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April 2, 2008

WiMax has landed – UPDATE

LAS VEGAS, USA – The next generation of the Internet was usehered in today when the Nokia N810 WiMax Edition was announced at CTIA Wireless.

The first official Nokia product to support WiMax will go on sale this summer starting in the USA, where mobile phone network Sprint is planning to roll out the first WiMax network.

The next generation wireless broadband technology will be able to deliver typical download speeds of up to 2-4Mbps with peak rates nudging 10Mbps. This really is the mobile equivalent of broadband.

WiMax benefits don’t end there either. Whole areas can easily be linked with WiMax cells, each with a broadcast radius of up to 2-3 miles, creating a cell-like network. This enables handsets, or tablets, to roam between base stations without losing a connection. Something current WiFi technologies aren’t capable of.

Associated Press outlined the main difference between the standard N810 and the Internet edition

“The tablet will be a modified version of Nokia’s N810 model, with a slight bulge on the back for the WiMax antenna. Nokia President Mark Louison said the price would be similar to the N810, which sells for $439 on Nokia’s Web site.”

US-based spoke to Sprint’s John Polivka who had this to say

“The N810 is the first XOHM product we’ve seen that’s close to reality. According to Sprint spokesman John Polivka, Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Panasonic, OQO, and ZyXel are all working on embedded laptops or laptop modems for XOHM. Consumers should also look for DVD players, digital cameras, and gaming and navigation devices that work with XOHM, he said.”

In its monthly ‘The Way We Live Next’ podcast, Forum Nokia spoke to Nokia’s Ari Virtanen about the new WiMax device. Talking about why Nokia is involved in WiMax, Ari has this to say

“We believe in the Open Internet Model. People can choose the devices, connections and services they want to use. WiMax supports this model very well.”

Ari also revealed that the device won’t be exclusive to Sprint’s XOHM network and we could well see the device on other WiMax networks in time. The first network in the USA is due to go live this summer.

This will be a key year for WiMax and we reckon it really will change the way we use the Internet. What do you think?