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Got it covered …

Reference designs spur the first stages of Wimax roll out. By Vanessa Knivett.

‘Last mile’ wireless delivery of potentially high speed broadband services, as an alternative to cable and dsl, makes a compelling case. Wimax promises fixed, nomadic, portable and eventually mobile wireless broadband access, without line of sight limitations. The fixed standard was ratified in 2004, whilst a mobile version has been at various intervals, claimed as imminent – the reality is quite different. Indeed, the hype surrounding Wimax from its inception has served to emphasise only the fact that it’s been a long time coming.
Whilst silicon support for Wimax was in evidence from Intel last year, faith in the standard has suffered in the past from news such as the pull out by a founding member of the Wimax Forum, Nokia. The Wimax Forum, designed to promote interoperability of Wimax capable equipment, was designed to speed up the growth of Wimax. Nokia’s move might have been attributed to a loss of faith in Wimax or frustration at the time taken between ratification and product roll out. It took between January 2006 and June 2004 – the date of the fixed Wimax standard to be ratified – for the first Wimax Forum certified product to be announced (one CPE and three basestations), according to Jeff Leasure, Atmel’s product line manager for wireless connectivity. However, Nokia may have also sensed an extension of an infrastructure price war, after new guns, Siemens and Alcatel joined the Wimax party.

Graham Pitcher

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