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The Beceem MS120 Mobile WiMax chip set has proven its ability to work with a variety of commercial base station vendors in a formal test, called a “plugfest,” at Bechtel Labs in Frederick, Md.

In a test that ended Oct. 1, the Beceem reference design worked with vendors including Alcatel, Alvarion, Motorola and Navini.

The growing WiMax standard is similar to Wi-Fi, but is intended to be used over much greater distances.

WiMax networks need both a base station and mobile terminals to operate.

The Beceem chip set is a very early contender in meeting the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard.

“A plugfest is an interoperability event that WiMax Forum uses to bring all of the manufacturers together to work out problems,” said Aditya Agrawal, senior director of marketing at Beceem Communications and chair of Certification Working Group for the WiMax Forum.

“This is in preparation for certification,” Agrawal said. “We were already able to interoperate with the key base station manufacturers.”

Agrawal said that the successful test is critical for the industry.

“It’s a huge milestone for the industry because it means that these terminal chip set solutions can be used in mobile terminals, PC Cards, handsets, etc.” he said.

“These terminals would then be able to work with base stations from many different vendors.”

Click here to read more about mobile WiMax standards.

“The industry can take advantage of that,” Agrawal said. “Terminals based on the Beceem chip set can roam between different networks and base station offerings.

“It will work in different countries or service providers’ networks.”

Agrawal said that he expects the Beceem WiMax chip sets to start showing up in the United States in 2007.

He said that Sprint has already announced that it plans to have WiMax operating by the end of 2007, and that he expects the Beceem chip set to be part of that.

Agrawal said that Sprint has announced its intention to work with Samsung, Intel and Motorola, and he pointed out that Intel and Samsung are major investors in Beceem.

Beceem’s chip set is already in commercial operation in Korea, where’s it’s used with the Korean Telecom WiMax network.

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