by Derek Kerton

Filed Under:

Here We Go Again: "First Mobile WiMAX Chip Ready To Ship"

For years, we've been correcting articles claiming that this-or-that was a WiMAX network, noting that NO WiMAX existed anywhere, since zero products had ever been tested or certified as WiMAX. Anything claiming to be WiMAX was probably pre-WiMAX, hence proprietary. Last week, we covered the fact that the first 3 true WiMAX standard products had passed testing. So now there are real fixed WiMAX products, although it will take some time before real networks are built on this hardware. So now it's mobile WiMAX's turn to claim that proprietary products are standards-based: Beceem Communications has claimed they are now shipping their "mobile WiMAX digital baseband and integrated radio chipset." This despite the fact that mobile WiMAX (802.16e) is not yet ratified, and as Lynette Luna at Fierce points out, the standards body hasn't even agreed on "the PHY/MAC implementation, smart antennas, spectrum usage such as frequency reuse and other higher layer differentiation." Thus, no product is standard Mobile WiMAX - no matter what you may read. Strangely, while standards bodies like the WiFi Alliance reprimand members who apply the standard label to non-standard products, the WiMAX Forum seems to have no problem with its members mis-using the "standard" label.

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