Although the IEEE’s 802.16e WiMAX standard has been approved, standardized mobile WiMAX will not be in place for at least another year, according to a market research firm.

The Boston-based Yankee Group recently published a paper, titled When Will WiMAX Become a Reality, which predicts the pre-standard equipment already purchased or installed is a potential source of frustration for users.

“There definitely could be a deal of frustration from the customer side especially if they invested a ton into the pre-standard” equipment, said Tara Howard, The Yankee Group’s analyst for enabling technologies, service provider.

WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a protocol designed to provide wireless access at faster transfer rates and greater ranges than those of Wi-Fi. Howard said firms who bought pre-standard equipment may find it does not work with hardware from other vendors, but she does not anticipate it will cause a backlash against WiMAX technology.

“They may be frustrated and they may switch vendors but I don’t think it’s going to necessarily be against the technology,” she said. “It will just be more vendor-specific because it will be more what the vendor is promising as opposed to what the technology is.”

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