Why ask WiMax?

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I lamented to Derik the other night that we had apparently missed the WiMax World conference going on in Boston this week. "Maybe next year," he sighed plaintively. Then again, maybe next year WiMax will actually be worth talking about. For those not familiar with the system, it's essentially a long range version of Wi-Fi (with distances measured in miles) that also has support for moving targets (i.e., access the Interweb from your car). While it's been long touted as the next generation of wireless by companies such as Intel, it's yet to make a viable appearance on the commercial scene.

Back here in the present, Nortel has been demonstrating multiple antenna WiMax systems that can supposedly bring "three times the speed and twice the subscriber capacity of conventional WiMax products." I guess I hadn't realized that "conventional" WiMax products were even around . The approach is similar to the MIMO approach that's supposed to power 802.11n, and some vendors are even selling 802.11g equipment with multiple antennas. The company also boasted that their products will have longer battery life, better range, and more coverage. Sounds like a dream; where do I sign up?

Nortel's products are due to ship in the middle of next year and the company hopes they'll be a prime target for providing IPTV and VoIP. Fingers crossed, friends. Fingers crossed.

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