2008 - Year of WiMAX ??

Mobile connectivity was the main thrust in the recent Intel Developer Forum. The company said its 45-nm Penryn-based Montevina processor technology due out in 2008 will be the company’s first Centrino processor for notebooks to offer the option of integrated Wi-Fi and WiMAX wireless technologies in an adapter code-named Echo Peak. This option would ensure customers do not necessarily need to make a choice between 3G and WiMAX.  Montevina also boasts the capability to run both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray for media applications. The new PCs and motherboards will be rolled out by Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Toshiba and Panasonic. Intel is investing with KDDI in a trial in Japan in addition to the well publicized trials by Sprint & Clearwire in the US.
In the old times, system providers used to put their bets on any 1 standard (amongst the few major competing ones) and come out with a product based on that standard and see how the market reacts. Now, they roll out products supporting all the standards (or at least the major ones) lest they lose out on the market share. So it is 3G and WiMAX, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray…….

I read this interesting article by Cliff Edwards in the recent edition of Business Week.

It talks about how Intel’s “Broadband Man” (EVP, Sean Maloney) garnered support from Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and Sprint to get this technology to its present state.


The key technology was obtained by Intel when it purchased a company called Iospan Wireless from a Stanford university professor Arogyaswami Paulraj. Maloney then went on to woo the industry heavyweights for this standard (AT&T had earlier, in 2000, tried a precursor to WiMAX in Project Angel. The project however was a non-starter because of lack of industry standard and support)


While Intel has declared 2008 to be the year of WiMAX, the technology and businesses built upon it still have a lot to prove and better & cheaper devices are needed to get to mass market adoption. However, several big companies have a lot at stake here and it does look poised to alter the communications landscape; or as Ottelini said: we are on the cusp of a new global network.


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