WiMAX appears to be back on track. TechRepublic’s executive editor Jason Hiner published some good news today in his post, “The new Clearwire: Mobile WiMAX in the US gets major cash infusion.” It appears that Sprint and Clearwire are on the same page again and buoyed by major investments from Comcast and Google. This is good news for everyone concerned about WiMAX’s future in the U.S. It looks like WiMAX may now have enough traction to become a viable broadband resource.

In more good news, the WiMAX Forum just announced the formation of a new WiMAX applications laboratory. Only the second one in the world, the MAXWell Lab is located on the University of Maryland campus. The first WiMAX applications lab is the M-Taiwan WiMAX Application lab located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The WiMAX Forum endorsed the Hsinchu lab in October 2007.

The charter of both laboratories is to create an environment where WiMAX application developers can come and run real-world tests. The university community also satisfies the other WiMAX Forum requirement of being a vendor-neutral facility. In the University of Maryland news article “UM Gets Only U.S. Lab for WiMAX Next Generation Wireless Applications” Ashok Agrawala, director of MAXWell Lab mentions:

“This facility will support such testing extensively and the university is an excellent site for such testing. The first carrier deployment of WiMAX in the U.S. is by Sprint and the initial deployments are in Washington, DC area. With a university community of 50,000 people, the test bed at the MAXWell Lab will be available for testing WiMAX applications in a live environment with many users.”

Final thoughts

I agree with Jason Hiner’s assessment that moving WiMAX technology forward is a good thing, especially in the U.S. where WiMAX development was not keeping pace with the rest of the world.