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After a long time investors are finding some solace as well as appeal in the telecommunications sector. For WiMAX to work economically (one of the main sticking points is the need to lower the cost of its CPE from more than $200 to less than $100), it must be manufactured and deployed in large volumes by big vendors such as Alcatel, Lucent Technologies, Siemens and Nortel Networks - or so the theory goes -which is why VCs feel left out.
However, the applications that will ride on future WiMAX networks (interactive games, for example) could well be developed by start-ups, which is why VCs could find an important role at that level so long as they can wait for the networks to be built first. With a confusing array of competing wireless broadband technologies such as EV-DO, HSDPA and Wi-Fi, investors are growing increasingly interested in chips and software that might enable handoffs between WiMAX and other forms of wireless broadband.
Investors: caution is the buzz word.
After a long time investors are finding some solace as well as appeal in the telecommunications sector. One strong point in favour of WiMAX
STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS: USERS AND INVESTORS
is that wireless economics have already been proved correct in mobile voice services, where the cost per line is 40 % of the cost of equivalent wireline services. These same economies are expected to hold true in wireless data using WiMAX.
Some facts which can predict the future success of WiMAX, or at least confirm the march in right direction, is that the number of members in the WiMAX Forum has grown from less than 50 to 250 in the last year and the number of operator members has grown from 3 to 80.
WiMAX Certification Process
The combination of WiMAX conformance and interoperability testing makes up what is commonly referred to as certification testing. WiMAX conformance testing can be done by either the certification laboratory or another test laboratory and is a process where base station and subscriber station manufacturers test their pre-production or produced units to ensure that they perform in accordance with the specifications called out in the WiMAX Protocol Implementation Conformance Specification (PICS) document.
Based on the results of conformance testing, BS/SS vendors may choose to modify their hardware and/or firmware and formally resubmit these units for conformance testing. The conformance testing process may be subject to a vendor’s personal interpretation of the IEEE standard, but the BS/SS units must pass all mandatory and prohibited test conditions called for by the test plan for a specific system profile.
WiMAX interoperability is a multivendor (>3) test process hosted by the certification laboratory to test the performance of BS and/or SS in transmitting from one vendor and receiving data bursts from another based on the WiMAX PICS. Figure A1.1 shows the preliminary WiMAX certification process with its components.
First, the vendor submits BS/SS to the certification laboratory for Precertification qualification testing where a subset of the WiMAX conformance and interoperability test cases is done. These test results are used to determine if the vendor’s products are ready to start the formal WiMAX conformance testing process.
Upon successful completion of the conformance testing, the certification laboratory can start full interoperability testing. However, if the
The Business of WiMAX Deepak Pareek
© 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Vender returns to Self-Testing upon failure
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Figure Al.l Certification process
ABSTRACT TEST SUITE PROCESS
Figure A1.2 Abstract test suite development process
vendor’s BS/SS failed some of the test cases, the vendor must first fix or make the necessary changes to their products (BS, SS) and provide the upgraded BS/SS with the self-test results to the certification laboratory before additional conformance and regulatory testing can be done.
If the BS/SS fails the interoperability testing, the vendor must make the necessary firmware/software modifications and then resubmit their products with the self-test results for a partial conformance testing, depending on the type of failure and the required modification.