By Jeff Goldman
August 10, 2005
The testing continues apace to make sure that standardized wireless broadband products perform and interoperate.
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The WiMax Forum’s certification process at Cetecom Labs in Malaga, Spain officially launched in early July, and in the time since then, companies have begun to ship their equipment to Spain for the Forum’s certification process. “Multiple vendors already have equipment in the lab,” says Mo Shakouri, the WiMax Forum’s Vice President of Marketing.
Because this is the first certification process for a new technology, Shakouri says, the initial procedures at Cetecom are intended as much to verify the test routines themselves as to evaluate the performance and interoperability of the equipment being tested.
While the ultimate aim is that all pieces of WiMax certified equipment should interoperate freely with each other, Shakouri says the requirement for certification will be for the equipment to interoperate with equipment from at least three other vendors.The WiMax Forum’s intention in putting the process together, Shakouri says, was to challenge member companies to aim as high as possible. “We want to get interoperability, not just performance,” he says. “That’s an important element for the Forum – it’s not just about meeting the performance requirements.”
The fact that many companies in this space have already been offering so-called ‘pre-WiMax’ equipment for a while now, Shakouri says, should only make the certification process easier.
“It’s very good that we have companies and vendors who have been working with this technology and commercializing it,” he says.
Still, Shakouri doesn’t expect every company’s equipment to pass the test the first time. “Some of the vendors may have to go back and rework a board; maybe they’ll have to rewrite some code,” he says. “But the good part is that we have the full commitment of the vendors to the certification process.”
The effort required to put together a global certification process like this, Shakouri says, was significant. “Any time an industry like ours that’s so broad has to come together through certification, it’s a lot of work – but we think it’s realistic to expect that the first phase will be finished later this year,” he says.
The aim is to have the first WiMax certification for 3.5 GHz completed in November or December. “We are very excited,” Shakouri says. “This is a lot of work, and there’s a lot of interest – and we think this is going to be a cornerstone of this whole industry.”