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Nokia details Linux tablet WiMAX plans

Sep 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Nokia plans to ship WiMAX-enabled Internet tablets next year. The as-yet unnamed model or models in Nokia's Linux-powered “N-series” Internet Tablet line will use Intel “Baxter Peak” WiMAX chips and will support Sprint's “Xohm” WiMAX service, the top phone-maker has revealed.

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WiMAX technology was originated by Intel in 2004, positioned early on as a way to bring the Internet to the masses, including people in developing nations without the resources for copper-based “last mile” infrastructure, and in rural areas of the U.S. where low population density has rendered other network distribution techniques impractical.

Then at some point, WiMAX morphed into a mobile technology. Notwithstanding trials in desert locations like Pahrump, Nevada, WiMAX now looks likely to see its widest initial U.S. deployments in metropolitan areas, where it will help people browse the web in their cars, access Google maps at street level, and enjoy always-connected music players, cameras, and other devices. WiMAX-enabled mobile devices with VoIP softphones could even pose a challenge to traditional cellular networking, although “it's a question of the maturity of the technology, and how it will be priced,” Nokia's open source director, Dr. Ari Jaaksi, recently told

Nokia's WiMAX-enabled N-series Internet tablets are expected to work initially with Sprint's Xohm service, which debuts in U.S. metropolitan areas next year. The N-series tablets will run Linux, and use Intel's “Baxter Peak” WiMAX radio chipset, the companies have disclosed. Baxter Peak is said to use the same silicon as Intel's “Echo Peak” MiniCard module for laptops and ultra-mobile devices, but optimized for small form factors and low power consumption.

The Nokia N-series tablets will integrate Skype, the Rhapsody music service, and a Mozilla-based browser, Nokia has revealed. Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine — the same used in the popular Firefox browser — should deliver superior performance on Web 2.0 sites with lots of AJAX, Nokia suggests. Apple's iPhone, meanwhile, uses a browser built on KDE's lighter webkit rendering engine. Today, Nokia's N-series tablets use a customized browser based on Opera's rendering engine.

For more information on Nokia's WiMAX plans, be sure to see our earlier coverage, here.

Intel and Nokia partnered on WiMAX as early as 2005 — months before the launch of Nokia's original Linux-based 770 Internet tablet.

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