LONDON Fourteen companies involved in the development of chips and device equipment and running of mobile WiMax networks have linked in the first commercial WiMax interoperability and roaming trials, the WiMax Forum said at its global congress this week in Amsterdam.
The participants include Intel, Aicent, Cisco, Alvarion, Motorola, Bridgewater Systems, Clearwire, Comfone, DigitalBridge Communications, iPass, Juniper Networks, MACH, Syniverse and Transaction Network Services.
"This trial represents an end-to-end test of roaming over live WiMAX networks and will provide a baseline for establishing roaming services and agreements for WiMAX worldwide," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum.
The testing of networks and equipment on leading operator networks will demonstrate to all WiMAX operators that they can easily provide roaming services, added Resnick.
"The goal is to demonstrate the WiMAX standard end-to-end roaming implementation that will be replicated by WiMAX operators and clearinghouses worldwide. This includes WiMAX networks which support roaming services and the roaming back office platforms which track and measure usage for operators to correctly settle accounts with each other."
To date, the Forum tracks more than 475 WiMAX network deployments in 140 countries.
Separately, the Forum also said at the Amsterdam Congress that it would change the pricing fee setup for its Certified program to a market pricing model at all six of its certification labs.
The organization said this has been made possible because of improved efficiencies in testing leaduig to lower costs.
"The maturity of devices that we are seeing in the labs takes less time to test compared to a few years ago," said Resnick. “Vendor options for pre-testing and debugging reduces operational testing time and also further reduces the time needed for lab testing. Additional automation of testing has also helped lower these costs."
Sean Cai, deputy general manager of ZTE Corporation's WiMAX product line and WiMAX Forum Board Member, added: "This open market model allows for WiMAX Forum certification labs to negotiate directly with vendors. ZTE is encouraged to have the opportunity to control our own destiny and as a result we are eager to get more products into the pipeline for certification."
The WiMAX Forum has 106 certified products in the market today, with a projection of at least 1,000 certified products available by 2011.
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