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International Business Machines has announced that it had become a member of the WiMAX Forum, an industry-led organization driving the global adoption of standards-based, interoperable WiMAX products for the delivery of broadband mobile Internet services. As a member of the forum, IBM will provide services to providers seeking to deploy WiMAX networks.

“Our membership reaffirms IBM’s commitment to helping our service provider community deliver anytime, anywhere, converged communications,” says Don Lopes, vice president, IBM Global Services telecommunications industry. "We want to continue to support WiMAX as it evolves and becomes more established in the marketplace.”

While IBM has been supporting WiMAX initiative for some time now, it joined the WiMAX forum only this week.

Various versions of WiMAX allow devices to connect to a network at speeds of up to 70Mb/s in the range of 31 miles around the “access point”. 3G is next-generation implementation of cellular phone technology, such as GSM, that allows to connect to the Internet at the speeds of up to 2Mb/s (depending on the situation and network settings).

Currently there are many WiMAX deployments across the world, however, the final version of the WiMAX standard so far has not been approved.

In addition to a wide range of consulting, implementation services, hardware and software to help service providers leverage new business models, IBM has developed an ecosystem of device, equipment, software and services partners, many of whom are also WiMAX Forum members. Together, they have participated in early broadband wins in both the municipal and telco markets, where interest has been growing rapidly.

“The ability to integrate, collaborate and create new services across a universal platform is critical to maintaining relevance. W’re helping our service provider clients understand how WiMAX can enable new sources of revenue – advertising, other content – with a lower cost of delivery. Moving to an IP environment will transform all aspects of their businesses – from enhanced capabilities to efficient operations,” Mr. Lopes stated.

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