The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved the next-generation IEEE 802.16m standard for WiMax technology, also known as WiMax 2, which will offer vastly improved speeds compared to the current technology.
The amendment has been four years in the making. Its approval means that WiMax operators will be able to offer speeds of at least 1Gbit/s for fixed services, and 100Mbit/s to mobile users, and the standard is backwards compatible with existing hardware.
Roger Marks, chairman of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group, said that he is pleased about the new standard's approval, and that it represents the next development of WiMax as mobile broadband technology continues to evolve.
"We are delighted that the IEEE has recognised the completion of this comprehensive technical effort that has involved hundreds of creative and diligent professionals from over 20 countries during the last four years," he said.
"Our organisation was able to efficiently harmonise these innovative technologies into a clear set of specifications, guiding the future development of the mobile broadband marketplace."
WiMax is currently competing with LTE to become the dominant future mobile broadband technology, and the senior director of technology at the GSM Association, Dan Warren, has claimed that WiMax is on "life-support".
Nevertheless, WiMax is not without its backers. US carrier Sprint offers WiMax networks in several major cities, while some in the UK use the technology to receive broadband speeds far above the national average.
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