A Wireless World Away from IDF…WiMAXing @ CTIA in Las Vegas

If you’ve been reading all of the Intel blogs lately, you’d think nothing else was going on in the world outside of the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai this week. But… there was. The CTIA Wireless show took over Las Vegas this week and there was a lot of buzz around WiMAX.

I had a bit of a different view of CTIA than most, primarily because I spent most of my time outside in the sun in a parking lot across the street from the convention center. That’s where Intel and its partners Clearwire, Motorola and Sprint showcased several WiMAX-enabled cars and segways and offered demo rides to customers, partners, the media and analysts.

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We did very similar demos at CES and Mobile World Congress this year and given the great response and reaction from anyone who took a ride, we brought the demo to CTIA. Even CrunchGear took a joy ride in the WiMAXed SUV. And this year the team added a smart car called “smart fortwo” to the mix. It was my particular favorite.

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We also showed off notebooks and mobile devices inside the cars that took advantage of the demo WiMAX network that we and our partners set up in Vegas. The full Internet was right at our fingertips at the kinds of speeds that I’m used to getting at home or in the office. We listened to streaming music that sounded just like we were playing a CD in the car, watched streaming TV shows on demand just as though we were in front of the TV at home, and we used a really cool navigation application that showed the route we were driving real time, streaming from the Internet. But this wasn’t all…

The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet WiMAX Edition was launched this week and they were on display all over the place at CTIA. We managed to get our hands on a couple of them to show off in our WiMAX enabled cars. It’s a great little pocket-sized device with a touch screen and slide-out keyboard. Web surfing was pretty easy, too, as I was able to get on my Facebook page and also check out some videos on YouTube. The best part, though, is that the “WiMAX Edition” in the name of the product means it can access the WiMAX networks that will be up and running in the U.S. later this year. This is, in part, thanks to Intel’s WiMAX silicon inside Nokia’s N810 tablet.

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Intel and Nokia announced at WiMAX World Chicago last September that the Nokia Nseries tablets would be the one of the first to use the Intel WiMAX Connection 2400 silicon (previously called Baxter Peak) for mobile Internet and CE devices with low power consumption. Nokia said the N810 Internet Tablet WiMAX Edition is expected to be available in the U.S. this summer in areas where WiMAX connectivity is available from the Sprint Xohm network and will allow users to easily and quickly access all of their favorite Internet services beyond local area hot spots. With devices like these and notebooks with embedded WiMAX coming later this year, I can’t wait for WiMAX!

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