ITU approves WiMax for third-gen technology set

WiMax got a big vote of confidence Friday as the UN's International Telecommunication Union voted to include the long-range wireless technology as part of its third-generation family of mobile standards, The New York Times reported.That means that member countries of the ITU can devote part of the radio spectrum to WiMax - and we may start to see WiMax receivers in computers, phones and portable devices.

WiMax got a big vote of confidence Friday as the UN's International Telecommunication Union voted to include the long-range wireless technology as part of its third-generation family of mobile standards, The New York Times reported.

That means that member countries of the ITU can devote part of the radio spectrum to WiMax - and we may start to see WiMax receivers in computers, phones and portable devices. WiMax can pass a signal from antenna to antenna allowing for the possibility of long-distance wireless access. The technology also boasts speeds as high as 70 megabits per second, compared to two megabits for current broadband connections.

Intel has been promoting and investing in WiMax for the last three years and led “a pretty substantial amount of lobbying” to prove its case and get the union’s stamp on the technology, said Sriram Viswanathan, vice president of Intel Capital, the company’s strategic investment program, and general manager of its WiMax business.

Japan, Britain and Switzerland have scheduled auctions to allocate licenses in WiMax's frequency, 2.5 to 2.69 gigahertz.

While Intel is a big promoter of WiMax, Sprint Nextel CEO Gary D. Forsee resigned under pressure as CEO of Sprint Nextel "amid doubts about his strategy," the Times said. Qualcomm said Friday that it "remains dedicated" to providing the technologies, including WiMax, that its operators choose.

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