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Intel: WiMAX PC Card by June

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Intel Executive VP Sean Maloney, at CES here in Las Vegas, said the company will have a “middle-of-[this]-year-release” for its WiMAX PC Card, a device that could help accelerate end users’ embrace of the nascent wireless technology.

Despite some recent bumps in the road for WiMAX, top executives from major WiMAX backers Intel, Sprint Nextel and Cisco all said at CES this week that they are bullish on the wireless technology’s future, albeit more so in countries other than the U.S. Intel CEO Paul Otellini said in his Monday afternoon keynote here that “for the next five to 10 years, WiMAX will have a significant advantage” as a platform for wireless broadband, and Cisco CEO John Chambers said Monday night that the networking giant “remains bullish” on WiMAX, especially in developing-country deployments.

Chambers, who we spoke with at a Cisco party here Monday night, said WiMAX makes great sense as an architecture for developing countries that don’t have an existing copper plant the way the U.S. does. Sometimes, he noted, copper wires get pulled out of the ground by scrap-metal thieves.

Ali Tabassi, Sprint’s vice president for technology development, said after a Monday panel that his company is still moving “full speed ahead” with its planned WiMAX rollout, with Chicago, Washington D.C. and Baltimore on schedule for deployment this year. The rumor we hear is that Sprint employees in Chicago are already testing the WiMAX network there. (Anyone want to tell us how it’s working?)

Intel’s Maloney, who spoke with us after Otellini’s Monday afternoon keynote, didn’t have any new WiMAX financing agreements from the company to tell us about, but did say that deployments of the technology are continuing strongly, worldwide. And Sprint’s Tabassi said there is a lot of interest in WiMAX from Asian wireless providers who have 2G networks, and are considering jumping directly to WiMAX instead of deploying 3G technologies.

Paul Kapustka, former managing editor for GigaOM, now has his own blog at Sidecut Reports.

10 Responses to “Intel: WiMAX PC Card by June”

  1. WiMax will be ubiquitous within a few short years. The rates appear to be reasonable and in some places like city centers it will be free. Nobody likes wires. This is one reason the iPhone and their clones are so popular. These are the computers as companions that are evolving faster than any past technology except the silicon chips they’re made with. The more sophisticated they become the more bandwidth they will require. Therefore WiMax 4G is the next step. And of course there will be 5G, 6G, 7G …

  2. Dimitrios Matsoulis

    Apparently ripping copper out of the ground is not a bad option. Relatives of a friend in the US still have to connect via an old style modem. Agreed, the percentage of the population with such coverage is not the majority but with Wimax’s range I think a lot could be achieved even in developed countries. Like for cellphones, the nicest thing about wireless subscriptions is that there is no modems and cables to fiddle with as long as the wireless is integrated or installed. In Greece where I live, as in most EU countries, 3G became an expensive operation for providers and for this reason I do not see WiMax coming soon…

  3. Jesse Kopelman

    PC Card in June is nice, but only if there is a network where I live to go with it . . .

    @techboy2000: compared to anyone’s LTE coverage map, Clearwire is looking great — LTE won’t be deployed for at least 2 more years . . .

  4. techboy2000

    The Clearwire WiMAX coverage map is pathetic (Eau Claire WI, Visalia CA, Lubbock TX). WiMAX is a great technology but it is also the new Betamax. Sprint needs to jump on the LTE bandwaggon.