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WiMAX Ecosystem Backs IEEE 802.16m for IMT-Advanced and Future Proof Roadmap Global WiMAX Network Deployments Surpass 500

10/7/09 - The WiMAX Forum and executives from premier suppliers and operators were on hand during ITU Telecom World 2009 to express their commitment to build and trial WiMAX Release 2 based on the IEEE 802.16m standard. Ecosystem participants represented Alvarion, Beceem, Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei, Intel, KT, Samsung, UQC, Yota and ZTE. Also revealed was a milestone of 500 network deployments in more than 145 countries - placing WiMAX as the leading mobile broadband technology.

The WiMAX Forum, along with 50 companies, announced the endorsement of IEEE's submission to ITU-R that proposes an IEEE 802.16m-based candidate for IMT-Advanced. The WiMAX Forum also announced that it will finalize its WiMAX Release 2 specification in parallel with IEEE 802.16m and IMT-Advanced, ensuring that WiMAX Release 2 networks and devices will remain backward compatible with legacy WiMAX Release 1 based on IEEE 802.16e.

The developing 802.16m standard offers new capabilities and efficiencies to meet the challenging IMT-Advanced requirements. The IEEE's IMT-Advanced proposal documents that, according to the ITU-R's rigorous definition reflecting aggregate throughput delivered to multiple users in a practical deployment, using 4X2 MIMO in the urban microcell scenario with only a single 20 MHz TDD channel available system wide, the 802.16m system can support both 120 Mbit/s downlink and 60 Mbit/s uplink per site simultaneously. This is breakthrough performance. Higher data rates can be obtained with additional spectrum resources or more complex antenna schemes. The WiMAX Release 2 profile will also incorporate these capabilities for improved VoIP capacity, spectral efficiency, latency, handover speed, cell range, and coverage, with support for wider operating bandwidth in both TDD and FDD duplexing.

The WiMAX Forum expects to see WiMAX Release 2 available commercially in the 2011-2012 timeframe.

"As is evidenced here today, there is a broad ecosystem ready to deliver WiMAX as the first IMT-Advanced compliant technology to market," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "One of our top priorities is to bring WiMAX Forum Certified Release 2 networks and devices to market by the end of 2011. Even better, with double digit WiMAX deployment growth every month, the next release of WiMAX will have an even more substantial installed base upon which to build."

In addition to news about the WiMAX roadmap, the WiMAX Forum also announced several updates on how WiMAX is changing lives today with affordable, multi-megabit broadband worldwide. Recently, the number of WiMAX deployments reached approximately 504 networks in 145 countries, with 15 new deployments added in August.

Regionally, Africa led with 109 deployments and Central/Latin America closely followed with 102. Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe reached 79 deployments each and Western Europe hosts 68 networks. North America and the Middle East grew to 49 and 18 deployments, respectively.

In addition to an increase in the number of networks tracked by WiMAX Forum, many of the already established WiMAX networks continue to expand rapidly. Examples include Yota, which expects to reach 200,000 subscribers on its Russian network this month, and Packet One Networks, which recently celebrated its first anniversary of operations with news that it had reached 80,000 subscribers. Clear, Sprint and Comcast all have also made strides in expanding their networks this year, with multiple city launches set to come by the end of 2009; and UQ Communications plans to cover more than half of the Japanese population by the end of December. For more information on WiMAX deployments, please visit www.WiMAXMaps.org.

Further, the WiMAX Forum Certifiedô program continues to see strong submission and certification results on products, including end user products such as netbooks and laptops. The WiMAX certification registry reached 154 products, with 14 new products certified in August and 11 in September. To view the WiMAX Forum Certified registry, please visit www.WiMAXForum.org.

Visitors to the WiMAX ecosystem pavilion at ITU Telecom World will learn about how WiMAX enables the open Internet. They can also enjoy a true mobile broadband experience with live demos, both indoor within the pavilion and via a thirty-minute driving tour throughout the city of Geneva with live streaming video and music along with location awareness (GPS). Exhibiting companies in the WiMAX pavilion include Airspan, Alvarion, Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei, Intel, ITRI, Samsung, WiMAX Forum, and Yota.

By Robert Hoskins

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