Intel boss Craig Barrett on Tuesday said his company would put its muscle behind the new wireless broadband technology known as WiMax and predicted that the citywide systems would begin to appear by the end of the year.
"I think WiMax is going to be a disruptive technology that's going to change the way we think of mobile connectivity," including mobile phones, Barrett said at the opening of the Intel Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The technology is like the current wifi standard on steroids, capable of broadcasting high-speed data over areas as large 15km2 at speeds of 75 megabits per second (Mbps).
The hope is that introduction of the technology would overcome the problems in getting high-speed Internet to remote locations, and eventually overcome the need for laying new networks of fibre-optic line.
Barrett said that Intel's support for WiMax significantly boosted its chances.
"Hopefully, toward the end of 2005 or 2006 you're going to see massive commercial rollouts of this capability," Barrett said.
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