Mobile-related companies Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Clearwire, Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics and Sprint have banded together to form the Open Patent Alliance (OPA) to further the development of 4G mobile technology, WiMAX.
Based on a similar technology set to the WiFi networks we all know and love/loathe, WiMAX will offer low-cost, high bandwidth mobile connectivity for the next generation of mobile computers and phones.
The OPA will pool together to offer the key patents developers will need to help create WiMAX hardware and develop the standard, at a "predictable price".
All about the teaching
The WiMAX standard is competing heavily with Long Term Evolution (LTE) system, championed by companies such as Nokia and Ericsson, to be THE 4G technology of the future.
To this end, the OPA also plans to “educate” the masses on the importance of WiMAX (read: make people choose their standard over LTE).
The Alliance is also issuing a call for the patents to put in its pool, with an independent “patent referee” to decide how important they are to developing the standard (i.e., how much to charge).
According to the OPA, “The patent pool will incorporate a variety of royalty licensing solutions, including accounting for cross-licensing among individual members within the pool.”
"Just as mobile phones now connect to people rather than places, Clearwire is giving our customers the ability to access the Internet, at true broadband speeds, when they are on the go," says Scott Richardson, chief strategy officer of Clearwire.