Seeking to carve out the nascent market for a chipset that can fulfill the promise of “last mile” delivery of wireless broadband, Intel
Wednesday pledged to develop a silicon product based on the IEEE 802.16 WirelessMAN (Metropolitan Area Network) standard.
Intel said it expects equipment based on its chips to have a range of up to 30 miles and the ability to transfer data, voice and video at speeds of up to 70 Mbps.
The 802.16a standard, approved by
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in January, opened the door for the creation of fixed Broadband Wireless Access (BWA), which could provide network access support to buildings with speeds that approach those offered by high-speed fiber optic networks. The 802.16a technology is sometimes referred to as WiMAX, after the industry consortium formed in April to support it and certify equipment based on it.
Although the 802.16a standard is seen as a viable new specification for wireless networking, it is too early to tell if it could ever approach the kind of critical mass of its 802.11b cousin, now known as the popular Wi-Fi protocol. But one expectation is that 802.16 MANs could eventually anchor 802.11