I've heard that Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) technology is supposed to be the next big thing in wireless connectivity. What is WiMAX, and what advantage will it offer over Wi-Fi, the 802.11b wireless standard?

Intel is actively pushing WiMAX as the next generation of wireless connectivity. You can think of it as broadband wireless connectivity over long distances. The specification is listed in IEEE 802.16-2004 and IEEE 802.16e.

WiMAX products are in development and should start showing up in the marketplace in the second half of 2005. In its maximum configuration, WiMAX provides speeds as high as 75Mbps and a range of 50 kilometers. This service is far superior to Wi-Fi in bandwidth and service range. Developers have performed considerable work on the standard and included a lot of details in the protocol. To learn more about the technology, visit the WiMAX Forum at http://www.wimaxforum.org/home. Suffice it to say that WiMAX wireless connectivity will be cheaper and easier to implement than current wireless technologies.