The show concluded in Taipei with leading WiMAX companies vowing to speed the development of advanced WiMAX features and the announced start of the Open Retail Initiative to accelerate WiMAX devices to market.
WiMAX Forum Congress Asia 2010, Courtesy China Times
Release 1 Enhancements & Acceleration of 802.16m Road map
Just prior to the show, the WiMAX Forum announced an initiative to accelerate certain advanced features in the current WiMAX Release 1 (802.16e) road map to increase the average user performance by over 50%. The changes include a host of technical features including support for additional base station transmit antennas (from 2 to 4), higher order 64 QAM modulation on the uplink and improved fractional frequency reuse to increase performance in reuse 1 deployments.
According to the WiMAX Forum, the new features for Release 1 are part of continued enhancements to the profile and are being driven by service providers who are seeing strong demand for WiMAX services, some with average monthly data consumption in the 7-10GB/month range. "Service providers that are deploying WiMAX networks are seeing data demands beyond anything that was originally expected," says Ron Resnick, President and Chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "The industry is not standing still and is working aggressively to continue to increase the capability and performance of WiMAX 802.16e products."
During the show, leading WiMAX vendors Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Sequans, XRONet and ZTE as well as the Taiwanese research organization, ITRI, announced the launch of the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI). Under the initiative, the group will work closely with the WiMAX Forum to accelerate the implementation of system profiles for WiMAX 2 equipment and devices, with the goal of improving the economics of mobile broadband and accelerating the certification of 802.16m products by the end of 2011.
"The Taiwanese device manufacturing ecosystem is already providing all manner of clients today - standalone modems, USB dongles, embedded modules for PCs, mobile Internet devices, handsets and CE devices - for Release 1 of WiMAX," said Dr. Cheng-Wen Wu, General Director of Information & Communications Research Laboratories and VP of ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute). "ITRI has demonstrated great dedication to developing WiMAX technology and will strongly support early commercialization of 802.16m."
In his keynote address, Mr. Woonsub Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of the Telecommunication Systems Business, Samsung Electronics, stressed "Mobile WiMAX is now the most widely deployed, widely used 4G technology on the planet. We firmly believe that Mobile WiMAX is the strongest solution for meeting the explosive demand for mobile data."
The WiMAX Open Retail Initiative
With the broad support of the consumer electronics industry, WiMAX has always been about open standards and this week the WiMAX Forum moved another step closer in that direction with the announcement of the Open Retail Initiative.
The program consists of certification labs in the U.S., Spain, Taiwan, China, Korea & Malaysia to test and certify mobile Open Retail devices for interoperability. The initiative also includes a database service that a confirms that a device is certified and conforms to the Open Retail specifications, allowing operators to decide whether to allow the device access to their network.
The program is designed to reduce operator testing costs and ensure interoperability of WiMAX products. The goal of the program is also to drive the proliferation of WiMAX consumer devices, sold direct or through retail channels that can be activated with ease by the consumer over the air (OTA) on the network of any participating operator.
"The introduction of the Open Retail Initiative is a pivotal step for the WiMAX ecosystem to remain on the current accelerated path for mass adoption through a certification and IOT program that provides significant benefits to operators and vendors," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "For operators, this means a reduction of in-house IOT resources and costs, and quicker time to market and reduced risk for introductions of new devices on their networks. For device vendors, the program will enable instant access to participating operator networks, enabling them to market the same model of innovative product to operators around the globe."
WiMAX Applications & Operators
As a global hotbed of WiMAX activity, Taiwan device vendors and all six of the Taiwanese WiMAX operators were featured prominently at the show. In the Taiwan Pavilion, WiMAX applications in the healthcare and emergency response fields were featured. First International Telecom Corp showcased a WiMAX headset complete with video camera and vital sign monitors for rescue workers.
WiMAX Forum Congress Asia 2010, Courtesy Focus Taiwan
In another example, Taiwanese operator Far EasTone Telecommunications displayed a system to monitor the health of elderly people in remote areas. Patients can use the device to monitor blood sugar and blood pressure details and provide information back to health care providers.