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Industry leaders announce the creation of the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI) to accelerate WiMAX 2 development. The alliance includes original WiMAX supporters like Intel, Motorola, Samsung and ZTE, hope to get peak speeds over 300Mbps.

The group will issue detailed milestones and delivery schedules within the next 3-6 months with the goal to support the WiMAX Forum’s readiness to certify commercial products by late 2011. The new Mobile WiMax standard, 802.16m, will replace 802.16e and offer far faster download and upload speeds. Clearwire expects to implement 120Mbps WiMAX 2 sometime in 2011.

LTE and WiMAX are often called “4G”, but they are not “official” 4G standards, according to the ITU. The ITU requires 100 Mbps (mobile) and 1 Gbps (fixed) speeds, among other criteria, to qualify as true “4G”.

Wimax 2 meets the ITU requirements for 4G and allows for peak rates of more than 300 Mbps. Companies supporting the interoperability WiMAX 2.0 standard include; Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Sequans, XRONet and ZTE.

There were some 640 million mobile broadband subs the end of 2009, driven by growing demand for smartphones, new applications and social networking services. That number will exceed 1 billion this year, according to ITU statistics. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions surpassed those for fixed broadband in 2008, according to the ITU.

LTE was a major theme at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, where a number of new user devices supporting LTE were announced or demonstrated. Over twenty LTE networks are planned to enter commercial service by the end of 2010. But LTE does not meet “4G” specs as defined by the ITU.

WiMAX 2, based on IEEE 802.16m, will meet the International Telecommunications Union’s “IMT-Advanced” requirements, as will LTE Advanced.

The WiMAX Forum currently tracks 559 WiMAX deployments in 147 countries cover some 620 million people across the globe.

In other news, the WiMAX Forum Congress Asia meets in Taipei, Taiwan from April 12-14 to discuss a variety of WiMAX topics that matter to the Asia Pacific region.

Taiwan has become an important WiMAX market with Far EastTon, Tatung and VMAX all launching networks, mostly focused in Taipei and Hsinchu City.

Samsung plans to deploy WiMax 2 in 2011, although it did not name their operator customer. Samsung’s WiMax customers include Clearwire, UQ Communications, in Japan, Yota in Russia, and YTL Communications in Malaysia.

Related DailyWireless stories include; IEEE Submits 802.16m to ITU for 4G , LTE-Advanced Submitted to ITU, CTIA 2010, LTE-TDD & WiMAX: Two Peas in a Pod?, Blowback on 2.6 GHz, Towards a REAL “4G” Standard, Unified “4G” Standard Proposed, Japan Sub-channels WiMAX, Samsung WiMAXes MWC, Verizon: LTE in 25 to 30 Markets By 2010, Motorola Testing LTE in UK, Qualcomm: Our UMB Standard? Furgetaboutit.

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