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April 03, 2013

The WiMAX Forum Sees Success in Developing Nation Broadband Connectivity Thanks to WiMAX

WiMAX technology, a wireless communication standard for broadband created in 2001 by the WiMAX Forum, is revolutionizing the way people communicate today. In developed nations, it’s becoming a standard that offers improved, 4G-quality wireless communications over previous generations of wireless technology.

In developing nations, however, it’s the first and best hope for broadband.

MobilityTechzone recently spoke with Dr. Mohammad (Mo) Shakouri, Chairman of the WiMax Forum, during IT Expo Miami in March. The WiMAX Forum is a not-for-profit industry organization that certifies and promotes the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based upon IEEE Standard 802.16. The WiMAX Forum’s primary goal is to accelerate the adoption, deployment and expansion of WiMAX technologies across the globe, while facilitating roaming agreements, sharing best practices within our membership and certifying products.

“WiMax as an industry has become very mature,” said Dr. Shakouri, who said the WiMAX Forum is overseeing a number of new initiatives. One of them is wireless broadband access, which is being deployed all over the globe, mainly for broadband connectivity, in both the developed world and the developing world, most of which lacks previous generations of infrastructure such as fiber.

In many cases, WiMAX is the technology today that allows neighborhoods, villages and schools in developing nations to have access to broadband, and the growth is being spurred by the relative affordability of WiMAX-enabled devices, according to Shakouri.

For this reason, the growth potential of the already huge WiMAX market is enormous.

“WiMAX is a billion-dollar market, but it’s not big enough,” said Shakouri, who sees plenty of room for growth in both developed and emerging markets. “It’s not sexy, but it’s very solid in terms of its business activity.”

Other initiatives the WiMAX Forum is pursuing include machine-to-machine applications for utilities and smart grids’ networking, as well as small cells, or low-powered radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum to “fill in the blanks” in overall wireless coverage, often in indoor spaces.

For the full interview with Dr. Shakouri, see the video above.

Edited by Braden Becker

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