Intel: WiMAX in notebooks by 2006

Wireless broadband goal restated

Intel has reiterated its forecast that notebooks will begin to incorporate WiMAX wireless broadband technology during 2006.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei during the launch of a antenna lab foundation programme, Lonnie McAlister, a product manager with Intel's Wireless Networking Group, also said the chip giant expects WiMAX take-up grow more quickly than did demand for Wi-Fi.

Intel outlined its vision for WiMAX earlier this year at its Developer Forum. Next year will see the installation of broadband provider equipment and kit on the outside of customers' premises, the company believes. During the second half of the year, that end-user equipment will move indoors, with transceivers moving within other systems - notebooks, and possibly even PDAs and mobile phones - sometime in 2006.

Intel is a major proponent of WiMAX, not only as a maker of communications silicon, but because anything that encourages consumers and business to buy more computing devices based on Intel processors is a good thing, in its opinion.

More philanthropically, the company believes WiMAX is essential to getting broadband Internet access to that majority of the world's population that lives too far from cable TV or digital phone exchanges - or even a decent fixed-line telecoms infrastructure of any kind.

Indeed, McAlister said that the standard remains the best solution for wireless networks in China, particularly in remote areas. Intel has already won deals to roll out WiMAX in two Chinese cities.

Earlier this year, Intel partnered with Proxim and Alcatel to develop WiMAX reference kit and end-user products. ®

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