More perspective on mobile WiMAX certification. WiMAX certification story
On the Hot Seat with Ron Resnick Report on WiMAX Forum's Ron Resnick

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