Sure, 4G mobile broadband might still be in its infancy, but the WiMAX Forum is already looking ahead. WiMAX and LTE are just beginning to roll out across the United States, offering faster-than-3G, but not quite revolutionary high speed internet access on the go. But the WiMAX Forum is working on the next-generation WiMAX 2 standard which could offer peak rates of more than 300 Mbps, better VoIP features, and lower latency.
That’s the theoretical limit anyway. In real life it’s unlikely that you’ll get download speeds faster than 100Mbps out of WiMAX 2, or the upcoming 802.16m stnadard. But you know what? I’d be pretty happy with 100Mbps.
WiMAX 2 will also be backward compatible with the current 802.16e WiMAX standard, which means you can probably continue using existing equipment to connect to the new network. That will make it relatively cheap and easy for providers such as Clearwire to upgrade.
WiMAX 2 probably won’t be finalized until late 2011, which means you probably won’t get your ridiculously fast mobile broadband until 2012.