Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Wired on WiMax

Brace yourself: WiMax is coming. A wireless standard that makes Wi-Fi look mini, WiMax is designed to replace your Internet connection with one up to 25 times faster than today's broadband. The technology - officially known as 802.16 - not only transfers data as fast as 75 Mbps, but also goes through walls and has a maximum range of 30 miles. Hardware makers, led by Intel, are banking on a WiMax boom like the one set off by Wi-Fi. The first products are expected to roll out early next year and rack up some $1 billion in sales by 2008. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions.

Why does the world need WiMax?

Think of it as a wireless alternative to DSL or cable. It has obvious advantages for any place that's not wired already - small African nations, remote Indian villages, vast swaths of China. In countries like the US, it's another way to get broadband.

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