Motorola Inc. and Intel Corp. this week announced plans to collaborate on efforts to promote the nascent wireless broadband technology known as WiMax.
In addition to pushing for the ratification of the IEEE 802.16e standard for mobile WiMax, the two companies plan to work together on interoperability testing of upcoming WiMax hardware, officials said.
Motorola officials were clear that the partnership does not indicate any exclusive agreement with Intel, or any promise to use each others parts in their products.
“It isnt any kind of supplier agreement,” said Paul Sergeant, a marketing director at Motorola, based in Nashua, N.H. “It is an agreement to work together to accelerate the development of profiles and information sharing in terms of strategy sharing and technology.”
There are two basic flavors of WiMax. 802.16d, which is already ratified, focuses on fixed wireless, meaning a device must have a direct line of sight connection with an access point, and it is not possible to roam from one access point to the next. 802.16d products are currently under certification testing in Spain, and are due out shortly. 802.16e, which allows for roaming between access points and includes better battery-saving technology, has yet to be ratified. Still, Motorola is building on “e,” and has chosen to eschew “d” entirely.
Even when used in a fixed environment, 802.16e “has better link budget and a better use of spectrum,” Sergeant said.
According to online documents, 802.16e is due for approval by the end of the year and for publication in early 2006. Sergeant said Motorola plans to ship WiMax products for use in Europe and Asia in the second half of 2006, and to the U.S. in 2007; the U.S. plans to run WiMax in a different spectrum band than most of the rest of the world.