UN approves WiMAX as wireless standard

WiMAX has been added to a global standard for mobile devices, boosting its chances of becoming the preferred system for the next generation of high-speed wireless Internet access, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the decision by the UN telecommunications agency means that airwaves designated for other technologies in the standard known as IMT-2000 can now be used for networks based on WiMAX.

That's likely to spur development of the wireless technology, attract new investors and eventually drive down hardware costs, analysts said.

The Asociated Press report quoted Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis, a British technology advisory firm, as saying that early promoters of WiMAX, including Intel, Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia, stand to gain the most from the decision,

Intel's investment arm poured more than $1 billion last year into building WiMAX networks around the world and other WiMAX-related investments, the report said.

The standards agreement was reached in a meeting of the International Telecommunication Union, after the negotiators overcame the objections of a number of countries, the report said.

China, for one, opposed the move because it wants its own wireless broadband standard to be adopted globally. US officials had argued in favor of adopting WiMAX as an official IMT-2000 standard along with other high-speed mobile network technologies, the report further said.