Early Testing Tools Available For WiMAX

The testing lab officially selected for testing WiMAX gear for standards-compliance, AT4 Wireless (formerly CETECOM Spain), has launched a “Development Test Mode” for WiMAX 802.16e equipment. This is another step towards actually having some mobile WiMAX equipment in the market. We repeat that there is currently none out there, despite what some PR lackeys may have spun, all the existing “mobile WiMAX” networks are just proprietary implementations of wireless networks misusing the standard’s name. Until equipment passes standards compliance and interoperability testing, it is essentially proprietary, and doesn’t offer the scale or plug’n’play benefits of standard kit. But don’t trot down to Circuit City to buy your WiMAX PCMCIA card just yet, though, the new testing tools are part of a phased roll-out of compliance tests, and are not final or complete. They will merely help equipment vendors make sure their equipment is being designed on the path to compliance. Although development of the mobile standard may be rapid, it has by no means kept pace with the rhetoric from industry heavyweights, some of which had promised us mobile WiMAX in laptops by 2005.

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