Vendors, carriers eye WiMax wireless broadband

Manufacturers and service providers looked at the emerging WiMax wireless technology this week and saw a possible rival to wired broadband services -- at the end of what some see as a long standardization process.

"We believe that WiMax can happen, and be widely deployed, and be a big deal in the next three years the same way Wi-Fi has been a big deal the last two years," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of Intel Corp.'s communications group, in a keynote address at the Wireless Communications Association (WCA) International Technical Symposium & Business Expo in San Jose, California.

The conference focused on wireless broadband technology, in particular WiMax, which is based on the IEEE 802.16 family of standards. The WiMax Forum, a group of vendors and service providers, initially will certify products based on the 802.16d standard, designed for wireless base stations with a range as long as 50 kilometers (km). It is a point-to-multipoint technology, so it doesn't require a direct line of sight to the customer. A later version of the standard, 802.16e, will provide a relatively simple upgrade to access points to support mobile customers, according to Fran

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