The backing from the ITU adds to the case for using Wimax in future wireless deployments, said research firm Maravedis. "The price paid per Hz for Wimax spectrum is as much as 1,000 times lower than for 3G spectrum, and Wimax is built specifically for IP," said Jeff Orr, senior analyst at Maravedis.
The approval of the Wimax Forum's version of IEEE standard 802.16 as an IMT-2000 technology increases the chances of global deployment of Wimax to deliver mobile internet services, especially within the 2.5GHz to 2.69GHz band.
"This is a very special milestone for Wimax technology," said Ron Resnick, president of the Wimax Forum. "This is the first time that a new air interface has been added to the IMT-2000 set of standards since the original technologies were selected nearly a decade ago.
"Wimax technology currently has the potential to reach about 2.7 billion people. Today's announcement expands the reach to a significantly larger global population."
Originally created to harmonise 3G mobile systems and to increase opportunities for worldwide interoperability, the IMT-2000 standards will now support four access technologies: OFDMA, FDMA, TDMA and CDMA.
"3G systems based on technologies such as W-CDMA, CDMA-2000 and TD-SCDMA technologies were already included in the IMT-2000 set of standards," Resnick said. "With Wimax technology now included, it places us on equal footing with the legacy-based technologies ITU already endorses."