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Motorola and Intel Join on WiMAX Push

Posted by iNext - 2005-11-02

With wirless-equipment providers of all kinds gearing up for the next generation of wireless broadband, Motorola and Intel have partnered to advance WiMAX technology.
WiMax, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, creates hotspots that stretch dozens of miles and allow users to surf the Web wirelessly at speeds that are much faster than connections via a DSL or cable modem.

"By working with Motorola on mobile WiMAX standards and technology, we can jointly develop and test equipment to meet the requirements necessary for truly mobile broadband," said Scott Richardson, general manager of the Broadband Wireless Division at Intel.

Next Great Thing

In pushing the new technology, both Motorola and Intel are touting the advantages of WiMAX networks. The promising next-generation wireless technology will support high data-transfer rates and extended transmission. WiMAX can support data speeds over 5 Mbps and can reach distances of over 20 miles.

IEEE 802.16e, the standard that defines WiMAX, is the cornerstone of Motorola's mobility strategy. The company has unveiled plans to develop dual-mode phones that will be able to carry signals over WiMAX networks in addition to standard cellular networks.

Earlier this year, Intel revealed more plans for its Rosedale chipset, the company's first-generation chip for WiMAX systems.

"We believe 802.16e is going to be the way to go for both fixed and monadic applications," Dan Coombes, chief technology officer for Motorola Networks.

"WiMax is beginning to deliver on its promise to provide broadband wireless access to businesses and consumers, and the promise of full mobility is around the corner with the anticipated ratification of the 802.16e standard," Intel's Richardson said.

Two Is Better Than One

The two industry juggernauts say they plan to collaborate on standards and specifications for the new technology as well as work on interoperability testing of Motorola mobile devices, network equipment, and customer equipment.

Industry experts are supportive of the partnership and anticipate that its greatest impact will be to increase the visibility and marketing for WiMAX. With ratification of the technology still in process and equipment still under development, Motorola and Intel likely will focus on creating interest in WiMAX, said Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester.

"The two companies' efforts will focus on maintaining energy and awareness of the technology," said Golvin.

But Golvin doubts that the partnership will push adoption of the new standard. That, he said, will depend on factors like spectrum availability, equipment certification, availability of devices, and interoperability with other standards bodies.

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