Broadband to Go

That 'Other' Wireless: What Happened to My WiMax?

So where is WiMax, the long-awaited technology that has promised hefty 70-mbps maximum download speeds anywhere within a range of up to 25 miles?

It's coming, says Mo Shakouri, the WiMax Forum's vice president of marketing. With 350 member companies, the group is now working on hardware interoperability and making sure that carriers have infrastructure ready. While 2006 deployments will likely be limited to Europe, testing should be complete by the time you read this, and consumers across the pond should be able to install fixed WiMax routers (priced at $300 or less) by the middle of the year.

As for mobile WiMax--with chips integrated into phones, PDAs, and PC Cards--prototypes exist in South Korea, where the mobile technology is likely to be launched by the end of 2006. The rest of us may see the technology in late 2007, but Shakouri admits that 2008 is more realistic.

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