Aperto Readies WiMax Boxes
Strictly speaking, no product can actually be described as WiMax yet, because the WiMax Forum isn't starting official interoperability tests until July. But Manish Gupta, VP of business development at Aperto, says that its new PacketMAX product line will be the boxes put forward for the bake-off.
"This is WiMax," states Gupta. "It will be certified beginning in July."
The initial kit will support the 802.11d/2004 specification used in the fixed-wireless version of WiMax and run on the 3.5Ghz band. This means that the products can only be sold in markets outside of the U.S. Limited product shipments are expected to start in the third quarter of this year.
The firm says that 2.5GHz and 5GHz kit for the U.S. market will follow "shortly after."
Aperto is one of the last of the fixed-wireless firms to announce a WiMax product line. Rivals like Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR) and Wi-LAN Inc. (Toronto: WIN) have already announced "WiMax-ready" products (see Alvarion Breezes Into WiMax and Wi-LAN Eyes WiMax).
Aperto's Gupta also talks up the prospects of Asian carriers launching initial WiMax services in the first quarter of 2006, pooh-poohing Unstrung's notion that the operators would take months to properly test and rollout such offerings.
The U.S. market could take longer, as the WiMax Forum initially only plans to test 3.5GHz equipment for interoperability.
Aperto's director of product marketing, Dean Chang, says that mid-2006 into 2007 is "probably right for big deployment models." — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung