The word “Wi-Fi” is still on the lips of many wireless users but an improved technology, WiMAX, is hot on its heels. While it’s still very much in the category of “not quite there yet,” WiMAX offers an alternative to its predecessor – one that boosts greater range. Based on the 802.16 standard (Wi-Fi is 802.11), the technology offers broadband speeds and could liberate PDAs and laptops from the confines of a hotspot.
Pilot programs began to spring up towards the end of 2005, with vendors hinting that products that support the standard will begin to appear sometime next year. Is it here to stay? One good indication is that Intel’s on board.
The other half of the wireless wonder in 2005 is wireless mesh. It’s beyond the speculation stage – rollouts are currently underway. The technology allows network traffic to be routed between access points rather than across a cable. It’s still expensive but by this time next year, expect to see more examples of this technology in use.
WiMAX/wi-mesh in the news
WiMAX a threat to telecom carriers, wireless user group speaker warns
While we can expect to see fixed WiMAX products on the market next year, mobile WiMAX is still a few years away.
Wireless mesh technology poised for standard
But few will wait for final version before initial rollouts, analyst says.
Rogers test drives WiMAX connectivity
Company calls it first Canadian example of Wi-Fi’s successor
Wavesat chip contributes to international WiMAX push
Partners collaborate on cost-effective fixed wireless for India
Canadian cities: Why aren’t they wireless?
Editorials and commentary:
Wireless is one way to help bridge digital divides both at home and abroad
Wireless mesh networks are cheaper, less complicated than traditional wireless networks
WiMax can wait
The golden age of wireless is at least five years away