RealTime IT News

Wireless Broadband Consortium Constructed

Six top communications and semiconductor companies Thursday formed a pact to promote wireless broadband access solutions worldwide.

The Wireless DSL Consortium is founded by ADC Telecommunications Inc., Conexant Systems Inc., Gigabit Wireless Inc., Intel Corp., Nortel Networks Inc. and Vyyo .

Currently, service providers that plan to offer broadband wireless access must wade through a myriad of technologies in order to select service vendors. The consortium wants to standardize the industry segment to develop broadband wireless multi-vendor solutions for service providers in order to speed-up system deployment.

The industry group intends to define, develop, and implement a set of open interfaces for broadband wireless access products operating in the multi-channel multi-point distribution service and the 3.5 gigahertz bands. Through a series of forums, the group also intends to provide guidelines for rigorous testing and verification standards for fixed wireless products.

The group indicated that its first standard would incorporate multi-carrier technology enhanced by smart antenna and technologies to increase system capacity and coverage, as well as provide robust operations in even the most challenging wireless environments to conquer line-of-site barriers.

Additionally, the corporate six-pack plans to offer technical advice to carriers on technology issues, and consult with the Federal Communications Commission and International Telecommunication Union about spectrum management and interoperability issues.

In order to provide a quick start solution in this year, the consortium members embraced the Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS), with enhancements compensating for media access control and physical layers to support wireless operations.

Ultimately, the consortium intends to maximize the overall wireless broadband market opportunity among competitors who recognize the need to agree upon open standard to catalyze the industry.

Semiconductor and equipment suppliers are encouraged to join the consortium and collaborate to accelerate delivery of wireless broadband Internet networks. Service providers are also welcome to join the group.

The consortium has retained Gartner Group Inc. to advise on industry issues, strategies and best practices to keep all parties informed on new development.

The status of broadband wireless access in the U.S. is currently undergoing commercial trials on a select market basis. Both Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc. initiated commercial trials in a few U.S. markets.

Jonathan Mapes, WorldCom Wireless Solutions chief technology officer for, said the firm welcomed the groups initiative to develop open standards for fixed wireless access to the Internet.

"There is tremendous value in the creation and adoption of open standard interfaces for the broadband wireless market," Mapes said. "Open standards are a critical maturation step for widespread service deployment."

According to the group, the 2 to 4 gigahertz band is ideally suited to provide broadband wireless services for home and business connectivity. The FCC allocated spectrum in the 2.5 gigahertz MMDS band for the U.S., while international authorities are making spectrum available