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Mobile WiMax Standard Approved

Mobile WiMax trials and certification testing based on the new IEEE spec are expected to start in the first quarter of 2006, organized by the WiMax Forum.
LONDON — A mobile WiMax standard has been approved by the IEEE and will be designated 802.16e-2005.

Approval by the IEEE’s Standards Board was expected since the 802.16e spec was finalized two months ago, but the formal announcement brings the advent of mobile broadband a significant step closer.

Mobile WiMax trials and certification testing are expected to start in the first quarter of 2006, organized by the WiMax Forum. Products will likely follow late 2006 and services by early 2007.

The formal announcement Wednesday (Dec. 7) brings to a close the work of a 802.16 Task Group and its project that began with the approval of the original 802.16e spec in December 2002.

Roger Marks, working group chairman, said: “We projected completion in about 18 months. Actual development took about twice that long. Though we all would have preferred to stick closer to schedule, the reality is that the working group changed dramatically during those years."

Marks added that new participants from around the world with a variety of new applications in mind broadened the group's perspective.

“I am proud of the fact that we addressed all of the resulting needs, continuing to harmonize and build consensus to ensure a result with broad support and broad applicability," Marks added.

Still, he cautioned that "IEEE standards are not mandatory, and the IEEE logo is not by itself going to convince anyone to adopt our standards and put them to use."

He added: "What will make a difference is an IEEE logo earned the hard way, based on a diligent and largely successful effort to recruit the participation of the world's interested parties, coupled with the dedication to building a team and driving a consensus."