The WiMax Forum, the group promoting the next-generation wireless broadband technology, has signed up three major members in just over a week. Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, and Cisco Systems have joined, leaving Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson as the last major network vendor to commit.
Lucent's application to join was reported at wireless news site Unstrung, with a comment that it has previously "waffled" on the nascent technology. As WiMax starts to settle down to actual frequencies and specifications, it seems it is time for vendors to get on board.
Nokia, meanwhile, played its part in the industry's WiMax dithering, leaving WiMax in May, and rejoining in June. Alcatel, Motorola, Siemens and about 100 others are all members, along with Intel, which started the WiMax promotional ball rolling in 2003, by joining the Forum, and which has continued the pressure with the arrival of its RosedaleWiMax chipset.
Cisco confirmed it would join the Forum early in September, as did Nortel, which promises to contribute its skills in MIMO antenna technology, and OFDM (orthogonal Frequency division multiplexing.)
WiMax has transformed from a long shot, to something that everyone has to be involved in, over a remarkably short space of time. None of these vendors have yet been specific about products and delivery dates, and the market is not expected to take off till 2006. However, we expect to start seeing some more product details pretty soon.