Long-Range Broadband Wireless

A new wireless standard is in the works. This one is interesting because it promises to offer broadband speeds at distances up to 50 kms. That would make it an ideal connectivity solution for the villages of the world. WSJ has more:

Intel Corp., Proxim Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and a handful of other technology companies said they joined an industry group called WiMax to help certify equipment based on a new wireless technical standard that could help greatly expand the availability of high-speed Internet access. Finland’s Nokia Corp. was already a member of the group.

The new standard is called 802.16. While Wi-Fi users generally cannot stray more than 300 feet from a special base station antenna set up in their homes or so-called hot spots in cafes and hotels, 802.16 technology has a range of as much as 31 miles. That means the newer technology could be used to quickly and cheaply extend high-speed Internet service to locations, such as rural areas, that aren’t currently served.

Products that use the 802.16 standard aren’t expected to be available until the second half of 2004, and carriers aren’t likely to introduce high-speed Internet service using it until 2005, companies said.


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.