A collaboration between current WiMAX vendors including Intel, Motorola and Samsung will work together under WCI (WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative) to accelerate the implementation and interoperability of new WiMAX2 systems, aiding development and time to deployment.
WiMAX2 is designed to meet IMT-Advanced (4G) standards which require delivering 1Gbps access speeds to fixed locations and 100Mbps to fast moving mobile nodes, low latency and capacity for VoIP. WiMAX2 is also designed to be backwards compatible with existing WiMAX equipment which will allow users of the older technology to maintain their existing equipment.
WiMAX has had low take up in the UK with just a few areas currently deployed (Freedom4 have rolled out to Milton Keynes, Warwick and Manchester, with no additional cities added since 2008) and could benefit from chips being bundled within laptops, but manufacturers are unlikely to add these unless there is a large scale network deployment planned which will encourage adoption. Current mobile operators appear to be favouring the LTE route, which, although not a 4G technology, is followed by LTE Advanced which will provide the increased bandwidth required to meet the IMT-Advanced standards. WiMAX2 products are expected to be ready for market by late 2011, but it's unclear as yet whether the UK will take it further than the original WiMAX technology.