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WiMAX Beat is a bi-weekly special supplement to FierceWiFi

15 февраля 2007
What's in a spectrum? Is WiMAX in any other band still WiMAX? As WiMAX proliferates, and as the mobile version of the technology is just around the corner, there is an even greater need than before to define precisely what WiMAX means. WiMAX Day, the newsletter of the WiMAX Spectrum Owners Association (WSOA), has made this point on several occasions, and rightly so.

It writes, for example, that one company "reportedly raised a significant amount of capital last month to build what it claims will be a WiMAX network in London, however the company neither owns nor licenses the radio spectrum necessary to operate a WiMAX network" (did somebody say Urban WiMAX?)

WiMAX Day contends that "WiMAX is not a technology, but rather a term for specific products or services that conform to the IEEE 802.16 technical standards, and a certification process by the WiMAX Forum...The industry that has emerged to capitalize on the 802.16 standards has adopted the name WiMAX, in much the same way that WiFi is a name specific to services that adopt the 802.11 standards."

WSOA argues that "true" WiMAX operates only in licensed spectrum, within globally allocated frequency bands. This true WiMAX can thus be used only by the legal holder of that spectrum, and this legal holder is given protection from interference by other users sharing the band. Fixed WiMAX operates in frequencies of 3400-3600 MHz, while mobile WiMAX will operate in two frequencies: 2300-2400 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz. The latter band is allocated for mobile services in the three regions of the ITU, and is aligned with IMT-2000, a term that the ITU uses to define globally recognized 3G

technologies for use in IMT-identified frequency bands--among these technologies: WCDMA, CDMA2000, TD-CDMA and EDGE.

WiMAX Day says that WiMAX is not currently included in IMT, but that this will change in November 2007 when the ITU's World Radio Conference will likely include all WiMAX frequency bands for IMT. "Furthermore, it is expected that the ITU will incorporate the IEEE 802.16 standard into IMT so that WiMAX obtains the same international status as other IMT technologies," WiMAX Day concludes.


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