Intel has detailed plans to provide a wireless 'last mile' alternative to cable and digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband.
The chip giant is to work with wireless access firm Alvarion to deliver WiMAX-certified equipment conforming to the IEEE 802.16a wireless metropolitan area network standard that connects wireless hotspots.
Products based on 802.16a can provide wireless broadband connectivity to businesses with guaranteed levels of service required for enterprise applications, and to homes for residential broadband applications.
The IEEE 802.16a standard was approved in January of this year. Since then, more than 25 communications equipment companies have joined the non-profit WiMAX Forum, to help promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of 802.16a equipment.
"Intel is committed to enabling computing and communications anytime, anywhere, over any device, and we see WiMAX as a critical technology for making that vision a reality," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Communications Group.
Zvi Slonimsky, chief executive of Alvarion, added: "We believe that WiMAX will be the catalyst for growth of the broadband wireless access market, similar to the impact Wi-Fi had on the wireless local area network market.
"Without the 802.16a standard, equipment makers have to make everything themselves, including the fundamental silicon, the customer premise equipment, the base station and the network management software.
"With the standard, equipment makers can innovate in the areas where they excel most, resulting in dramatic industry price/performance gains."
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