Wimax speeds up 4G standard to meet user demand for bandwidth

Massive demand for radio-based 4G 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%.

Massive demand for radio-based 4G 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%.

The first products to support the standards are expected later this year, the forum said.

The forum said it was also fast tracking profiling and certification plans for the next-generation Wimax Release 2, based on IEEE 802.16m, to prepare for product certification in late 2011.

Forum chairman Ron Resnick said there was "explosive growth" in global demand for 4G wireless broadband services, led by India.

The forum is tracking 559 Wimax deployments in 147 countries that it estimates cover more than 620 million people. Some Wimax users are consuming 7-10 gigabits a month, it said.

"Even without dramatic growth in average customer demand, successful expansion of the customer base can threaten network overload," Resnick said.

Wimax is specially suited to providing fast, cheap network access in areas of low population density, but the new standards will also offer urban possibilities, Resnick said.

Wimax 2 could provide peak transmission rates of up to 300Mbps in a 20MHz downlink channel with very low latency, he said.

The forum has certified more than 130 devices and 60 base stations for the 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz bands.

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