December 19, 2007 -- The WiMAX Forum announced that its lead certification lab is now open for formal Mobile WiMAX certification testing and evaluation of Mobile WiMAX products. WiMAX Forum vendors may begin immediately submitting their 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz Mobile WiMAX equipment for testing.
The certification lab is headquartered at AT4 Wireless in Spain. The WiMAX Forum expects its four other certification labs in the U.S., Taiwan, China and Korea to open for formal Mobile WiMAX certification testing shortly.
With the announcement, certified Mobile WiMAX products are projected to reach the commercial market in early 2008. The WiMAX Forum expects hundreds of products to be submitted for testing.
"This important milestone in our WiMAX Forum certification program culminates years of development of our certification process and signifies the success of the WiMAX ecosystem's progress and market lead relative to alternative mobile broadband technologies, such as LTE, which are several years behind WiMAX technology," comments Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "The beginning of Mobile WiMAX certification enables our member companies to deliver on their business commitments, and ultimately, moves WiMAX service providers closer to bringing the mobile broadband Internet experience and new applications to consumers around the globe next year."
Equipment that passes conformance and interoperability testing will receive the WiMAX Forum Certified designation, thus assuring service providers that when buying equipment from more than one company, the products are interoperable.
"Certification facilitates Xohm's model for open access," remarks Barry West, president of Sprint's Xohm business unit. "We applaud the WiMAX Forum for this important and timely step, which will encourage device innovation in anticipation of Sprint's WiMAX network launch in the U.S."
Throughout 2008, service providers are expected to expand current Mobile WiMAX deployments to broader populations in their regions. The WiMAX Forum currently estimates that more than 300 operators in over 65 countries have deployed Mobile WiMAX pilots and trials.
"In Korea, WiMAX technology is the cornerstone of our mobile broadband deployment because of its vast and thriving ecosystem of equipment and solution providers that share our commitment to address the needs of the Korean market and redefine the mobile broadband experience for Korean businesses and citizens," says Dr. Hyun Pyo Kim, director of WiBro planning for Korea Telecom. "Today, with more than 100,000 active Mobile WiMAX users and 410,000 subscribers projected for 2008, the availability of WiMAX Forum Certified mobile equipment will enable us to significantly expand our customer base and mobile broadband service offerings."
As Mobile WiMAX deployments continue to grow in size and scope in 2008, the WiMAX Forum plans to open new certification labs in India and Taiwan to address the demand for equipment certification. Based on the proliferation of certified equipment, the WiMAX Forum will conduct additional product interoperability activities for new Mobile WiMAX profiles and features, such as testing for the planned certification for 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz profiles, and core network certification through Mobile WiMAX PlugFests in 2008.