Wireless broadband alternative

Companies that cannot get broadband, and who will inevitably be left behind when it comes to 3G coverage because of their rural...

Companies that cannot get broadband, and who will inevitably be left behind when it comes to 3G coverage because of their rural location, will soon have an alternative wireless broadband solution.

Radio networks built on the WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) standard will be available in the UK by the second half of 2005, with some of the first solutions being developed by a partnership between Siemens and Intel.

The pair are developing operators’ base stations and user subscriber access devices to enable operators to offer the service which offers both fixed and wireless broadband access.

A major advantage of WiMAX over existing wireless Lan technology is that the access range is far greater than the typical 100ft reach offered by 802.11-based wireless Lans – WiMAX can offer connections over miles.

WiMAX is built around the IEEE 802.16 standard which includes a mobile solution that allows enterprises to serve “nomadic notebook users” who need to log on to the internet or intranet from different locations inside and outside the company.

The new technology will not only be useful for rural areas however. It will also likely be an alternative for users in urban areas who find it difficult to install underground cabling to enable fixed broadband networks.

This article was part of Computer Weekly's enterprise mobile business channel, sponsored by Nokia 

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