Cool WiMAX hardware makes you mobile
There was a range of WiMAX hardware out at the show - and we've got a round up of the types of products you can expect to buy, if you are living in a WiMAX enable area or travel to one.
One of the coolest little devices of the show was this mobile WiMAX to WiFi device - basically plug in your global WiMAX login details and then carry it around with you so your WiFi enabled notebook, iPod, Zune or iPad (sorry, I had to) can get access to the internet. It'll last a few hours on the internal battery, and it can be charged via USB from your laptop too. This way you don't need to invest in a whole load of WiMAX kit as everything has WiFi these days, and you can even share it with a few friends sitting around you too!
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Android OS was modified by one of the WiMAX IC companies to show WiMAX capable phones. One of the sales ladies let slip that HTC was developing was a WiMAX phone for Q3 this year, although whether it will be just an optional extra and available in all regions, we don't know yet.
Samsung did have a smartphone on display though - the SCH-M830 that is compatible with WiMAX, 'normal' WCDMA/HSDPA phone network and Bluetooth too. It can automatically rotate between the best network option available and includes the Opera mini browser as standard. Unfortunately you'll be lumped with Windows Mobile 6.1, so we'd opt for the Andriod option or wait to see if a Windows 7 Series Phone version arrives later this year.
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Above is the Asus UL30vt with a Intel Centrino Advanced–N + WiMAX 6250 mini PCI-E card inside that doubles up a single internal antenna set to receive both WiMAX and WiFi signals - an extension of the original concept we saw way back at an IDF in 2007
. The UL30vt itself is a standard CULV notebook with 1.3GHz SU7300 dual core, 13.3" LCD, 4GB of DDR3 and NVIDIA GeForce G 210M with switchable graphics - but this version is before Optimus Technology unfortunately. Frankly we'd opt for the U30Jc with a much faster Core i3-350 CPU in the same chassis.
There was even a demonstration that you can game online using a simple USB dongle. Yes, it worked, although as an MMO it is hardly that latency dependent unlike an FPS. While it seems WiMAX will make little if no impact for many bit-tech
readers, stay tuned for our forthcoming feature on the past, present and future of UK broadband.