News Release Details

Ericsson, Nokia, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung, Sony, Wi-LAN, and Caltrans Launch OFDM Forum


Microsoft Supports Industry Initiative to Deliver High-Speed Wireless Communications to Customers

San Francisco, California
March 14, 2000

At the Broadband Wireless World Forum in San Francisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Sony, Wi-LAN and CalTrans today launched the OFDM Forum. The OFDM Forum was created to foster the harmonization of OFDM standards, promote the global harmonization of spectrum allocation, and implement a single compatible global OFDM standard for delivering cost effective devices on all wireless networks and in related industries. In addition to these industry leaders, Microsoft Corp. supports the OFDM Forum's goal of delivering a single OFDM standard that will enable high-speed wireless data communications to anyone, anytime, anywhere. 

At the invitation of Wi-LAN Inc. and Philips Semiconductors, 104 representatives from 60 companies worldwide met to discuss the formation of an international market development organization on December 2, 1999. OFDM stands for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, and is a technology that is considered at the cornerstone of the next generation of high-speed wireless data products and services for corporate and consumer use. OFDM is at the foundation of both the IEEE 802.11 and ETSI BRAN standards, and is used in numerous multimedia applications. With this evidence of industry support, the wireless world is ready for products based on OFDM technology. 

"Microsoft believes in enhancing consumer lifestyles through a transparently interconnected world of PCs, intelligent appliances and relevant software and services," said Jawad Khaki, general manager, Windows Networking and Communications, Microsoft Corp. "Standardized high-speed wireless communications goes a long way toward helping to achieve this vision, and Microsoft believes that OFDM technology will play a lead role in this world. We are pleased to be supporting a forum committed to the common goal of delivering a single global standard, enabling high-speed communications to anyone, anytime, anywhere. The OFDM Forum is a major step for the industry."

The OFDM Forum Steering Committee acts as the executive body of the OFDM Forum. The steering committee includes Ericsson, Nokia, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Wi-LAN and CalTrans. 

"The interest and enthusiasm for the OFDM Forum was beyond our expectations," says Dr. Hatim Zaghloul, Chairman and CEO, Wi-LAN Inc. "There is no doubt, with the representation of the companies shown here, the success in driving the market and technology focus of an OFDM technology standard is imminent."

The OFDM Forum has two classes of membership: Principal Membership and Associate Membership. Principal Membership is open to entities deemed to be making a significant contribution to the development, promotion or improvement of OFDM technology and standards. Principal Members are entitled to participate in Working Groups, and to have access to the technical information developed through the activities of the Working Groups. Principal members to date include: Ericsson, Nokia, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, and Wi-LAN, and CalTrans.

Associate Membership is open to any interested entity electing to join the Forum as an Associate Member. Associate Members are entitled to access Working Group activity reports that will be issued from time to time. There are different fees associated with each level of the OFDM Forum. Associate Members to date include Sony.

"Philips Semiconductors sees the OFDM Forum as an industry driving force for a multi-standard, high data rate physical layer technology," said Phil Pollok, vice president and general manager, Business Line Networking, Philips Semiconductors. "The advantages of interoperability, coexistence and lower cost will be a major market enabler for wireless data systems of the future."

Membership in the OFDM Forum is open to any corporation or organization engaged in research, development and/or manufacture of any OFDM products, as well as any software firms or other users of OFDM products who are interested in developing and improving OFDM technology and standards. You can apply to be a member of the OFDM Forum by calling 403-273-9133. More information can be found on the web at

OFDM Forum Events at Broadband Wireless World Forum:
Press Conference:
When: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 at 11:00 am PST
Where: Golden Gate Room B1, San Francisco Marriott Hotel, 55 Fourth Street, San Francisco, California 

Hospitality Suite:
The OFDM Forum will host a hospitality suite at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel on Tuesday, March 14, 2000 from 7:30 pm until 10 pm, and on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 from 7:00 pm until 10 pm in room 1155. Dr. Zaghloul and other senior management will be available for interviews regarding the OFDM Forum announcement. Wi-LAN will be running a live OFDM demonstration. Refreshments will be provided. Please call to schedule a meeting during this informal gathering.

Conference Presentation by Dr. Hatim Zaghloul:
Mr. Zaghloul will present on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 at 3:30 p.m. The topic of the session is "Advanced Solutions for Supporting Non-Line of Sight Fixed Wireless Deployment."

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