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Intel to Release WiMax Chip

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the centrinissimo dept.

Wireless Networking 104

david writes "According to CNET News, Intel plans to release their first WiMax chip on Monday. 'The world's largest chipmaker sees in WiMax a potential profit source that it hopes will become as popular as its shorter-range cousin, Wi-Fi. Intel also believes it will stimulate computer sales in emerging markets where high-speed Internet access is unavailable or prohibitively expensive.'"

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Services? (4, Insightful)

wdd1040 (640641) | about 9 years ago | (#12267184)

Are there any major suppliers of WiMax services yet?

Re:Services? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267205)

Press Release [intel.com]

Wiki Article on WiMax [wikipedia.org]

Doing the editors jobs so they don't have to!

Token Ring (1)

Senor_Programmer (876714) | about 9 years ago | (#12268031)

Token Ring From the wikipedia reference 'info'. "...token ring...An important aspect of the IEEE 802.16 is that it defines a MAC layer that supports multiple physical layer (PHY) specifications." So these things will act as nodes on a token ring network? The referenced article is a bit confusing as it suggests that current WiFi, "...uses the same link layer controller...", will also work with token ring. Or is this a 'slices, dices, cleans foreskin, ..." bit of marketing hype?

Re:Token Ring (1)

Jobe_br (27348) | about 9 years ago | (#12268991)

Read on ... the Wikipedia article also states that what this means is that subscriber stations only compete for initial connection to the base station (versus always, for 802.11) and thereafter, they are alloted a scheduled segment to use, which all subscribers are supposed to obey. The segments are managed by the base station and can be opened up or throttled back, and they can also take into account QoS for services coming from particular subscribers.

Re:Token Ring (1)

Senor_Programmer (876714) | about 9 years ago | (#12269087)

I see.
More like DOCSIS 2 and Token Ring.
It's about time ;-)...

Re:Token Ring (1)

Jobe_br (27348) | about 9 years ago | (#12269168)

Yep, agreed. Also supposed to handle overload at the base station much better than 802.11, and I think everyone can say 'Amen' to that being an improvement!

Re:Services? (2, Informative)

KenFury (55827) | about 9 years ago | (#12267316)

Speakeasy is planning on publicly beta testing WiMax in Seattle in the next quarter.

Re:Services? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267349)

Hey, I think I'm within 20 miles of Seattle.... Wanna setup a city-wide LAN-Party?

Re:Services? (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | about 9 years ago | (#12267673)

Wouldn't that - by definition - be a WAN party?

Re:Services? (0)

ThePlague (30616) | about 9 years ago | (#12267887)

The term I've heard use is MAN: Metropolitan Area Network.

I think the prospect of a MAN party could be wildly successful, just not in the same way as a LAN party.

Re:Services? (2, Interesting)

mattspammail (828219) | about 9 years ago | (#12268194)

MAN is not what you're looking for. A MAN is a Metropolitan Area Network, but its purpose is to connect a few separate LAN's that serve a similar set of clients. Think of the government buildings in your area. They may have 5 or 10 buildings, each with separate LAN's. Then think of connecting those 5 or 10 LAN's for the purpose of high speed sharing between them. The example I always think of (don't ask me why) is the diamond wholesalers in Houston. There are a whole bunch of diamond wholesalers in a couple of areas. They all participate in a centralized data initiative (or at least that's what I was told). They have a MAN connecting their LAN's.

Re:Services? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12268454)

Will Intel publish support for NON-Windows systems so that the rest of the computerized north america can benefit from the new WiMAX service?

I just remember what happened to USRobotics popularity after they closed the 16.8k standard.

Solar Interference? (2, Interesting)

Bad D.N.A. (753582) | about 9 years ago | (#12268482)

We track solar events in the GHz frequency range all of the time




Lots more can be found at

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/IAUWGdoc.html #R ADIO

Wont these events cause interference? Or is the intensity from the solar events just too low?

Great Naming system (3, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | about 9 years ago | (#12267185)

What I like most is that they keep the names simple enough so just by looking at them you know which one is faster, and what range they have. Much like Highspeed USB and Full Speed USB.

