Wimax 2 could become standard next year


Wimax 2 could become standard next year

Jenny Williams

An update to the Wimax wireless networking standard, Wimax 2, is expected to be standardised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) by late next year, improving download speeds for mobile devices, according to reports.

Approval of the high-speed wireless technology by the IEEE Standards Association is believed to be scheduled for the first quarter of 2011, with device certification due in November 2011.

The 802.16m update, also known as, Wimax 2, could improve download speeds for mobile devices, providing peak transmission rates of up to 300Mbps in a 20MHz downlink channel with very low latency.

Terry Norman, principal analyst at Analysys Mason, believes Wimax 2 will significantly improve mobile speeds for subscribers, but the update will not be enough to prevent operators moving to Wimax's competitor, LTE (Long Term Evolution).

"Wimax 2 will become standard, but whether that will happen next year, I am not sure. It will not make a major difference to the ability of Wimax to command a greater share of the marketplace," said Norman.

"Wimax will remain a smaller player. One of the major players, Yota, is moving [from Wimax] to LTE and that does not bode well for Wimax. When it reaches the point where the number of operators using Wimax become few and far between, it is hard to imagine what else Wimax can do," he added.

Massive demand for radio-based broadband has prompted the Wimax Forum to speed up the release of standards that will improve the throughput rate of Wimax networks by more than 50%.

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