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Issue of August 2003 
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802.16a gets a hand

The IEEE 802.16a standard for a Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMAN) was approved in January this year. And since then, over 25 leading communications equipment companies have got together to promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of 802.16a equipment.

Latest in line were Intel and Alvarion. The two companies will work together to develop 802.16a products. Intel will develop silicon products based on the standard that will provide a broadband wireless access alternative to existing 'last mile' methods like cable and DSL.

The IEEE 802.16a standard connects wireless hotspots, which offer users wireless Internet access via the 802.11 or Wi-Fi standard, and other locations like businesses and homes to the wired Internet backbone. It is expected that networks based on the 802.16a standard will have a range up to 30 miles and the ability to transfer data, voice and video at speeds of up to 70 Mbps.

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