BT, the British telecom company, has begun a series of tests in four rural areas of the United Kingdom of the emerging wide-area wireless broadband technology known as WiMax.
As part of the trial service, customers located in Ballingry in Fife, Scotland, Pwllheli in Wales, Porthleven in Cornwall and Campsie in Northern Ireland can receive broadband fixed access in their homes via a wireless receiver. BT is using a version of WiMax known as 802.16d.
However, the telecom said it is also considering a more advanced version of WiMax—still under development—called 802.16e. The newer version supports high-speed mobility and allows laptops and PDAs to connect to a WiMax antenna from a far greater distance—similar to that of cell phones.
WiMax has been aggressively supported by Intel Corp., the chipmaker. The company said it expects to produce 802.16 chips later this year and that laptops featuring the technology could go on sale in 2006.
For detailed information on WiMax visit www.wimaxforum.org.