Intel Rolls Out New WiMax Chipset

Intel showed off its latest WiMax Connection 2300 chipset in Hong Kong this week, aimed at extending both the range and capacity of 802.11 or WiFi wireless networks.

The completion of its WiMax baseband chip — coupled with a previously announced, multiband WiMax/WiFi radio on a singlechip — indicates that “Intel continues to drive innovation in mobile broadband access byeliminating the seams that prevent ubiquitous wireless connectivity,”said Intel Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and MarketingOfficer Sean Maloney.

Real Wireless Internet

In Hong Kong, Maloney showed an Intel Centrino Duo-based computer withWiMax, WiFi and high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) 3Gcapabilities accessing the Internet via the WiMax network.

Though other cellular wireless technologies are used more for applications such as mobile video, Intel touts WiMax capability for content-rich applications, which can be delivered withresponsiveness and free of interference from other wireless technologieson a system.

“The Intel WiMax Connection 2300 will help speed the deployment ofmobile WiMax and accelerate the availability of a new wave of ‘personalbroadband’ laptops and mobile devices,” Maloney said.

Heavy Wireless Lifter

Although there is some competition for a next-generation wireless standard,the real question about WiMax is who is going to implement thetechnology and how much is it going to cost, DataComm President IraBrodsky told TechNewsWorld.

Still, some WiMax projects, particularly a proof-of-conceptmodel for handheld television units rented out at NASCAR races, show thepowerful potential of the wireless technology, Brodsky noted.

Also praiseworthy is Intel’s strategy of pairing WiMax with WiFi andother wireless technologies, in order to position it as a “heavy lifter” forwireless users seeking more multimedia content such as mobile TV, he added.

Sprint Solution?

Recently, a lot of doubt surrounds WiMax technology but the support of wireless carrier Sprint has changed that, claimed Brodsky.

“Sprint makes a world of difference,” he said.

Sprint may be planning to use Intel’s WiMaxtechnology for its own mobile television offering, which would be morepowerful than other wireless technologies from other carriers, according to Brodsky.

Standards Significance

With users and enterprises typically slow or unable to upgrade theirown devices, it is key that WiMax has a standard forthe wireless technology, Ovum Vice President of Wireless Telecoms RogerEntner told TechNewsWorld.

“You really need the standard before you can do anything,” he said.”Otherwise, it’s all premature.”

Entner indicated that WiMax is not the only wireless technology inneed of standardization, and that all of the next-generation wirelesssolutions face the same problem.

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