updated 08:30 am EDT, Mon April 12, 2010
WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative gets started
Intel and several partner companies today kicked off the launch of the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI). The alliance, which includes original WiMAX supporters like Motorola, Samsung and ZTE, will help develop and test the faster wireless standard. They hope to get peak speeds over 300Mbps versus just 16Mbps or less for the current technology.
The technology should also cut down on the lag that often comes with long-range wireless and would allow more room for VoIP calls.
A completion of the formal standard, 802.16m, is due in the second half of the year. Clearwire has said it expects 120Mbps urban access sometime in 2011.
The jump in speed may be a deciding factor for WiMAX, as it has fought to get traction. While Sprint in the US as well as carriers in both Korea and Eastern Europe have embraced WiMAX for 4G, most have preferred the competing Long Term Evolution standard. It runs at up to 100Mbps and in practice is roughly twice as fast as first-generation WiMAX, at 12Mbps versus 6Mbps in real conditions.