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After many months of delay, there are now eight officially certified 802.16e, or WiMAX products. The WiMAX Forum made this announcement at its WiMAX Forum Congress in Singapore. Samsung, Sequans Communications, POSTDATA and Runcom Technologies all gained certification for a subscriber device and a base station.
All four certified subscriber devices are basic data devices for connecting a desk or laptop computer to a network. All certified products, while mobile, are only for Wave 1. Wave 1 802.16e mainly addresses the South Korean market. It does not support MIMO or other features to be found in Wave 2 certification. Most mobile WiMAX networks, such as Sprint’s, will deploy Wave 2 equipment. The overall market for Wave 1 certified equipment will be limited. However, that does not diminish the significance of finally reaching this certification.
“As many equipment vendors have explained to me over the last year,” said Daryl Schoolar, senior analyst at In-Stat, “while they have no interest in attaining Wave 1 certification, it was important to them as Wave 1 was a stepping stone to Wave 2.” Lessons learned with Wave 1 can be applied to Wave 2. It also has significance as it shows progress on the part of the WiMAX Forum in sheparding the technology. Sheparding the market to Wave 2 will be especially important as a high-profile deployment by Sprint comes on line. The Forum has publicly stated expectations to certify over 100 802.16e devices by end of the year.