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October 11, 2006

WiMax World: The need for speed

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 6:39 AM

BOSTON -- The momentum continued at WiMax World today, the first official day of the annual conference, with more announcements and first-time demonstrations.

During an early morning press conference, Nokia announced something completely unsexy, but promises that it is equally as important as a flashy high-end phone. The Finnish mobile phone giant unveiled a small base station that resides at a tower and provides WiMax. It can be installed by one person, making it cheaper to deploy.

Nokia said it already has secured sales of the base station and will have trials as soon as early 2007 and deployments by the end of the year. On the device side, it confirmed that it will have WiMax phones and tablets by 2008.

The first keynote this morning was by Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney, who said there has been a lot of momentum in the WiMax industry since Sprint Nextel announced about a month ago that it is adopting the technology.

"It has been a great year for WiMax, and we have a lot of work to do over the next four years," he said.

He asked, "Why is all of this is happening, what is driving the enormous capital commitments that the industry is making?"

His answer: the Internet.

"All of the outrageous hyperbole has either happened or exceeded our expectations," he said. "There was a boom and then a bust and then the thing is lifting up again over the last few years."

Intel then completed the first-ever demonstration of its WiMax "mobile compliant" chipset.

The demonstration showed off Internet access, live streaming Internet TV, and voice over Internet Protocol.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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