That's because there are parts of the existing 802.16 WiMAX standard that increase the reception sensitivity of WiMAX, the study points out. That makes laptop add-ons, such as PC cards that can take advantage of WiMAX, viable now. Most observers believe mobile WiMAX, which will be embodied in the 802.16e standard, is at least two years away.
The result would not be as satisfactory as fully mobile WiMAX, but it still would be useful, Philip Solis, an ABI Research senior analyst, said in a statement.
"There may be WiMAX PC cards on the market earlier than many observers have expected," Solis said. "You will not have full mobility as you will with 802.16e, but you will have some portability."
Solis noted that two vendors -- TeleCIS and Sequans -- already are creating chipsets that use this existing technology. However, he noted that, so far, large vendors of WiMAX and pre-WiMAX equipment have not taken advantage of this little-used specifications.