As Sprint and Clearwire prepare for a nationwide rollout, hardware receives certification from WiMax Forum.
From dongles to chips to base stations and receivers, the WiMAX Forum June
18 approved 10 products for the 2.5GHz profile. These products are the first
WiMax gear to receive clearance for use in the United
Approved were products from Airspan Networks, Alvarion, Beceem Communications,
Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Sequans Communications and Zyxel Communications.
Alvarion, Motorola, Samsung and Sequans each received the WiMAX Forum Certified
Seal of Approval for a 2.5GHz base station, while Airspan, Beceem, Intel,
Samsung, Sequans and Zyxel each received the Forum's certification for a 2.5GHz
mobile station module.
"With the successful completion of extensive 2.5GHz testing, we've laid
the groundwork to speed up additional profile certifications and ultimately to
continue advancing global WiMax deployments at a record pace," Ron
Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum, said during a news conference.
Notably absent from the first list of certifications is gear from Aperto
Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel Networks or Nokia Siemens Networks, although
Resnick said the WiMAX Forum is now ready to speed up the testing cycle for all
equipment in the future.
For Sprint and Clearwire, the certifications can't come fast enough, as the
companies plan to begin deploying WiMax by the end of 2008 in the
Washington-Baltimore, Chicago and Portland
markets. Motorola, Samsung and Nokia Siemens are working closely with Sprint on
the nationwide rollout.
its once beleaguered WiMax network in May
by bringing in investors from
tech and cable companies to merge Sprint's XOHM division with Clearwire, the
wireless broadband provider founded by cellular legend Craig McCaw. The new
company will operate under the Clearwire name.
Among the heavy hitters investing in the venture are Intel, Google, Comcast
and Time Warner. Time Warner will invest about $1
billion in the new company, while Comcast plans to contribute a little more
than $1 billion. Intel is putting up $550 million and Google $500
Upon completion of the proposed deal, Sprint, the nation's No. 3 wireless
carrier, will own the largest stake in the new company, with about 51 percent
equity ownership. Existing Clearwire shareholders will own about 27 percent of
the venture. The new strategic investors, as a group, will be acquiring about
22 percent of the new Clearwire.
The new Clearwire is planning a national network deployment targeted to cover
as many as 140 million people in the United
States by the end of 2010.
Since staking out a claim on WiMax as its technology of the future in August
2006 and announcing a tentative WiMax partnership with Clearwire a year later,
Sprint has struggled to get the project off the ground, until announcing its
new marriage with the tech and cable giants.
For Comcast and Time Warner, the investment opens the
door to offer bundled services including wireless to compete with AT&T and
Verizon. Google aims to become Sprint's preferred mobile search provider, and
Intel will provide chips, networking gear and software for the new