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WiMax to cover 1 billion by 2012, says Intel

A truly olympian task

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IDF Craig Barrett banged the drum for WiMAX in the opening keynote of IDF today. But only quietly, and not for very long.

In a speech that dwelled on socio-economic issues more than hard technology, Barrett slipped out a couple of predictions for takeup on the to-date unloved mobile data standard.

“We should see 50 million people reached by WiMAX by the end of this year,” said Barrett. By 2012, he said, the technology should have reached 1 billion people.

Barrett seemed to suggest a good proportion of these will be in developing countries. The Satyam-backed HMRI telemedicince project in Andhra Pradesh in India is using the technology to reach villages out of the reach of existing infrastructure.

And he suggested there wasn’t a leader in Africa “who doesn’t know how to spell WiMAX.”

Which simply emphasises the technology’s potential for filling in the gaps in telecoms' networks, not that it is the preferred comms standard for dictatorships, precarious democracies and failed states.®

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