Can long-range WiFi challenge WiMAX?

Dutch distributor KMC Systems and British company VPNet have re-launched a long-range WiFi technology that promises to to show up WiMAX at a fraction of the cost.

Called InspiAir, the technology was developed in Israel but never took off, despite some contract wins. KMC Systems has now acquired the worldwide sales rights, and has renamed the technology Max-Fi. It and distribution partner VPNet are attempting to position the technology as an alternative to WiMAX.

"It's not bumping up the power. It's standard 802.11, and it works with your existing laptops, yet even at 2km range you can get 1 or 2Mbit/s," said John Duffin, business development director with VPNet. Each Max-Fi AirEZ 4000 rugged access point has four 802.11a/b/g radios and can support up to 300 users, he said.

Still, the claims about the technology are hard to verify. Critics have said that most of InspiAir's successes were outdoor deployments.

To find out more about Max-Fi:
- check out this article from Techworld