WiMAX coming to Canada out west

Craig Wireless Systems Ltd. announced in February it plans to offer WiMAX data service this spring. The Vancouver vendor is running trials now and plans to have the fixed wireless service available in Vancouver and Winnipeg.

In the U.S., Clearwire Corp. offers WiMAX in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle and Honolulu, according to the company’s most recent financial results press release.

Though it has 34 million people in its coverage area, Clearwire said a year ago it hoped to have coverage available to 120 million in 2010.

Fixed wireless has been offered for years, but Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) provides interoperability for base stations, customer premise equipment and modems.

The Fixed WiMAX standard is based on Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.16 2004, while Mobile WiMAX is based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard.

In 2007, Primus Canada started WiMAX trials in Toronto and Hamilton, Ont.

Last May, Look Communications Inc. said it planned to sell its WiMAX spectrum to Inukshuk, a joint venture between Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) Inc. and Rogers.

Look is no longer operating its television or Internet services and sold its spectrum and licenses for $80 million.

Look demonstrated WiMAX starting November, 2008 in Milton, Ont., using a van to travel the area showing television, Internet and voice over IP services over wireless.

Two years ago, at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Vodafone Group PLC chief executive officer Arun Sarin said the WiMAX standard should be rolled into Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless.