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I’ve held off from writing about the WiMax World conference, which I’m not attending, because it’s just too big: A ton of news has emerged this week from WiMax World, which became the sort of coming-of-age party for Mobile Wimax. A lot of the news is so techie and wonky, that I felt readers of this site wouldn’t find my linking to and explaining press releases and technology previews that useful. Tricia Duryea of the Seattle Times, a newspaper I contribute regularly to, has filed excellent mainstream business reports from the show. The short story appears to be that WiMax is about to emerge, and that this show was the first time that all the progress in the field was available to see in one place.
Companies are digging deep to come up with any sort of announcement at the Intel Developer Forum: Redline proudly brags about using “WiMax” to deliver a live video broadcast from Ontario, Canada to the forum in San Francisco. Redline apparently isnít shy—they don’t even bother to use the term “pre-WiMax”, for what that’s worth, instead, straight-up calling their gear WiMax when not a single piece of WiMax gear exists yet. TowerStream announced that Intel is using its more accurately described wireless broadband network for demos at the forum (The announcement should appear here.)
Intel also briefed journalists on its efforts in the 802.21 group. The standard aims to make it easier to combine radios such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, and GPS in single devices. Intel even showed off a prototype of such a device.
Adaptix showed off gear based on its channel cards at the Vancouver WiMax Forum meeting: The Seattle Times covered it, seeing as Adaptix is from Seattle. Adaptix demonstrated a mobile broadband wireless service that it is touting as the mobile version of WiMax. The demonstration delivered 1.5 Mbps downloads, comparable to what Flarion is delivering today and similar to IPWireless too. While this story appears to be a basic piece that just covers this demonstration, it’s also important to put these demos in perspective.
On a more interesting note, Daily Wireless reports that the IEEE may be getting close to an agreement on the mobile version of WiMax and may have some news in that regard when the group meets next week in San Francisco.
It seems like there’s more going on at the WiMax Forum meeting then at the recent WCA conference: Most people I’ve talked to said there wasn’t much of a buzz at the recent WCA conference, traditionally the big show of the year for broadband wireless. But there’s plenty of hype around the WiMax Forum meeting in Vancouver, where a number of member companies will be running demonstrations of their products and applications. I’m not sure how many non-WiMax Forum members will be at the event, so these demonstrations may just be preaching to the choir.
The Forum also officially announced that the lab in Spain is open and beginning to certify equipment.
The WiMax World conference is set for its second year and will take place in October in Boston: The conference planners have issued a call for session proposals. The WiMax Forum is a sponsor and many of the big names in WiMax are serving on the advisory board for the conference.
At the Interop trade show, Intel showed off WiMax: Intel used Alvarion gear running its chips to blanket Las Vegas with fixed coverage, including a 12-mile shot into the desert that performed at 7 Mbps.
Update: Unstrung reports that the Alvarion gear was using Atheros chips, not early Intel chips.
Steve Stroh has compiled a list of WiMax/broadband wireless conferences for the year: The list includes conferences around the globe so chances are there’s one happening near you.
We’re already seeing a slew of WiMax-related announcements, with the Wireless Communications Associations International conference starting this week in San Jose, Calif: Redline said that its AN-100U platform is ready for WiMax certification testing. Like Alvarion, Redline says that it is also working on a mobile version of the equipment.
Motorola also announced that it will be selling three new lines of its Canopy broadband wireless solution to European markets. The new products will operate in the 2.4, 5.4, and 5.7 GHz bands. Motorola says its products can evolve into license-exempt WiMax.
In other WiMax news, Cambridge Broadband said it will support WiMax in its VectaStar product family. Cambridge seems to be targeting a niche market in introducing a pico-base station, designed for covering compact areas. Also, the new VectaMax pico-base station will include integrated backhaul, including Cambridge’s existing VectaStar broadband wireless solution.