Re:Great Naming system (5, Informative)

IamNotWitchboy (563675) | about 9 years ago | (#12267470)

The funny thing is that WiMax is a semi-acronym. From the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] :
It also is known as WiMAX, an acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.

Re:Great Naming system (1)

powderbluedictator (822151) | about 9 years ago | (#12273797)

Welcome to Intel "Platformisation" Strategy 1. Develop new commodity wireless chip
2. Pair it up with latest Intel Mobile Processor
3. Come up with catchy name (Maxtrino)
4. Serious profit
(Note stage 3 has no question marks)

whats the point... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267197)

I like how well their WiFi chips did... why should this be any different?

Re:whats the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267214)

umm... are you talking about centrino?

Would you like to point me to a more popular wifi chipset?

Does WiMax do adhoc networking? (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about 9 years ago | (#12267209)

I've asked the question here before but didn't get an definitive answer....

Do WiMax do adhoc networks like Wifi does currently? Can you setup a WiMax network at home?

Or do you _have_ to signup to an ISP that runs the WiMax infrastructure.

I think the latter may be necessary due to expensive adaptive antennae used in WiMax.

Re:Does WiMax do adhoc networking? (5, Interesting)

JustAnotherBob (811208) | about 9 years ago | (#12267216)

As what the atricle says:
"Unlike Wi-Fi, whose ad hoc networks can be set up by anyone to connect a single house or office, WiMax is engineered to cover an entire city via base stations dispersed around a metropolitan area. So-called client devices, akin to a cable or DSL modem and built with a WiMax chip like Intel's, then pick the signal up. When connected to a PC, the signal becomes a high-speed wireless connection. "

Re:Does WiMax do adhoc networking? (2, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | about 9 years ago | (#12267453)

Engineered, yes. But question is, can it be hacked so as for private people in a town to set up a mesh- style self regulating network? Now that would be cool. Or imagine a school with a good netconnection. They could allow their kids to keep on surfing from home.

Re:Does WiMax do adhoc networking? (1)

trafficEng (871381) | about 9 years ago | (#12270627)

I think will be able to do your on own network with standard gear, especially because 802.16a has specs for unlicensed band operation (vb. 5 GHz), ways to avoid interference and band overlapping between differente WiMAX networks and mesh network support. Don't known about the equipment price tag, though.

Re:Does WiMax do adhoc networking? (1)

jon855 (803537) | about 9 years ago | (#12267416)

I think this will have to be provided by the bigger corps, ISP and so on forth. Might be more suitable for city wide Wi-Max [Wi-Fi being replaced]. I only hope this will allow Wi-Fi to be used backwards. Enabling lower speed but allows internet access without the reap of that WiMax can offer.

Re:Does WiMax do adhoc networking? (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 9 years ago | (#12267457)

I get the impression - please correct e if wrong - that while Wi-fi is geared towards the NAT router model, WiMax is designed to distribute a pool of available IP addresses to connected machines individually - ie it works like an ISP.

You wouldn't want your ISP to serve you a remotely NATted address by default any more than you'd want WiMax distributing the full, unfirewalled internet to every device in your house

You know who is interested in this? (5, Interesting)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 9 years ago | (#12267211)

Wal-mart. 7-11. Citgo. McDonalds. Anyone with a mass franchise presence suddenly has the potential to power an ISP with a 20 mile range by slapping a $500 antenna on top of their stores. Pay as you go validation at the checkout counter and you're off and running. If Exxon put this at every one of their stations they could supply internet to travelers to pretty much everyone within range of an interstate. That's a lot of people.

Re:You know who is interested in this? (2, Informative)

kakofb (725561) | about 9 years ago | (#12267273)

McDonalds Australia has a deal with Telstra to provide Wi-Fi access at all their stores across the country. http://www.telstra.com.au/wirelesshotspots/locatio ns.htm [telstra.com.au]
I think a better concept would be one which enabled there to be an unbroken link between "restaurants" along highways and, perhaps, wireless coverage in cities. This would allow people traveling and living within the covered areas to access the internet wirelessly Telstra/McDonalds as the ISP, as you said.

