WiMAX may have suffered a short-term stumble in Australia with the federal government pulling the plug on the OPEL regional broadband plan but it’s ‘all systems go’ in the US.
Intel remains bolshie on the high-speed long-reach wireless network protocol and US carrier Sprint Nextel will switch on its Xohm national mobile WiMAX service later this month with the promise to convert major cities into âone big hotspotâ.
And while Intel moves to build WiMAX into the next-gen Centrino 2 and Centrino Atom mobile platforms other manufactures are also gearing up. During this week’s CTIA 2008 mobile phone show in Las Vegas Nokia lifted the covers from a rumoured WiMAX edition of its N810 Internet Tablet device with a price tag expected to be around US$450 (A$500).
Download speeds should be between 2Mbps and 4Mbps with burst of up to 10Mbps in ideal conditions. As with the standard N810 there’s also 802.11g wireless and a GPS receiver but no mobile phone in sight â Nokia positions the N810 as an Internet access device that’s a companion to a mobile phone and can be partnered to that phone via Bluetooth 2.0 if you want to go surfing over the cellular network.
Like its predecessors the N810 is powered by Nokia’s own Maemo OS which is an open source build based on Debian and topped by the same ‘Hildon’ UI layer as will be featured on the Ubuntu Mobile OS used by Intel’s Mobile Internet Devices.
Other WiMAX-capable mini-machines are also breaking cover in the hopes of carving out their own slice of the Xohm pie. Everex used CRTIA 2008 to showcase a WiMAX edition of its little Cloudbook (the bad news is that this 9in mini-note runs Vista) while Asus has displayed a WiMAX-enabled version of its second-gen Eee PC 900.