WiMAX (world interoperability for microwave access) is a technology with an acronym even cooler than Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and a few years from now it might not only be cooler sounding, but also more common and popular than Wi-Fi as a means of connecting to the internet. WiMAX can be used to provide a wireless metropolitan area network (WMAN), and is expected to grow faster than Wi-Fi did for wireless local area networks (WLAN) in recent years. Lonnie McAlister, product manager for the Wireless Networking Group at Intel Asia Pacific, forecasts that the WiMax technology will begin being included in notebook products starting in 2006.
McAlister indicated that the new standard will be the best solution for wireless networks in rural areas and especially in countries such as China where building a cable based wired infrastructure would be too expensive and inhibitive for remote areas. WiMAX is also particularly suited to China because it has the capability to operate in the three licensed bands in that country: 5.8 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 2.5 GHz. Intel has landed agreements to deploy WiMax in a couple of Chinese cities already and sees this technology as not only a major growth area in Asia, but of course in North America also.
Below is Intel s launch schedule for their push into the WiMax technology expansion:
- 2004 – Appear in leased line Internet of enterprise hot spot and backhaul family.
- 2005 – Expand into broadband network for small office home office (SOHO) and consumer sectors.
- 2006 – Exist on mobile phones and begin implementing into notebooks.
- 2007 – Expected to grow fast on notebooks.
- 2008 – Projected to appear on half of the global notebooks.