Re:You know who is interested in this? (3, Informative)

xgamer04 (248962) | about 9 years ago | (#12267325)

If Exxon put this at every one of their stations they could supply internet to travelers to pretty much everyone within range of an interstate. That's a lot of people.

You've obviously never driven through North Dakota :)

Re:You know who is interested in this? (2)

corevps (871362) | about 9 years ago | (#12267389)

Checking the current BTOpenZone which uses WiFi it looks like MC'ds already has the market cornered here in the UK

Re:You know who is interested in this? (4, Informative)

jonbrewer (11894) | about 9 years ago | (#12267491)

Anyone with a mass franchise presence suddenly has the potential to power an ISP with a 20 mile range by slapping a $500 antenna on top of their stores.

From the equipment [airspan.com] I have seen supporting [alvarion.com] WiMAX [apertonet.com] , it is not likely to be an easy or inexpensive proposition like WiFi. Ever wonder why urban areas are littered with cell sites? Coverage is difficult. NLOS is only NLOS to a degree. People will expect coverage inside concrete buildings. (if they don't get it, they'll stick to using GPRS or WCDMA, which do work in concrete buildings)

Then there's interference. Sure the gear is getting smarter, but I wouldn't try to deploy WiMAX in unlicensed space anywhere in the world - it would be a recipe for disaster. In 2.4GHz range outdoor, FHSS systems delivering 2mbps are the last man standing in crowded markets. In 5.8GHz, Trango and Motorola Canopy systems destroy less robust 802.11a systems.

And then there's licensed spectrum. If you do get a hold of some, it's not going to be in big 20mhz channels like in unlicensed territory. I don't care how spectrally efficient these WiMAX systems are, no one is going to get 10mbps per MHz in the real world before 2010.

Why 10mbps/MHz? It's what you'll need to compete with Cable, DSL, and ubiquitous WiFi hotspots (deployed every 50 meters on the end of Cable/DSL lines). Who gives a toss if Intel starts including WiMAX in their chipsets? I've had Thinkpads with infrared for about ten years now. I have a five year old Nokia with Bluetooth. What do I use every day? WiFi.

Re:You know who is interested in this? (2, Insightful)

trafficEng (871381) | about 9 years ago | (#12271292)

I agree with you in most of your points, though:

The gear will be expensive - yes, comparing to WIFI, not really compared to UMTS/WCDMA. And if you think that some of the interested will be cellphone operators which already have the antenna poles and the backbone network, it might be an interesting investment, allowing much higher bandwiths for a fraction of the cost.

802.16a includes NLOS and, as you known, it also allows the use of MIMO systems, advanced coding techniques and smart antennas which can boost NLOS coverage - manufacturers expect NLOS coverage up to 5km from the BS.
And some of these techniques are easier/cheaper to implement in WiMAX which is OFDMA than in WCDMA
OFDM is also much less subject to intersimbolic interference than CDMA and probably this is why there are several trials to provide wideband to trains using WiMAX as an uplink to the in-train WIFI network.

WiMAX spectral effiency will be around 3-4 Mbps/Hz, but the way the bands are used is very flexible, especially with subchanneling, you can have subchannels starting from 1.75 MHz bands. Band reuse migh be very efficient with smart antennas and beam-forming/steering techniques.

You won't really have to compete with WIFI: WiMAX can function as an acess network to WIFI hotspots (instead of relaying in wired uplinks).
WIFI can't really be used for broadband access such as DSL, as it has no QoS services you can't make a SLA with it.
With cable it won't be able to compete, but with DSL I think it has a chance, especially in countries where loop unbundling is problematic.

Intel selling WiMAX chipsets migh be a hell of a boost to WiMAX, just remember all the hype with Centrinos and WIFI. If you tell someone "use WiMAX, it's really cool" they'll ask you how to? it'll sure make a difference if you send them to buy a new card or if you just tell them that the laptop they've just bought is the only thing they need.

