In a sign of burgeoning support for broadband wireless, 39 new members, including AT&T and Covad, have joined the WiMax Forum. The group now boasts 67 members, more than double its size five months ago.
The WiMax Forum was set up to promote and certify equipment based on the IEEE 802.16 wireless metropolitan area networking standard, much as the Wi-Fi Alliance does for 802.11 products. The addition of two major operators should be a boon for the group, as some carriers are still wary of the technology.
With a range of up to 30 miles and data rates up to 70Mbps, WiMax is expected to help bring broadband access to rural areas and developing countries where it isn’t economical to deploy traditional last-mile connections. Analysts are predicting that WiMax will help contribute to huge growth in the broadband wireless sector in the next few years.
According to In-Stat/MDR, the fixed wireless market will generate more than $1.2 billion by the end of 2007, up from $558.7 million in 2003.