[April 11, 2003]
Intel, Nokia, Proxim, Others Launch
Intel, Nokia, Proxim,
and a host of other companies yesterday launched WiMax, a non-profit group
formed to certify and promote the developing wireless broadband standard
802.16. Other WiMax members include Airspan
Networks, Alvarion, Aperto Networks, Ensemble Communications, and Wi-LAN.
The standard -- which the IEEE modified in January -- is a wireless MAN
technology that will connect 802.11 hot-spots to the Internet and provide
a wireless extension to cable and DSL for last mile broadband access.
802.16 provides up to 31 miles of linear service area range and allows
users connectivity without a direct line of sight to a base station. The
technology also provides shared data rates up to 70Mbps, which, according
to WiMax, is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support more than 60
businesses with T1-type connectivity and hundreds of homes.
Many insiders argue that WiMax could pose a real threat to 3G and other
wide area cellular data technologies. They claim that WiMax-powered hot
spots could cheaply offer wireless broadband access to citywide areas,
bringing Wi-Fi closer to cellular network levels of ubiquity.
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