WiMAX, Mesh Networks, and Smart Radios

Michael Rogers of MSNBC has a very readable article about new wireless broadband technologies. He sounds optimistic that we’ll have a standardized system for mobile broadband in the US in the not too distant future.

The first version of WiMAX will be commercially released late this year or early next, and already companies like Intel are preparing big promotional efforts. (That’s notably in contrast to Wi-Fi, which was launched rather quietly by Apple and took a few years to gain traction.) The first flavor of WiMAX will only work for stationary reception, so in countries like the U.S., with plenty of cable and telephone lines, the initial version may not have immediate impact. It will, however, be of enormous importance in bringing broadband to the developing world as well as rural areas in the U.S.

Shortly thereafter, however, a second standard will appear: mobile WiMAX, usable while walking or driving. And that’s when it could get interesting in the U.S. For starters, you’d be able to use free VoIP telephony instead of a traditional cell phone connection anywhere you can pick up a WiMAX signal. A moving automobile could have a constant connection to the Internet, for anything from continually updated navigation information to streaming Internet radio to car-to-car communications (“Red Pontiac, is this the way to the stadium?”) Just about anything could have a connection to the Internet, from soda vending machines to billboards to your puppy’s collar.

Via the thewirelessweblog.

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