The two leading industry groups for ultrawideband merge: The Multi-Band OFDM Alliance and the WiMedia Alliance are merging their two groups to align goals more fully and reduce the number of acronyms and institutions. The two groups' have very similar general technology goals for UWB, and this leaves Motorola and Freescale even more in the lurch as the personal area networking (PAN) focus of WiMedia and the consumer electronics focus of MBOA come together.
The merger announcement is scheduled for this afternoon at an Intel conference.
Update: Here's the press release sent out on March 3. There's a variety of analysis on the merger. Tim Higgins at Tom's Networking points out that the merged alliance may have a better chance of getting their flavor of UWB approved by the FCC. Many months ago, the FCC refused to intervene in IEEE 802.15.3a when Motorola's group tried to get MB-OFDM ruled outside of the certification rules. The FCC felt the testing procedure that was in place would allow the industry to decide on the best standard without preemptory rulings.
The EE Times story on the merger indicates that IEEE 802.15.3a could swing back to MB-OFDM, which I thought was impossible at this point. The MBOA had withdrawn from the group's process, but there are votes that can be swayed to achieve a starting point for final drafts and ratification. This would be an enormous upset for Freescale to lose the IEEE process as well as the broader market.
Update: The merged group wrote to note that the MBOA did not withdraw from IEEE. As Patrick Mannion noted back in September 2004, "Amid accusations of deliberate stalling by one side and overstated time-to-market advantages by the other, the group is now considering extreme options — ranging from splitting the task group into two to outright dissolution if some progress is not made by March." It's March, but the process is still underway.