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Wimax coming faster than expected

Intel, one of the world’s largest chipmakers, has revved up its plan to roll out Wimax, bringing Internet access to the masses more quickly than industry analysts have anticipated.

Wimax stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It’s a long-range version of Wi-Fi. The difference is a factor of a thousand: Whereas Wi-Fi range can be measured in meters, Wimax range can extend for kilometers. Some experts estimate that Wimax can have a range of 16 kilometers in open country.

No doubt this will be welcome news to farmers and others in rural areas, as well as for people in developing countries. The goal is to extend the range of the Internet in ways not previously available.

Intel plans to offer Wimax-ready chips in the second half of this year, many months ahead of its original schedule. An Intel executive said that the increase in the timetable was a result of lower costs and higher productivity.

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