The company was to hold press conferences in London, Shanghai and Washington D.C. to unveil its Intel PRO/Wireless 5116 chip, which had been code-named Rosedale. The chip is designed to be used in customer premises equipment (CPE), the modem-like equipment that will receive WiMAX signals. That equipment could include self-installable WiMAX modems and residential gateways, the company said in a statement.
WiMAX initially will compete against fixed broadband such as DSL, cable and T1 connections. It is expected to take as long as two years before a mobile version of the standard is available. Intel has claimed that, eventually, notebook computers and other mobile devices will be WiMAX-equipped just as many are now Wi-Fi equipped.
"As a standards-based, high-speed Internet access solution, WiMAX can provide the platform for the next generation of Internet expansion, connecting the next billion Internet users," Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel's Broadband Wireless Division, said in a statement.
Intel is expected to make the announcement in concert with several vendors who will manufacture the WiMAX equipment using the initial Rosedale chipset. Other chipmakers such as Fujitsu also will be releasing WiMAX chipsets in competition with Intel.
Officially-certified WiMAX equipment isn't expected to be available until the end of this year. While the 802.16-2004 standard -- WiMAX is a trade name describing that standard -- was approved late year, final interoperability testing for the equipment won't start until July, six months later than initially expected.