Vendors, carriers join Intel with WiMax plans

Intel Corp.'s commercial launch of a WiMax wireless broadband chip on Monday brought out several equipment vendors planning products based on the chip as well as service providers saying they will hold trials of the technology.

The Intel Pro/Wireless 5116 chip, formerly code-named Rosedale, is based on the IEEE 802.16-2004 specification and designed for wireless services comparable to DSL (digital subscriber line) or cable modem offerings. Support for traditional TDM (time-division multiplexing) telephone service also is built in to the chip, according to Intel. The chip, announced last year and now available in volume, is priced at about US$45 each in quantities of 1,000 and is expected to go into consumer or business on-site devices priced from $250 to $550, said Intel spokeswoman Amy Martin.

WiMax is the commercial name of the network technology based on IEEE 802.16-2004, which allows for wireless data and voice system over a range of several miles. WiMax is expected to be deployed in most cases by service providers using licensed spectrum. The WiMax Forum later this year will begin certifying products to carry the WiMax name.

Intel unveiled a long list of vendors developing gear based on the chip, including Alvarion Ltd., Aperto Networks Inc., Proxim Corp., Redline Communications Inc., Siemens AG, and China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. Carriers planning trials include heavy hitters AT&T Corp., BT Group PLC, Brasil Telecom SA, Qwest Communications International Inc. and Tel

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