IDF 2008: WiMAX and the Future of Wireless

IDF is just much about following through on new technology as it is about introducing it for the first time. WiMAX has been in the works for several years, and Intel seems extremely confident that it is the definite future of worldwide wireless.

Tolis Papathanassiou, Intel’s Principal Wireless Architect, hosted a class on the expected performance of WiMAX as well as its future through 2011. First, Tolis wanted to outline what Intel’s goal was as far as making WiMAX a reality.

“[We want] to bring transparent and affordable Internet access wherever you are,” said Tolis. “So the WiFi and the WiMAX together are what we see as the mobile broadband for the future.”

Tolis then went in-depth about the wireless standards as well as the speeds associated with them. As of right now, Intel has a three year deployment plan for WiMAX which has already started in several cities, like Portland, Ann Arbor and Baltimore. This upcoming WiMAX will operate on the 802.16e Rel 1.0 standard, and will theoretically have downlink speed of over 46 Mbps and a 14 Mbps uplink.

With these numbers already a little astounding, Intel already has plans for 802.16e 1.5, which will more than double both the downlink and uplink. Finally, even further down the road (2010-2011), Intel will release WiMAX 2.0, which (again, theoretically) will have a 300+ Mbps downlink and 100+ Mbps uplink.

When compared to current maximum EVDO speeds of 14.7 Mbps down and 5.4 Mbps up, WiMAX looks to help the Internet go HD on a global scale.

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  • crosshares
    I wonder how ISPs will be reacting to this, because we all know "certain" isps can't handle more than 10 users using their bandwidth.
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  • Mr_Man
    The bandwidth promises are impressive, but the selling point of WiMax is its large area of coverage. As a filmmaker, if I could be driving and my bud in the passenger seat could be looking something up on the internet while we're on the road, that's a very nifty thing to have. Especially when you don't need to type on a little Blackberry pad to use the internet...
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