Nokia plans WiMAX handsets for 2008

Nokia has announced that it will introduce its first WiMAX-enabled phone early next year.

Nokia plans WiMAX handsets for 2008

In a brief statement the Finnish company said that it is dedicating significant research an development to WiMAX, and supports efforts to make it a global broadband standard.

‘The combination of WiMAX broadband technology and Web 2.0 services offers people an enriched high-speed Internet experience free from the desktop PC,’ it said. ‘Nokia plans to bring its first WiMAX enabled mobile device to market in early 2008.’

WiMAX, based on the IEEE 802.16 standard officially trademarked as WirelessMAN, provides high-speed wireless networking over much greater distances than afforded by the 802.11 standard used for wireless networks in the home or office.

It is attractive to mobile operators because it will allow for much faster data transfer speeds than currently available to handset users. US network Sprint recently announced a $3 billion investment in the technology while Motorola has been working with Intel on WiMAX development since 2005.

In the UK, Pipex began installing a nationwide WiMAX network last year, with Milton Keynes the first town to get blanket coverage; Urban WiMAX sells up to 10Mbps symmetrical access to businesses in London, with plans to expand across the UK. And BT is planning to install its first network in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

WiMAX is also being used to provide Internet access on-board trains between London and Brighton via a series of track-side antennae. Further train services are planned.

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