The first ever commercial WiMAX interoperability and roaming trials are to be carried out by 14 companies involved with the Next Generation wireless technology.

Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum, said the testing of networks and equipment will demonstrate to all WiMAX operators that they can easily provide roaming services to their customers.

Among the operators, device manufacturers, equipment vendors, and clearing houses taking part are Aicent, Alvarion, Bridgewater Systems, Cisco, Clearwire, Comfone, DigitalBridge Communications, Intel, iPass, Juniper Networks, MACH, Motorola, Syniverse and Transaction Network Services.

Resnick, speaking at the Forum’s global congress in Amsterdam, said the trial represents an end-to-end test of roaming over live WiMAX networks.

He said it will provide a baseline for establishing roaming services and agreements for WiMAX worldwide.

"Roaming with interoperability is important in order to expand the availability of WiMAX services by enabling users to automatically access networks when traveling outside the geographical coverage area of their home network," he said.

To date, the Forum tracks more than 475 WiMAX network deployments in 140 countries.

The WiMAX Forum board of directors has also voted unanimously to change the pricing fee setup for its WiMAX Forum Certified program.

It is to become a market pricing model at all six of its certification labs.

The WiMAX Forum has 106 certified products in the market today, with a projection of at least 1,000 certified products available by 2011.

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