Companies Pledge Intel-based WiMax Products

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

November 07, 2003

Momentum for 802.16a continues to grow as two wireless broadband providers announce plans to develop products using Intel's silicon.

Since Intel announced in July that it would develop silicon for 802.16a, or wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) equipment, the chipmaking giant has been relatively quiet on the WiMax front. There were signs of life this week, though, as two broadband wireless equipment makers announced plans to use the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's chips in their 802.16a products.

Aperto Networks of Milpitas, Calif., and Airspan Networks of Boca Raton, Fla., said that they will develop equipment based on Intel's 802.16a-compliant silicon. Intel expects to have WiMax-certified silicon in the second half of 2004, according to company spokesman Daniel Francisco. (The WiMax Forum will test 802.16a products for interoperability, much as the Wi-Fi Alliance does for 802.11 gear.) Products aren't expected until 2005.

Israeli wireless broadband provider Alvarion also has an agreement with Intel to develop WiMax systems using Intel's chips.

With a range of up to 30 miles and data rates up to 70Mbps, WiMax is expected to help bring broadband access to rural areas and developing countries where it isn't economical to deploy traditional last-mile connections. Companies such as Airspan and Canada's Redline Communications, have unveiled proprietary systems based on the 802.16a standard, but so far there are no multi-vendor products available.

In addition to its agreement with Intel, Airspan also announced this week plans to buy Nortel's fixed wireless business for $12.9 million. Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Airspan will acquire Nortel's Proximity fixed wireless products, certain intellectual property rights and Nortel employees.

Wi-Fi Planet Conference Want to hear more about Intel's WiMax plans? Join us at the Wi-Fi Planet Conference & Expo, December 2 - 5, 2003 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., where Margaret LaBrecque, marketing manager in Intel's Broadband Wireless division and the president of the WiMax Forum, will discuss how WiMax will work in conjunction with 802.11 in a panel called "Fatter Wireless Pipes: How do they Fit into the Wi-Fi Landscape?"

Originally published on .

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