The FINANCIAL — Intel and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) on February 16 announced WiMAX Ensure, a joint end-to-end interoperability testing (IOT) program for the WiMAX Rev-e standard (802.16e-2005) that aims to establish common, commercially validated, global profiles for data-centric mobile WiMAX devices.
This collaboration between leading silicon and infrastructure players in the WiMAX space aims to strengthen the technology’s device ecosystem by marking out a safe path to market for both embedded and non-embedded devices.
Building on successful joint IOT on chipsets for the 2.5GHz band, the new program expands not only the scope of work but to new frequencies – specifically, the 3.5GHz band, where Alcatel-Lucent is a leading global infrastructure player with seven networks already in commercial service and 14 others in deployment. In addition, the WiMAX Ensure program will eventually include 2.3GHz devices.
“The WiMAX Ensure program is designed to bring additional assurance to program participants delivering WiMAX products and services to market,” said Sriram Viswanathan, vice president of Intel Capital and general manager of the WiMAX Program Office, Intel. “Intel looks forward to continued collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, who has been active in the thriving 3.5GHz band deployments worldwide, and is a key proponent of the open WiMAX devices ecosystem.”
“This initiative is proof of Alcatel-Lucent’s commitment to the WiMAX ecosystem and to the long-term success of this technology,” said Paul Larbey, Head of Next-Generation Mobile Access activities for Alcatel-Lucent. “The Seal of Interoperability Acceptance for Commercial Services (SIACS) that Alcatel-Lucent launched last year had immediate traction in a young WiMAX industry hungry for reliable information on devices’ performance in real-life, end-to-end settings. Involving of a key industry mover like Intel will bring much greater momentum.”
Alcatel-Lucent has long encouraged the expansion of the WiMAX Rev-e ecosystem through IOT with any and all device and chipset makers, under its Open Device Program, of which SIACS is a part. To date, it has worked with more than 30 such partners at its seven IOT centers worldwide.
Intel and Alcatel-Lucent have a history of working together to foster a vibrant WiMAX ecosystem. Both are founding members of the Open Patent Alliance (OPA), a body created to stimulate innovation and new entrants in the WiMAX industry via the formation of a WiMAX patent pool. The OPA facilitates the creation of a fair, transparent and balanced intellectual property rights licensing structure through the ‘patent pool’ to enable companies in the WiMAX ecosystem with easier access to patent licenses at a more predictable cost.
“Alcatel-Lucent continues to be a strong supporter of the OPA,” Larbey added. “We believe in creating a true open ecosystem. The goal of the OPA to provide predictability, transparency and lower IPR costs is a key to success for WiMAX and 4G technology, which requires the proliferation of a broad array of devices beyond the traditional handsets.”