News Release Details




WiMAX Forum Will Test and Certify Standard Compliant Municipal Area Network Equipment

CALGARY, Alberta, Canada, April 8, 2003 -- Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE:WIN), a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, today announced that it has joined with fellow members of the WiMAX Forum, a non-profit corporation, to help promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of BWA (broadband wireless access) equipment. Other WiMAX Forum members include Airspan, Alvarion, Aperto Networks, Ensemble Communications, Fujitsu, Hughes Network Systems, Intel, Nokia, the OFDM Forum and Proxim. The group's efforts will help accelerate the introduction of IEEE* (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Standard 802.16a wireless broadband equipment into the marketplace, speeding up last-mile broadband deployment worldwide.

"Wi-LAN, as one of the original proponents of IEEE Standard 802.16a, recognized early the importance of an organization like the WiMAX Forum in establishing the acceptance of a wireless standard," said Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy, president and chief operating officer, Wi-LAN Inc. "Wi-LAN has been actively participating in WiMAX Forum activities over the past year. We are dedicated to advancing the implementation of the IEEE Standard 802.16a and the experience we have gained in implementing W-OFDM based LIBRA products makes Wi-LAN the leader in Standard 802.16a implementation. We encourage all interested parties, including semiconductor companies, intellectual property providers and other broadband wireless equipment providers, to join the WiMAX Forum and support the implementation of 802.16a."

Standard 802.16a's wireless metropolitan area network technology will connect 802.11 hot spots to the Internet and provide a wireless extension to cable and DSL for last mile broadband access. It provides up to 50-kilometers of range and allows users to receive broadband connectivity without requiring a direct line of sight with the base station. The wireless broadband technology also provides shared data rates up to 70 Mbps, which is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support more than 60 businesses with T1-type connectivity and hundreds of homes with DSL-type connectivity with a single base station.

Today, a local service provider could take up to three months or more to provision a T1 network line for a business customer, if the service is not currently available in the business' building. With 802.16a wireless broadband technology, the same service provider could provision higher speed network access as the wired broadband solution in a matter of days and at a fraction of the cost. With this capability, a service provider could offer "on demand" high-speed connectivity for events, such as trade shows, where there'd be hundreds or thousands of Wi-Fi hot spot users, or nomadic businesses, such as construction sites, that have sporadic broadband connectivity needs.

The IEEE Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WirelessMAN) Standard 802.16a, announced on January 30, 2003, defines a standard for BWA systems operating in radio frequencies from 2 to 11 GHz. The emerging European equivalent to Standard 802.16a, the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) HiperMAN standard, will incorporate Standard 802.16a's OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology, making OFDM the worldwide standard for BWA systems

Comparison of Standard 802.16a to other OFDM based standards in terms of global compatibility, applicable radio frequencies and range:

IEEE (North American) Standard

ETSI (European) Standard

Global Compatibility Between IEEE and ETSI

Applicable Radio Frequencies

Intended Range

Standard 802.16a

HiperMAN (under development)


2 to 11 GHz

Up to 50 km




5.x GHz

Up to 100 meters




2.4 GHz

Up to 100 meters

During the next year, the WiMAX Forum will develop conformance test plans, select certification labs and host interoperability events for 802.16a equipment vendors. The group also will work with ETSI to develop test plans for its HiperMAN standard.

The WiMAX Forum will educate the communications industry about its efforts at the 2003 Broadband Wireless World conference in San Jose, Calif., where it will conduct a half-day educational session on April 10. WiMAX Forum member companies will present on a variety of topics, including the role and agenda of the WiMAX Forum, the difference between 802.16 and 802.11, how to become WiMAX certified, and the international applicability of the 802.16 standard. The session will be held at the San Jose Convention Center from 8 to 11 a.m. PST. More information on this event is available at

About the WiMAX Forum
The WiMAX Forum, world interoperability for microwave access, is a nonprofit corporation formed to help promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless access devices using the IEEE* 802.16 wireless MAN specification and to help accelerate the introduction of these devices into the marketplace. More information is available at

About Wi-LAN Inc.
Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, specializing in products for Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMAN) supporting both broadband data and voice. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless access products are known worldwide for their high quality and industry-leading technology. Wi-LAN believes its W-OFDM patent is necessary for the implementation of devices using the IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g or ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2 standards as well as the current drafts of the IEEE802.16a and ETSI BRAN HiperMAN proposed standards. Wi-LAN licenses its W-OFDM technology and has executed non-exclusive W-OFDM license agreements with semiconductor companies. Wi-LAN is the Chair Company of the OFDM Forum ( Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at

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