WiMAX Companies: On Their Marks, Ready To Go

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Leading WiMAX equipment and semiconductor vendors with products poised to receive an official WiMAX certification stamp from the WiMAX Forum, are preparing for a fast rollout of their newly certified products.

In August, Airspan Networks (NASDAQ: AIRN), Aperto Networks, Proxim (NASDAQ: YDIW), Sequans and Wavesat delivered their respective WiMAX solutions to Cetecom Labs, in Malaga, Spain, for conformance and interoperability testing. This critical exercise ensures the stability of the test suite and readiness of the various solutions for formal conformance and radio testing. With this essential step completed, formal conformance and interoperability testing will begin later this month.

The products that pass both protocol and radio conformance, then interoperability testing, will be tagged WiMAX Forum Certified for IEEE 802.16-2004. More importantly, certification will enable these companies to begin risk-free deployment of their newly certified products.

The imminent WiMAX certification for the first wave of WiMAX products is an important achievement for the WiMAX industry, said Adlane Fellah, Senior Analyst with Maravedis, adding, those WiMAX vendors who have plenty of WiMAX Forum Certified products ready for shipment will be rewarded with a first-to-market advantage.

The new, standards-based WiMAX products, built predominantly with off-the-shelf components, are expected to lower the cost of vendor equipment to service providers, ultimately serving as a catalyst to ignite the global market demand for WiMAX solutions.

The certification and rollout of the first WiMAX Forum Certified products will capture the attention of existing and soon-to-be wireless broadband operators and service providers, said Lindsay Schroth, Yankee Group senior analyst. This milestone is likely to help accelerate the buying decisions of a number of fence-sitters.

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