PCs and laptops loaded with wireless wide area networking 802.16 WiMax cards could hit the mass market much earlier than many observers had expected, research published today had predicted.
According to ABI Research, optional specifications built into the standard could boost the sensitivity of receiving equipment to the extent of making WiMax PC cards and built-in receivers a practical proposition for laptops, PDAs and other portable devices.
The analyst firm noted that these optional specifications have not generally been implemented by the largest vendors of WiMax equipment.
However, it pointed out that at least two smaller companies, TeleCIS and Sequans, have been designing chipsets to implement these under-utilised options in the standard.
The ABI Research report dismissed the conventional wisdom which suggests that the wireless broadband standard will be more or less confined to the great outdoors until the advent of mobile WiMax systems some time in the future.
Philip Solis, ABI Research senior analyst, said: "There may be WiMax PC cards on the market earlier than many observers have expected.
"These will result from superior chipsets permitting the use of WiMax in laptops and similar devices in homes and offices within the reach of fixed WiMax transmissions. You will not have full mobility as you will with 802.16e, but you will have some portability."
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