Re:You know who is interested in this? (1)

geekee (591277) | about 9 years ago | (#12275101)

"I don't care how spectrally efficient these WiMAX systems are, no one is going to get 10mbps per MHz in the real world before 2010."

I believe that using 16 QAM and a 3.5MHz band, you can get 10Mbps, which is competitive with cable and DSL. 802.16revd is not meant for laptops BTW, but for home tranceiver boxes. Like you say, it's not like WiFi, but instead will be offered by telcom providers. It's meant to be an alterntive to cable/DSL and is a cheap solution for areas with no infrastructure already such as in rural areas and developing countries.

Re:You know who is interested in this? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 years ago | (#12273034)

If Exxon put this at every one of their stations they could supply internet to travelers to pretty much everyone within range of an interstate.

Not likely. There are stretches of Interstate freeways where you can go 100+ miles between gas stations... And those gas stations on either side of the 100+ mile gap are almost always no-name stations, rarely are they Exxon, Shell, Chevron, etc.

Plus, while there might be thousands of Exxon and AM/PM gas stations, they aren't exactly evenly spread-out. You might go across an entire state and see a single Exxon station, but see a large number of Shell stations, or what-not.

Your idea is certainly a very good one, but it's not going to be as trivially easy to give internet access on the freeways as you make it sound.

So to stimulate sales (4, Insightful)

blowdart (31458) | about 9 years ago | (#12267212)

... in emerging markets where high-speed Internet access is unavailable or prohibitively expensive Intel are adding another proprietary chip set, with all the driver and support issues that entails to connect to a rare wireless system that is also expensive to install and maintain.

Can I have what they're having please?

Re:So to stimulate sales (2, Interesting)

tkarr (459657) | about 9 years ago | (#12267348)

Part of the lack of access is due to the fact that people live in areas that have no existing wiring, which is expensive to install. They don't want to install one wire to one house in a whole neighborhood or small town, unless they can guarantee more clients. If there was a fast, reliable, wireless internet connection, those places could get access.

All popular technology tends to start out proprietary and expensive. Remember when blank DVDs were too expensive for the common person to buy? Now they're a dollar or so apiece! Maybe this technology will catch on too... I guess time and society will tell.

Re:So to stimulate sales (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 9 years ago | (#12269561)

There is no driver issue; the chip has an antenna on one end and Ethernet on the other.

WiMAX is supposed to be cheaper and more popular than current fixed wireless broadband systems because it is standardized.

great (1)

sfcat (872532) | about 9 years ago | (#12267243)

I can steal my neighbors ISP line now!!! Anyway, networking chips have been a good boost for Intel lately. As CPUs become more of a commodity, they have expanded into other chipsets (alot of other chipsets) and this is just one of them. But this isn't practical for home networking which is what they hope. Too many leaches when you have a 20 mile range. But it is good for businesses that need to coordinate mobile people in this type of range. I just don't know how big a market this is. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:great (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 9 years ago | (#12267333)

If it delivers it will replace most home networking, upstream will be a problem but ISPs will love that (They sell the upstream as web server, bloody bastards)...

I don't want the $130 - $20 price drop we got with 802.11 (http://www.canadacomputers.com/cc/index.php?do=Sh owProdList&cmd=pl&id=NT.541 [canadacomputers.com] I'd like this one to go straight to mobo's and given it's power requirements it will probably have to...

It's going to royally suck if people switch to this and you can't set up a private network anymore, it's been nice to know that no matter how bad residential ISP's get you could always get some commercial cable and share it.

In a few years we might not be able to do that anymore :( I guess I'll have to add 5 usb wifi's to my stack of ethernet cards :(

Re:great (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 9 years ago | (#12268978)

I can steal my neighbors ISP line now!!!
You could do that with Wi-Fi before, at least in Suburbia. With a range of up to 100 meters, it will easily reach your immediate neighbours' acess points.

