WiMAX is on the way, finally.
The Mobile Intelligent Terminal was unveiled at a Samsung-sponsored industry conference on Mobile WiMax, which is just coming into use and promises fast broadband connections over long distances.
The device weighs about a pound and contains a fold-out keyboard, 5-inch screen and 30 gigabyte hard drive. It runs the full version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system and also supports the CDMA mobile phone communications standard, which is used in South Korea and other countries including the United States.
Kim Hun-bae, Samsung vice president for mobile research and development, told reporters that the gadget is the world's first WiMax device that also works as a mobile phone. It also can access the Internet, make video phone calls and display television as well as other video.
The "MIT" is so new that googling up the model number, SPH-P9000, yields nothing, not even a hit on Samsung's own site, where they promote their WiMax products, but not this new mega-phone-thing.
(Is "MIT" really going to be the acronym? "Hold a MIT in your mitt!" "Communicate mit MIT!" "MIT me sometime!")
Never mind the funny-looking device — I mean, check out this AP photo [pop-up window] — I'm really excited that WiMAX is almost here.
WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, also known as IEEE 802.16, that is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks". WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles (5 - 15 km) for mobile stations. In contrast, the WiFi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited in most cases to only 100 - 300 feet (30 - 100m).
With WiMAX, WiFi-like data rates are easily supported, but the issue of interference is lessened. WiMAX operates on both licensed and non-licensed frequencies, providing a regulated environment and viable economic model for wireless carriers.
WiMAX can be used for wireless networking in much the same way as the more common WiFi protocol. WiMAX is a second-generation protocol that allows for more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance, and is intended to allow higher data rates over longer distances.
This is going to change more than cell phones. [More on Wikipedia.]
It all makes my new Palm 700p seem rather archaic.