The collaboration was outlined at the WiMax Forum's second annual Global Congress in Amsterdam, and covers topics such as end-to-end quality of service, provisioning, network entry and authentication, power optimisation, mobility management, support for emergency services, lawful intercept and location-based services.
"The operators in our community are looking to femtocells to improve coverage and capacity, while retaining the benefits of end-to-end quality of service management that is one of the great benefits of the WiMax network," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMax Forum.
"WiMax specifications will support WiMax certification of interoperable vendor products. We look forward to interactions with the Femto Forum to ensure that our specifications take advantage of its expertise regarding industry best practices for femtocell deployments."
WiMax roaming trials are already underway, and the next-generation mobile data service is starting to see significant levels of adoption in some regions, despite being hindered by the harsh economic climate and the technology being considered by some as secondary to Long Term Evolution (LTE).
"Femtocells will provide a powerful new tool for WiMax operators. By significantly increasing the number of cells in a wireless network using femtocells, operators can deliver a dramatically better service than using macro networks alone," said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum.
"This partnership will not only enable vendor interoperability and increased economies of scale, thereby driving competition, it will also help to support far-reaching new femtocell applications."
Femtocells can help operators and service providers offer the best WiMax experience by balancing macro and micro cells to ensure the necessary coverage and bandwidth, while helping to reduce costs by mitigating some of the backhaul requirements as well as adding enhanced location-based services.
Saunders claimed that the Femto Forum is in the fortunate position of being able to remain agnostic when it comes to supporting next-generation wireless access, with support for both LTE and WiMax.
"The benefits of femtocells can be easily translated to any licensed spectrum wireless connection, be it 3G, WiMax or LTE," he said.
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