More Info on Intel's WiMax Ambitions (5, Informative)

caxis (855664) | about 9 years ago | (#12267261)

http://www.intel.com/netcomms/columns/jimj10 5.htm

"Q: What is WiMAX?
A: WiMAX technology involves microwaves for the transfer of data wirelessly. It can be used for high-speed, wireless networking at distances up to a few miles. The term WiMAX comes from 'Wireless (Wi) Microwave Access (MA).' WiMAX is very similar to Wi-Fi in that it uses the same core technology of wireless modulation developed way back in the '60's and '70's. It's called OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), for those that care about the technical terms.

The real benefit of WiMAX technology is that you can run signals very, very close to each other on wireless channels. You can have super narrow lanes, so you can put a lot of traffic over them and they don't disrupt each other.

Q: How is WiMAX different from Wi-Fi?
A: Although the fundamental technology is the same, over time we can add levels of sophistication to WiMAX. Wi-Fi channels occupy a fixed width of the spectrum. But with WiMAX, we're going to enable the traffic lanes - or channels - to get smaller and narrower. This helps service providers seeking to offer wireless last-mile DSL or cable-type service because they can provide a narrower channel that uses less bandwidth and serve more users. You can take what used to be a fixed Wi-Fi lane and make a bunch more lanes and serve more people.

The other big difference between Wi-Fi and WiMAX - starting right away - is that we're going to use licensed spectrum to deliver WiMAX. To date, all Wi-Fi technology has been delivered in unlicensed spectrum. WiMAX will use one of the unlicensed frequencies, but we're also supporting two other frequencies that are licensed. What that means is that you can turn up the output power and broadcast longer distances. So where Wi-Fi is something that is measured in hundreds of feet, usually WiMAX will have a very good value proposition and bandwidth up to several miles.

Also WiMAX is designed to be a carrier-grade technology, which requires a higher level of reliability and quality of service than are now available in typical Wi-Fi implementations.

Those fundamental differences make WiMAX more of a metropolitan area access technology versus hotspot."

(all taken from the article linked above)

Re:More Info on Intel's WiMax Ambitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267335)

Damn... That's great and all, but you can't tell me that being close to an access point wouldn't have some health risks. With current WiFi tech, most equipment manufactures put a warning (like on my WRTG54 router, for example) to stay 8-12 inches from the broadcasting antenna while it's in use. And that only has a range of ~300 Ft. open field. I can only imagine what sitting next to a WiMax access point at a desk all day while being exposed to microwaves would do. Of course, cell phones also use similar tech, and nobody has died from them yet... Still, I do wonder about the amount of loose radiation that we expose ourselves to daily, at an ever increasing rate.

Dreaming, but (1, Funny)

necrofluxneo (876830) | about 9 years ago | (#12267263)

Realistically now - how long before there is ubiquitous single-provider wireless Internet access throughout the US/World? Will I be able to take a laptop on a car trip from LA to NYC and download porn the entire way in say... 2008?

Re:Dreaming, but (2, Funny)

QQoicu2 (797685) | about 9 years ago | (#12267294)

Hopefully never. I hate dealing with 18-wheelers on the interstate as it is... The last thing we need is for them to be distracted by porn.

Re:Dreaming, but (2, Funny)

necrofluxneo (876830) | about 9 years ago | (#12267319)

I'm assuming of course that the widespread availability of wireless porn will be necessarily accompanied by the introduction of self-driving vehicles. Or, perhaps more realistically, one handed steering mechanisms.

Re:Dreaming, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267388)

perhaps more realistically, one handed steering mechanisms

well that would just be crazy!

Re:Dreaming, but (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#12267435)

one handed steering mechanisms.
That brings a whole new meaning to the idea of having a joystick in your car...

(and yes, the first thing I thought of really was a drive-by-wire car joystick, which I saw in an episode of Beyond 2000 a long time ago)

Re:Dreaming, but (1)

NETHED (258016) | about 9 years ago | (#12268019)

I saw that one too, the Saab with the joystick in the middle console. Even back then, I thought it was a bad idea. There is no way that I would put THAT much trust into a computer system....

And now you don't even get to drive you Benz, its all computer tricks. *sigh*

Re:Dreaming, but (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#12271801)

I actually thought it was pretty neat. Then again, at the time my only experience driving was with a joystick in Need For Speed III...

