WiMax certification tests are about to begin in Chicago this week, for fixed WiMax systems that are based on the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard. The standard is intended to provide services similar to DSL or cable, as well as for connecting Wi-Fi hot spots. Chicago-based Redline Communications Inc. has demonstrated the equipment it plans to submit, including client equipment based on Intel Corp.'s Pro/Wireless 5116 chip and base stations built around Redline's own silicon.

Redline is sending video from base stations in downtown Chicago to client devices on the show floor at the McCormick Place convention center, said Keith Doucet, vice president of marketing and product line management at Redline. One of the towers is about 4.5 miles from the convention center, and the other is about 1.5 miles away. Both connections are running at about 25Mbit/sec., Doucet said. An indoor demonstration on the show floor is achieving about the same speed, he said. Commercial WiMax services will most likely be shared among many users who will each have less than 25Mbit/sec., he added.