Intel and network gear maker Alcatel announced on Thursday an alliance to deliver WiMax equipment by the second half of 2005. WiMax, a wide-area wireless broadband technology, is viewed as a cheaper alternative to DSL (digital subscriber line) and cable broadband access, because the installation costs of wireless infrastructure are minimal when compared with those of wired versions. Networks based on WiMax standards are expected to have a range of up to about 30 miles, with data transfer speeds of up to 70 megabits per second.
Intel is expected to begin shipping WiMax chips in the second half of this year. The company will manufacture chips based on the 802.16d standard, which is meant for wireless high-speed connections to antennas. Intel executives have said they view WiMax as a complement to Wi-Fi.