Re:Dreaming, but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267910)

Actually, porn is outlawed in the US in 2007. Sorry.

Re:Dreaming, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12272934)

The technology is already here. You can download porn all the way from LA to NYC with your laptop if you get Verizon Wireless's unlimited broadband plan for $79.99/month.

buzz on the street is HSPDA neither Max nor Bro (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267270)

I think buzz on the street is HSPDA.
Neither wimax nor wibro.
HSPDA is triple threats (Voice,DATA,DMB all in one)
I am not sure how us is planning for but it looks like eurpose and asia is ready to jump on HSPDA.

Care to expand DMB? (1)

PornMaster (749461) | about 9 years ago | (#12268140)

HSPDA is triple threats (Voice,DATA,DMB all in one)

I figure that it's probably not Dave Matthews Band streaming wirelessly that you're talking about, though that might be a "threat" to RIAA.

Re:Care to expand DMB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12271683)

Digital Media Broadcasting

No Trolls? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267288)

Woah... 20 comments in and no standard troll posts.

You know /. is sinking quickly when the trolls abandon!

WiMin wiped out (3, Interesting)

tkarr (459657) | about 9 years ago | (#12267299)

No more trying to angle my laptop in weird directions just to get a single bar of signal in class! I wonder if they're going to charge as much for this new service as Cable internet. Wireless makes a lot of sense; we wouldn't have to string cables throughout houses or apartments. Wireless today can be tricky since passing through zones can cause flakey connections. If the zone is as large as a city... well that problem isn't so bad. In fact, it would be awesome if there could be nationwide coverage, and we could use wireless on our laptops in our cars!

Those blimps could service these... stratelites... (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 9 years ago | (#12267344)

Those StraLites can do this, their only 140000ft high, maybe too far, but just boost the signal perhaps, at least to augment more signal space perhaps.

Might be a bit high for laptops to send to.

Re:Those blimps could service these... stratelites (1)

tkarr (459657) | about 9 years ago | (#12267359)

"Those StraLites can do this, their only 140000ft high, maybe too far, but just boost the signal perhaps, at least to augment more signal space perhaps. Might be a bit high for laptops to send to." Oh, but I enjoy climbing 140,000 ft-tall towers to connect to the internet! It's what all the cool people are doing :)

Re:WiMin wiped out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12270890)

I don't know where to start with your comment. It's wrong in so many ways.

WiMax isn't mobile, even if it does have some untested mobile extensions.
WiMax can't cover an entire city in one zone.
You'll still need a local wireless hub in your house and a WiMax antenna on the outside.
I already have wireless in my car for my laptop using the cell phone network and Bluetooth.

Metro Handshakes (4, Insightful)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 9 years ago | (#12267364)

After reading the wiki link (Which is like a big ol ad for Wi-Fi) I have some concerns.

It's supposed to be backwards compatible yes? But wi-fi G and B have far lower ranges (let alone A) so I'll likely be blanketted with several wimax networks which my card won't be powerful enough to respond to. How long will my auto handshake take to resolve that?

Also since it doesn't support Ad-Hoc are we sure this won't be run by ISPs and not leave us a chance to run personal networks?

Third I know there has been a breakthrough in power consumption and moving to higher frequencies makes data transfer less power hungry but these kind of distances seem to make wi-fi in hand helds and laptops impractical, it would be nice not to wire things but wiring is probably a better solution then hamstringing 802.11b when that has the possibility of universal deployment and replacing the cell networks.

Who's going to want to put a wimax antenna in a subway? Or on a train?

Let's hope this isn't going to stamp out the old standards...

Don't get me wrong I'm looking forward to it, just some concerns.

Re:Metro Handshakes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267503)

WiMAX will not be backward compatible with the Wi-Fi.

WiMAX is largely for the ISPs (WiMAX will largely rely on licensed frequencies), Wi-Fi is for home users (unlicensed).

