ITU Radiocommunication Assembly approves new developments for its 3G standards
The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly made a decision of global importance to include WiMax-derived technology in the framework of the IMT-2000 set of standards on October 19, 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. This agreement paves the way for the deployment of a range of voice, data, and multimedia services to both stationary and mobile devices. Significantly, it opens the door to mobile Internet, catering to demand in both urban and rural markets. The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-07) formally recognized technology derived from IEEE 802.16 by incorporating it as the sixth terrestrial IMT-2000 radio interface. This is the first addition to IMT-2000 since the original five were adopted years ago as part of the 3G radio standards being used globally and significantly pushes the technological envelope of IMT-2000 capabilities. IMT-2000 . International Mobile Telecommunications . is a global standard defined by ITU in a set of interdependent ITU Recommendations, which include the specifications for the radio interfaces of advanced wireless communications systems such as 3G mobile.
An initial application for the IMT-2000 Advanced standard was made at the ITU-R WP8F meeting in Kobe, Japan, in January this year. The adoption of the latest radio interface was the culmination of tireless effort among administrations, industry and ITU experts. "It gives me great satisfaction to observe that the ITU Radiocommunication Sector continues to be responsive to the most pressing needs of the wireless industry in the deployment of innovative technological solutions," said Valery Timofeev, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. "The successful approval of the two new Resolutions and four draft Recommendations dealing with IMT technologies represents a pinnacle in the recent technical achievements of the Sector."
WiMax extends access to global population
"WiMAX technology currently has the potential to reach 2.7 billion people," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "Today's announcement expands the reach to a significantly larger global population."
The new technology will facilitate delivery of broadband wireless services at lower cost and include multiple wireless broadband Internet services, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The specific terminology of the IEEE 802.16 standard in ITU-R M.1457 Recommendation is IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN.
Roger Marks, Chairman of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access, said: "I am immensely gratified that the international community, through ITU, has recognized the significance of the IEEE 802.16 Wireless MAN standard." Proposals to the forthcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) starting next week in Geneva that will be requesting additional spectrum for the deployment of the IMT 3Gtype systems worldwide will take into account the new IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN standards derived from the IEEE 802.16 mobile component.
The decision will help WiBro providers and system makers in Korea break through the slow growth of their markets. As a matter of fact, they have failed to reach the break point. According to some statistics, they have put a huge amount of money to develop and install WiBro networks and systems for its commercial debut here in Korea as the first of its kind in the world. KT, pioneer of WiBro, spent more than 660 billion won (US$725 million) reaching to the total investment ratio of 70.5%. SK Telecom put 405 billion won (US$445 million) for its WiBro service with the ratio of 42.6%.
Despite their financial effort, the outcome has been a huge disappointment so far. The number of WiBro subscribers is 30 thousand or so. Some critics say that it is a rip-off. They say that the future of WiBro in Korea is not bright as it is in foreign markets that the standardization decision will be made. However, the Ministry of Information and Communication insists that WiBro will be a future cash cow for Korea. It emphasizes that the WiBro market will mature in the near future as other countries star to use it as a means of 3G wireless broadband service.