Intel added another milestone to its WiMAX plans with the unveiling of a Wi-Fi/WiMAX combo chip at the Mobile World Congress.
The idea behind the research is to develop technology that would enable a mobile Internet device to switch between networks as a person moved throughout a city or town. To be practical, the technology would have to make the handover without disrupting service, so a person could continue listening to Internet radio or watching online video.
Intel has been making a big push for WiMAX, in tune with its roadmap for wireless hardware adoption. High-speed untethered wireless Internet has been the mobile workers dream for a while now.
WiMAX fits in the matrix of technologies for delivering connectivity over longer distance, with Wi-Fi tailored for short distances. A Wi-Fi/WiMAX chip would sandwich the technologies, solving switchover issues for the user.
With mobile devices getting more computationally powerful and physically leaner, Intel's focus is on dominating the growing mobile computing space and making wireless connectivity ubiquitous on these devices.
While miniaturization and power efficiency continue as the dominating themes in the mobile hardware space, devices that handle integration of various wireless technologies for optimal connectivity experience could skyrocket the adoption of wireless devices.
The other question is about a compelling requirement for high broadband connections. Currently, Internet video is driving that demand, but is that alone sufficient?
More competition in the delivery of wireless connectivity solutions would augur well from the consumer perspective. It does look like after a prolonged promise, WiMAX is set to finally deliver.
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