WiMAX has been approved as an ITU standard and added to the IMT-2000 family of 3G standards (made of W-CDMA, cdma2000, TD-CDMA, EDGE, and DECT). It is a good news for vendors and operators. For WiMAX vendors the success is obvious. With a labeled standard, it will be easier selling networks. For operators also it is a good news. It they got 3G licenses in the 2.5GHz-2.6GHz spectrum, it will be easier to rapidly deploy 3G services, and it is particularly interesting in emerging countries and rural zones.
The decision to include WiMAX into IMT-2000 was certainly difficult to take. Because first WiMAX is not a cellular technology, secondly because WiMAX today is an OFDMA/TDD (time division duplex) technology that separates signals by time slots, while current WCDMA is a FDD (frequency division duplex) technology that separates signals by frequency. FDD accounts for 80% of the world' s licensed spectrum. While GSMA has plans to use OFDM in the future in its LTE technology, GSMA had opposed the inclusion of WiMAX in IMT-2000.
It is to early to evaluate the impact of this decision on the market. Furthermore it could be a good motivation to speed R&D for a WiMAX FDD profile that would fit better in the telecom landscape.