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Intel pushing for global WiMax adoption in 2008

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Intel pushing for global WiMax adoption in 2008

WiMAX World (Chicago) – Intel, Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks announced today a collaboration to conduct interoperability studies for Intel’s WiMAX silicon technology.  Nokia announced they’ll be using Intel’s silicon-level WiMAX, code-named “Baxter Peak,” in 2008 for their Internet tablets.  Will this extra push bring forth a global mobile broad-band standard once and for all?

WiMAX was hailed by Intel as the future of the mobile Internet at Fall IDF 2007.  Several live examples were made with WiMAX enabled devices including watching YouTube videos during a keynote from various floor displays as well as a remote location in Utah by an alleged rock-climbing cliff jumper.  Small form factor WiFi + WiMAX combo products were also demonstrated in standard and half-size packaging.  These allow drop-in compatibility replacement for any existing system makers currently using Intel’s WiFi products alone.  Intel is making it as easy as possible for system makers to adopt WiMAX in 2008 products.

WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.  It is a wireless technology greatly extending beyond WiFi’s abilities.  Based on the 802.16e-2005 standard, WiMAX is designed to be a point-to-point protocol over very long distances.  It even competes with cable and DSL in terms of speed.  Transmitting wirelessly at up to 70 Mbps up and down over short distances, and up to 10 Mbps up and down as far away as 10 km, WiMAX’s greater utility and mobile nature become apparent.  As of today, no official standard has been adoped globally, however, by the various regulatory bodies.

This collaboration is designed to ensure that those regulatory bodies will have no reasons not to adopt WiMAX.  It will also work to ensure users have no problems accessing a wide WiMAX enabled mobile Internet no matter where they are or on what device they’re accessing it.  The desire here, according to Ari Virtanen, Vice President of Nokia Multimedia, is that “WiMAX will translate into people being able to take their favorite Internet experiences … on the go without compromising on quality.”  Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group GM, Raviv Melamed, said “WiMAX enables the mobile Internet and makes it possible to get content on a variety of new mobile devices at broadband speed…”

The collaboration team is already working with dozens of “other equipment vendors” in Sprint’s Herndon, Virginia testing labs.  There are currently 500 forum members seeking to deliver “end-to-end specifications for global interoperability” of WiMAX devices and the required infrastructure.  Once the spec is finalized and globally adopted, a single WiMAX enabled device should work equally well anywhere in the world making this kind of standard desirable for on-the-go Internet users.