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Saturday, March 13, 2004
Wi-Fi's big brother Via Economist
Sean Maloney, the head of Intel's telecoms division, says WiMax will put “the next 5 billion users” on the internetWi-Fi provides coverage within a small hotspot, WiMax, which has a maximum range of 30 miles, could provide blanket coverage. It could, as a result, prove to be a far more useful, and disruptive, technology.The initial aim of WiMax is modest: it will ensure compatibility between different vendors' fixed-wireless broadband equipment, which provides fast wireless-data connections between fixed points over long distances. This ought to help to expand the market for fixed-wireless access, since operators will no longer have to worry about being locked into vendors' proprietary technologies, and economies of scale will bring prices down. That is good news for people in rural areas, for whom broadband access—via cable networks or supercharged telephone lines—is often unavailable. Subscribers simply fix a WiMax receiver to the outside of their homes and plug it into a Wi-Fi base-station, or directly into a PC. Intel has high hopes that wiMax would be a great success.
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