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WiMax Anti-CliMax

It's obviously not enough for some vendors that you can now go out and get real, live fixed-wireless broadband products approved by the WiMAX Forum .

After a year or two of intense hype and speculation about WiMax, you might imagine that chip and hardware manufacturers would be happy to put a lid on the marketing for a while and get on with the real work of getting actual WiMax products installed and running in the marketplace.

You'd be wrong.

Check the press release about its new 802.16e-compliant issued by chipmaker Beceem Communications Inc. on Monday. "Beceem is the first to demonstrate and make available a commercial Mobile WiMAX/WiBro chipset solution that is suitable for mobile, portable and fixed applications," crows the company in its release.

Okay, let's get this straight. There's no way that a mobile WiMax chipset can be available, because the WiMax Forum hasn't done any interoperability testing on mobile WiMax products yet. It is that simple. It's not even yet possible to say when the Forum will start mobile tests, given that the first round of fixed-wireless interoperability testing has only just been completed.

So, vendors, stop trying to run before you can walk with all this mobile WiMax talk. You may believe that it gives your company a "first mover adavantage." But no one profits if the hype ends up confusing potential customers and turning them off WiMax products overall.

There are plenty of other issues with fixed WiMax that need to be addressed for serious enterprise users before we move on to the mobile version.

For instance, how easy is it for potential users to find a decent supply of customer premise equipment that is WiMax approved? What security measures are implemented for enterprise users? And will there be enough WiMax spectrum in the U.S. to enable high-data rate services?

Adressing these issues and more isn't as sexy as pushing mobile WiMax, I suppose. But they are the kind of things that users need addressed before they make a move on WiMax. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:08:18 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Anyone actually seen any sniff of certified WiMax in the market place. Would be interesting to check availability and real-world pricing.

Thanks

DJ
joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:08:04 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Probably a WiFi standard is actually less important than a clearly defined WiMax standard. Simply because it will be more expensive to swop out WiMax infrastruture if it doesn't work with clients.

DJ
wap545 12/5/2012 | 4:08:04 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Has anyone heard of Pre N, or Pre-WiMAx??
What is happening here is very simple. Chip and radio makers are not waiting for anyone in this exploding market for Wireless everything.

A few points:
Do we really need a standard for everything??
Let's take a look at what is happening in Wireless Mesh deployments in Municipalities.
The standard that apply in any of these markets can be broken into two areas:
1. Customer Access Devices (CAD's)which are all already WiFi 802.11a/b/g enabled and ubiquitous(Laptops PDA etc.). Nothing needed here.
2. Mesh Nodes or Access Points: These devices are already 802.11 based and if these vendors decide to release a Non Standard based 802.11series product, like the 802.11n based Radio or a new 900Mhz radio, it does not matter since they will be the only provider operating the Mesh Network in any given City/Metro area so they are the standard.

Not quite sure where the Mobile 802.16e products are going to fit, as long as they are relegated to operate in the 2Ghz and above spectrum and try to deliver complete coverage (through most urban canopies). Now if they develop a WiMAX based 700Mhz product they would have something-but that might take the Forum some 500 years to complete and certify.
But who cares we'd all have access to an Atheros or Broadcom based Pre-WiMAX 700 Mhz product right after the FCC awards these folks the spectrum.

Jacomo
freetoair 12/5/2012 | 4:08:03 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Dan,

I enjoyed the article - thanks!
Maybe it will give other pause to read between the headlines and figure out what is real - not.
standardsarefun 12/5/2012 | 4:08:00 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Actually it is fine to declare yourself to be "compliant" to 802.16e before WiMAX Forum does any certification for mobile WiMAX.

Afterall, IEEE 802.16 has completed its revE work and so manufacturer declaration of compliance is possible.

The fundamental issue however is that 16e, like nearly all IEEE 802 deliverables is full of options and so what really matters is the WiMAX forum profiling of the IEEE standard.

Claiming compliance to the not yet completed profile for 16e is therefore a big no-no (at least for now...).

Oh what fun is it in the world of standards making.
IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 4:07:59 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Chipset companies need to develop products ahead of certified equipment. That should be obvious -- you wouldnGÇÖt wait until certification is complete and then go ahead and design the chipset! Would you?

Operators and systems vendors expect chipset suppliers to have nailed products as soon as possible after a standard is ratified. ItGÇÖs bizarre that a company says it has developed standards-compliant silicon and everyone starts complaining.

The companies that pay for the WiMAX Forum, attend the meetings, and have helped developed the 802.16 specs, should have a good idea of what is in the standard, or is likely to be in the WiMAX Forum profiles.

WiMAX Forum is, in part, an industry marketing body, and (gasp!) companies use it for marketing purposes.
freetoair 12/5/2012 | 4:07:57 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax sure.
so why not announce an OEM customer?
or a carrier trial/deployment?

which is the underlaying point I took from Dan's article.

if it is real then where are the customers, details about what is supported in terms of the specs? when will it be ready for certification, etc.

otherwise it just confuses the general, non-informed community and sets bogus expectations
IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 4:07:57 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Fair enough.

sets bogus expectations

ThatGÇÖs pretty much the story of wireless data rates, like 54 Mbit/s Wi-Fi, or 2 Mbit/s 3G, or 14 Mbit/s HSDPA.

Why stop now ;-)
wlanner 12/5/2012 | 4:07:53 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Since you mention Wi-Fi, you mean like Broacom and then Marvel announcing 802.11n chips the day IEEE agreed on a proposal (I repeat the work proposal).
ysj 12/5/2012 | 4:07:18 AM
re: WiMax Anti-CliMax Good article, Gabriel.
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