AT&T eyeing WiMax for video

February 26, 2007

AT&T, the recently merged communications powerhouse, wants a faster WiMax technology that can handle high-bandwidth video transmissions.

WiMax vendors told www.Unstrung.com, the wireless communications Web site, that the telco has been pushing the WiMax Forum to start work on a "wave three" mobile WiMax profile that would increase the bandwidth of 802.16 technology.

AT&T wants the profile to mandate a 4 x 4 smart antenna array to increase the speed and capacity available over compliant WiMax networks, Unstrung reported. By contrast, "wave two" WiMax products using the profile backed by Sprint Nextel use a 2 x 2 antenna setup.

The company is looking at using WiMax for IPTV and video streaming — applications that require increased bandwidth.

Although AT&T recently signed a deal with QUALCOMM to use its MediaFLO wireless TV technology, it also previously tested WiMax for enterprise users in Atlanta and New Jersey.

Such a move could take significant time, and ensuring interoperability for the new standard could take until 2010.

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