Re:Metro Handshakes (2, Informative)

Jobe_br (27348) | about 9 years ago | (#12269250)

Note that at the moment, there is no such thing as mobile WiMAX, as would be used in a hand held device or laptop. A working group is 'working' on the specs for this, due out later this year ('05). Until that comes along, we won't really have a clue what the benefits/limitations of WiMAX on a portable device will be.

In its current incarnation, WiMAX is meant to replace DSL/cable for "the last mile" - so, to the extent that your house is portable, so is this.

But I thought... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267404)

But I thought that Sony's BetaMax lost out years ago???

Compatibility (-1, Redundant)

jmgtan (765546) | about 9 years ago | (#12267424)

is this compatible with the current centrino? i just bought my laptop, and it sucks having to change wireless standards again and buying a new nic

Re:Compatibility (4, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | about 9 years ago | (#12267487)

It's a different market. WiMax is last mile, WiFi is hotspot.

Your house or local cafe might be conneted via WiMax to the ISP, and then there's be a WiFi AP transmitting that around the local area.

Re:Compatibility (1)

jmgtan (765546) | about 9 years ago | (#12267500)

i mean, can my laptop connect to an area with wimax without buying additional equipment?

Re:Compatibility (1)

DeAxes (522822) | about 9 years ago | (#12267545)

I'm not trying to be snooty, but if there is a new chip involved, then it most definatly needs new hardware. No matter, just slap a PCMCIA card in when they come out. Most pc laptops (centrino ships in pcs only) have PCMCIA card slots.

Re:Compatibility (1)

Nos. (179609) | about 9 years ago | (#12268984)

Today, no. But, give it some time, like a year, and you'll see WiMax onboard with a lot of laptops.

On an unrelated news - Adobe bought macromedia. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12267465)

So much for all their differences...

WiMax look interesting (4, Insightful)

Rhinobird (151521) | about 9 years ago | (#12267515)

Combine WiMax and VoIP in a small handheld device and you've basically re-invented cell phone. But you'd be able to add features way easier. Put in a server and update the "phone" software and now youv'e got email (or text messaging or paging or a teleconference, or streaming audio/movies, or the web) on you cell.

Re:WiMax look interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12272234)

How's that different to a phone today? Updates, email etc. via GPRS. The only thing this adds is extra bandwidth for streaming video. Hopefully voice and especially data costs would be also be lower, but since WiMAX is a technology for telcos I won't hold my breath.

What's the Constitution got to do with it? (-1, Offtopic)

shanen (462549) | about 9 years ago | (#12267597)

Hey, remember that somewhere in Texas there's a village missing its idiot.

Actually the funny part of it is that the Texas Constitution was pretty carefully designed to prevent abuse of power. For example, the governor of Texas is extremely weak and ceremonial, with a tiny staff. That's why Dubya could spend all his time campaigning for the White House. The real power in Texas was pretty widely distributed, with the Lieutenant Governor probably being the single most powerful elected figure. However, there were other weird pockets of political power, like the Texas Railroad Commission.

They even designed the state government to be easily crippled, though even that gets abused these days. The particular example that leaps to my mind is the quorum abuse. That prevents a thin majority from abusing their power if the narrow minority party blocks the quorum. A couple of years ago the Busheviks threw fits until they could force a special redistricting for the last election--gerrymandering of an especially nasty sort....

So now they feel a desperate need to screw the First Amendment? Why am I not surprised? Obviously, the only reason to have power is to abuse it.

Not the same as Wi-Fi (4, Informative)

samael (12612) | about 9 years ago | (#12267630)

The major difference between WiFi and WiMax is that the latter will be on a _licensed_ spectrum. This is the only way that you can have a range of 10 miles and not have constant interference with the 500 other people who also have WiMax towers.

So yes, it will be used to give wireless internet access over a large area - but it'll go to large companies who buy access to that spectrum. Which isn't so bad, so long as those licenses include clauses to keep costs low and access open.

Re:Not the same as Wi-Fi (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 9 years ago | (#12268201)

"...include clauses to keep costs low and access open..."

Hahahahahahahahahaha... what planet are you from? They will of course market this per KB say at a low cost of $0.01 per KB! that's cheap! ...

