September 25, 2006, 10:23 AM — Australia has joined the first global organization composed exclusively of companies that own spectrum and operate services in the WiMax bands.
Founding members of the WiMax Spectrum Owners Alliance (WiSOA) include Unwired Australia and the Austar Australia/Liberty Group.
Other members include Network Plus Mauritius, UK Broadband, Irish Broadband, Telecom New Zealand, WiMax Telecom Group, Enertel, and Woosh Telecom. The alliance was established at an inaugural meeting in Paris today.
WiMax enables fully mobile broadband access at very high speeds. Like GSM and CDMA, its strength lies in the fact that it operates only in specified, licensed frequency bands aligned with WiMax technology.
WiSOA also announced its 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. Today there are 25,000 roaming agreements worldwide generating more than A$25 billion (US$19 billion) in revenue every year.
WiSOA chairman Steve Cosser said WiMax is a disruptive technological breakthrough in the telecommunications sector.
"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," he said.
"WiSOA is an operator-driven alliance with clear commercial goals. It has parallels with similar successful industry alliances such as GSM-A and the cable and telephony industry associations. It will complement the work of the WiMax Forum and work closely with them to accelerate WiMax deployment worldwide."