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Proxim, Intel to develop WiMax reference kit

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Intel and wireless equipment maker Proxim today said they would collaborate on the development of WiMAX kit for both ends of the broadband wireless link.

The agreement echoes a similar pact signed between Intel and Alcatel last March to co-develop WiMAX (aka 802.16) equipment.

Like Alcatel, Proxim will develop base-station equipment, to be installed by network providers. However, it will also produce transceivers for end-users. That work will involve the preparation of a reference platform, an effort it will undertake with Intel.

Intel's WiMAX roadmap calls for the availability of external systems - base-stations and end-user premises receivers - during the first half of 2005. During H2, however, Intel wants those receiving points to be moved off home and office walls and brought indoors, so it's likely the two will be working on those kind of interior devices.

Ultimately, Intel sees receivers being refined to the point where they can be installed inside computing devices themselves, allowing truly mobile broadband. It expects that to happen sometime in 2006.

WiMAX is seen as the wireless answer to today's wired broadband services, particular in locales where suitable wired infrastructure doesn't exist and would prove too costly to implement.

Telecoms companies in the UK and elsewhere are already evaluating WiMAX as a way of delivering broadband services to rural areas. ®

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