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Apr 16 2007   10:02AM GMT

Intel ready with WiMax — for real this time?

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro


Intel has announced it is building WiMax capability into wireless chipsets that should hit the market early next year, according to reports from the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing this week.

WiMax — a microwave-based technology defined by the IEEE 802.16e standard for broadband wireless access – has the potential to provide wireless-network access across distances as great as 30 miles. Sprint is working on a WiMax network that will reach two miles, which is still vastly better than the few hundred feet most WLAN methods provide.

WiMax could revolutionize wireless networking by eliminating tiny hotspots in favor of broad access zones – reducing the amount of equipment needed to cover an area, but increasing the potential security and access concerns WiFi has already raised.

Analysts have predicted that Intel’s support could put a rocket booster on the growth of WiMax, in much the same way it did for WiFi by building wireless access into its Centrino notebook chip sets.

While it’s been shipping WiMax-enabled chips for two years,  Intel has made something of a tradition out of announcing the imminent ubiquity of the capability in mainstream laptops:

April 7, 2007: Intel to build WiMAX into laptops in 2008

Oct. 6, 2006: Intel reveals wireless connectivity roadmap — Wi-Fi N, WiMAX and HSDPA on laptops next year

July 24, 2006: Intel announces mobile WiMax chip

April 18, 2005: Intel Debuts First WiMAX Chip

 Jan. 24, 2004: Intel Preps for WiMax Chips

July 2, 2004: Intel: WiMAX in notebooks by 2006

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