In a huge victory for Intel, the UN’s telecommunications agency yesterday gave WiMax a thumbs up, opening the way for member nations to devote public radio space to the upstart wireless internet technology. Intel lobbied hard for the WiMax, which can sling data 40 miles at up to 70 megabits per second. Broadband connections top out around 2 megabits per second.
Japan, Britain and Switzerland already have plans to auction off WiMax radio frequencies. Companies like Lenovo, Acer and Nokia were WiMax supporters even before the UN’s blessing, the Times reports. But the vote is a blow for rival technologies from Qualcomm and Ericsson. Qualcomm yesterday said it was dedicated to providing any technology operators choose, including WiMax.