An IEEE committee has given its approval to the Mobile WiMax standard.
This is an emerging wireless networking standard that is expected to compete with 3G and 4G cellular wireless networks.
It will offer data transfer speeds between 10 Mbps to 20 Mbps over a range of five or ten miles.
Mobile WiMax (802.16e) should not be confused with regular WiMax (802.16a), as that works only between fixed points.
Not Coming Soon
Despite this approval, it will likely be another couple of years before the first Mobile WiMax products are available.
The standard won’t be ratified by the full IEEE until next year, and interoperability testing for equipment won’t start until 2007.
This delay has caused some to question whether Mobile WiMax is even necessary. By 2007, wireless carriers are expected to have deployed cellular networks that are just as fast.
Still, some companies — including Intel and Sprint — have thrown their weight behind this standard.