The Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R), which is affiliated with the United Nations, has approved WiMAX mobile broadband technology as a global 3G communications standard. The agreement was reached in a meeting in Geneva on 19 October, after a number of countries objected to the inclusion of WiMAX (based on the IEEE 802.16 standard) in the IMT-2000 standard for advanced mobile technologies. China in particular lobbied for a homegrown wireless broadband standard to be adopted globally. The decision paves the way for more technology-neutral 3G mobile licences being issued.
The ITU-R voted to support WiMAX’s underlying technology, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDMA), which is also set to power future technologies, including Long Term Evolution (LTE) – designed as the next step in GSM evolution, and expected to be deployed in 2009/10.