Six top communications and semiconductor companies Thursday formed a pact
to promote wireless broadband access solutions worldwide.
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
in the 3.5
The founding firms clearly stated that the launch of the Wireless DSL
Consortium is not a solicitation to the service providers for MMDS business
or corner the market of wireless broadband services.
Vendors in the consortium plan to offer wireless broadband solutions that
meet with the group’s open standards based on commercial terms determined
by each member.