WiMax Adopted as Global Mobile Standard

A UN telecommunications agency has approved WiMax as a global standard for mobile devices, which will pave the way for widespread adoption of the platform as a method for next-generation cellular data transfer.

What the decision does is allow WiMax to use the same frequencies that are requisitioned for the standard known as IMT-2000. That framework provides the basis for all third-generation wireless communications.

Now that WiMax has been approved to use these frequencies, analysts say it will spur development of the technology and bring down hardware costs. It will likely mean that adoption of the technology as a next generation cellular standard would extend beyond Sprint, the only carrier that has publicly committed to use it in their network.

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WiMax has the potential to transfer data at speeds up to 70MBps at a distance of up to 40 miles. Such technology could finally allow data-intensive applications such as full duplex video conferencing, high speed data transfer, and other multimedia applications to become a reality.

"This is a very special and unique milestone for WiMAX technology," WiMax Forum president Ron Resnick said. "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."

Several objections were raised to WiMax being added to the IMT-2000 standard, including China. The communist country has an interest in the proceedings since it is trying to get its own flavor of CDMA, TS-SCDMA, approved as a global standard.

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