WiMAX players to form roaming alliance

At an inaugural meeting in Paris on Thursday, a handful of WiMAX licensees from around the world launched the WiMAX Spectrum Owners Alliance (WiSOA). The organisation is the first of its kind, composed exclusively of companies that own spectrum and operate services in the WiMAX bands, with a target of connecting a billion users to a worldwide WiMAX broadband network.

The founding members of the group are Unwired Australia, Network Plus Mauritius, UK Broadband, Irish Broadband, Austar Australia/Liberty Group, Telecom New Zealand, WiMAX Telecom Group, Enertel, and Woosh Telecom.

At the meeting, the WiSOA members also announced their intention to sign the first international WiMAX roaming agreement in December. This roaming agreement will cover all WiMAX services and operate in all WiMAX frequency ranges. The agreement will act as the backbone of a future global WiMAX network and adheres to the 802.16e standards for mobile wireless broadband.

WiSOA hopes to cash in on some of the roaming revenues currently being enjoyed by the GSM fraternity to the tune of $25bn every year.

Steve Cosser, chairman of WiSOA said at the meeting: “WiSOA was established to facilitate the adoption of WiMAX globally, and with its exclusive membership of spectrum owners only, is in a unique position to do so.”

WiSOA said it shares a number of the goals of the WiMAX Forum, however WiSOA specifically exists to work to ensure that the value of the licensed spectrum is fully realised by both government bodies and investors.

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