Nokia hoists the WiMAX flag 180 feet

Nokia setup a massive crane in the parking lot in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center at CTIA Wireless today to demonstrate the new capabilities of the new Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, which is now WiMAX (802.16e) enabled.

Nokia strapped 20 journalists into rollercoaster style seats attached to a board meeting-like table and lifted the entire apparatus 180 feet into the air. In front of each journalist was a cup holder and a N810 device running on a WiMAX demo the company had set up in the lot.

The tablet is the first WiMAX device that Nokia will launch this summer in tandem with regional launches of Sprint's Xohm WiMAX network across the U.S. The device is WiFi-capable and WiMAX ready and features a 4.1-inch touch screen and slide-out keyboard.
Nokia president Mark Louison said the WiMAX version of the N810 will have a similar pricepoint to the previous WiFi-only version of the tablet, which sells for $439. Nokia said it will sell the WiMAX tablet on its website and will develop Xohm specific applications for the tablet, while making the old applications traditionally available on the WiFi version of the N810, too.

The N810 will run on WiFi until a WiMAX network is detected. The tablet would then prompt the user to download the requisite firmware over-the-air in order to hook up to the WiMAX network. Louison said the tablet will not be compatible with the proprietary pre-WiMAX technology that Clearwire uses currently, but once Clearwire moves over to the accepted WiMAX standard, the device will work on its network, too. Louison said Nokia also has no current plans for an EVDO and WiMAX-enabled tablet. -Brian

- Check out our slideshow of Nokia 810 running on WiMAX!