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WiMAX edges closer to a radio near you

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Nokia announces that it will have WiMax mobile phones ready to deploy to consumers much sooner than most analysts previously expected, a development that could speed up the roll-out of Net radio services over those wireless networks.

For now, a computer can connect to a WiMAX fast wireless Internet connection only when it is stationary, but a new mobile version of WiMAX will be available this year, which is expected to be a breakthrough for the technology.

Intel, Nokia, Samsung and Motorola all support the open-standard WiMAX as an alternative wireless broadband Internet connection alongside third generation mobile telephony networks, on which Internet access can get squeezed if networks fill up with voice callers.

“WiMAX-capable Nokia mobile devices are expected to be available in 2008,” Nokia said in a statement.

The implications of this announcement unveils an entirely new facet of mobile communications near the end of this decade. Now that Nokia has made this announcement, look for speedier development of WiMAX capable mobile radios which will signal the dawn of an explosion of Internet radio listenership. Bridge Ratings projects over 100 million Internet radio listeners by 2009. Should WiMAX technology be available, close to 25% of that audience will likely be listening in a mobile setting.

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