Lucent has announced that it will integrate Alvarion's BreezeMAX (WiMAX-ready) product line within its Accelerate Next Generation Communications Solutions portfolio, which includes Lucent's IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution. Backing up that announcement, Lucent's Worldwide Services division has announced support for the deployment, and maintenance of WiMAX.
The announcement will be chiefly of interest to operators looking to provide a seamless service between different access methods, including 3G mobile and WiFi and WiMAX coverage.
BreezeMAX is Alvarion's 3G OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) platform, with advanced Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) functionality. It will be integrated to work within Lucent's converged networking portfolio, which rests on its IMS solution.
IMS is aimed at helping operators introduce new voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia services more simply, by leveraging a common applications infrastructure to deliver services with a common "look and feel" across 3G mobile, WiFi, WiMAX, and wireline networks.
"WiMAX clearly complements existing and emerging 3G mobile and wireline networks, and can play a significant role in helping our customers deliver converged service offerings that can be accessed using a broad range of devices on a wide variety of networks," said John Marinho, vice president of strategic marketing for Lucent Technologies.
The WiMax Forum intends to begin to certify products as WiMAx Forum certified later in 2005. Alvarion expects the first demonstration of a mobile WiMAX solution based on the 802.16e standard within a year. The target launch in 2006 is intended to coincide with the availability of WiMAX-enabled devices such as laptops and PDAs that utilise chips currently under development.
Mobile WiMAX, as defined in the 802.16e standard, is intended to offer broadband services of several Mbps per subscriber or more with quality of service capabilities that enable applications such as VoIP.
The necessity for mobile operators to offer some form of fixed broadband wireless access to complement their 3G coverage is still a matter for debate, but most operators are looking at how IP could help them provide continuity of service across multiple access methods.