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Navini Dumps 802.20 Mobile Broadband For WiMax

After years of disparaging the IEEE 802.16 standard upon which the WiMax Forum is based, Navini Networks has opted to ditch the competing 802.20 spec it previously backed and join WiMax.

The move comes a day after Flarion Technologies, a competitor and fellow 802.20 member, announced successful trials in North Carolina with Nextel.

Flarion's successful trials means little to Navini CEO Alastair Westgarth, who said he is convinced that momentum is clearly behind WiMax and not 802.20. "We had no interest in 802.16 until it started work on 802.16e for mobile access, which addresses issues we had with respect to the use of phased-array antennas and also line of sight," he said.

According to Westgarth, 802.16 has made the most progress, adding that "802.20 will have a hard time catching up."

Much of the momentum derives from a massive marketing campaign instigated by Intel early last year. Intel sees WiMax as complementary to Wi-Fi wireless LANs by providing a low-cost backhaul for hotspots. For its part, 802.20 targeted mobile broadband applications that would compete with 3G cellular.

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