They will then claim it's "to re-coop expenses" and use that excuse for the next THIRTY YEARS ...


Re:Not the same as Wi-Fi (1)

trafficEng (871381) | about 9 years ago | (#12271355)

not really, WiMAX also runs on unlicensed spectrum - check 802.16a
the main difference is the MAC layer, WiMAX was targetted to metro access network and it doesn't use the shared medium approach as 802.11 (CSMA/CA), it uses a time slot MAC that enables QoS.

Re:Not the same as Wi-Fi (1)

samael (12612) | about 9 years ago | (#12271408)

True - but it's _also_ designed to run on licensed spectrum, and so far as my reading has lead me so far, the time-slot is for one hub to many clients, not for multiple hubs to time-slice.

If you can point me at something that clarifies this i'd be very grateful.

Re:Not the same as Wi-Fi (1)

trafficEng (871381) | about 9 years ago | (#12271528)

If I understood well, you say time slots to be distributed by the Access Point to each node - yes I think that's what WiMAX states.
For multiple WiMAX networks sharing must be on the frequency band level or coping with the interference.

But notice, this a huge difference from WIFI, which is more or less like half-duplex ethernet and even in AP mode can't enforce an SLA.

Rural areas (5, Insightful)

wyckedone (875398) | about 9 years ago | (#12267659)

Rural areas will benefit the most from this. People that normally can't get cable or DSL high speed will now be able to get on high speed Internet at a, hopefully, lower cost than unreliable (and expensive) satellite.

FRIST STOP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12268609)

between Each BSD

Just my luck, (1)

Phu5ion (838043) | about 9 years ago | (#12268618)

Intel decides to pick up WiMAX after i buy a new laptop [arstechnica.com] .

At least it will be a year or more before we start seeing broad adoption of WiMAX.

Re:Just my luck, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12270935)

Intel decides to pick up WiMAX after i buy a new laptop.

The isn't even a mobile standard yet for WiMAX. This isn't a new form of WiFi.

Re:Just my luck, (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | about 9 years ago | (#12271876)

Intel decides to pick up WiMAX after i buy a new laptop [arstechnica.com].

What do you mean, "pick it up?????" They DEVELOPED IT.

The big winner for WiMax: USA. (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 9 years ago | (#12268646)

The reason is simple: it is by far the cheapest way that the USA will be able roll out broadband Internet on a truly large scale, thanks to the fact putting up WiMax antenna arrays is vastly cheaper than hardwiring every residence and business for T-1/T-3, xDSL and cable broadband access.

Remember, unlike Europe, Japan and South Korea, much of the USA doesn't have enough population density per square mile to justify the exorbitant costs of installing and/or upgrading landlines to get xDSL and cable broadband access; this is the so-called Last Mile Problem. WiMax avoids these issues, especially given the potential for using current cellphone tower arrays for WiMax transmissions, which means the vast majority of the USA population could be within line-of-sight reach of a WiMax antenna setup.

WiMAX is *VER* interesting (1)

tetrode (32267) | about 9 years ago | (#12269586)

I'm currently working to implement some software for a WiMAX provider in Europe.

Very interesting. You can take your laptop & ADSL with you around the city, no problem. Next, they will do voice, all without the wire!

wireless voice? (1)

Flamsmark (876165) | about 9 years ago | (#12271895)

i hear that they're working on a software/hardware suite designed to pick up voice and digitze it (over a proprietary network), allowing for two-way communication. apparently, they're hoping to fit it all into something as small as a pocket calculator.

Heaven-sent for Sailors!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12271109)

As a sailor, WiMAX is very intriguing!
Imagine being anchored out in the harbour (which is usually free) and still being able to play Battlefield 1942 on your WiMAX-enabled laptop!

Great WiMax overview on DailyWireless.org (2, Interesting)

Darth Cider (320236) | about 9 years ago | (#12274407)

A must-read overview [dailywireless.org] of WiMax in its present state appears on DailyWireless.org, with a link to Intel's white paper, the state of competition, data on cost and performance, spectrum requirements, the whole ball of Wax.
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