WiMAX is the up and coming wireless connectivity technology, poised to usurp the collective domains of WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, GSM, WCDMA, and every other current wireless communications scheme. It can operate 30 miles or more between towers, and locally at mere feet. Predicted timeframe: 5-10 years.
One stumbling block to total domination is that is operates in licensed bands (3.5 GHz, 5.8 GHz). There is also the huge deployment of and investment in the existing infrastructure. As with the evolution of CDMA/WCDMA and higher data rate GSM (EDGE), it will likely be the areas of the world without a legacy system that will build out first with a 100% WiMAX infrastructure, but then there is the problem of an incentive to fund the system.
Announcements began last year (2006) with wireless broadband products, and Nokia and Motorola have said they will be releasing WiMAX-enabled phones next year (2008). Wireless broadband devices make up the bulk of WiMAX products now. That will sow the seeds of adoption, so we will have to wait to see if and how rapidly it will gain in popularity.
Here are a few websites for you: http://www.ieee802.org/16/ http://www.wimaxforum.org/home/ http://www.wimaxworld.com/ http://europe.wimaxworld.com/
Tip: WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (makes me wonder why the "i" is lower case.
Thanks for your participation.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster