Intel and Nokia have joined forces to back the development of mobile WiMax technology, and will work together to see that the technology is standardised soon, the companies announced today.

WiMax, part of the 802.16 wide-area wireless networking standard, promises to deliver wireless broadband access over a range significantly greater than that of 802.11 wireless LAN technology, commonly known as Wi-Fi.

WiMax is designed to standardise wireless broadband kit, making for a cheap, interoperable alternative to ADSL, cable broadband and 3G data. The standard can extend wireless broadband to around 48km, and support data transmission speeds up to 70Mbps.

Cooperation between Nokia and Intel will focus on 802.16e, a mobile version of the technology, offering broadband internet access to users on the move. This standard is currently under development. Intel and Nokia expect the standard to be finalised next year, they said.

A fixed-wireless version of WiMax, called 802.16a, was finalised in January 2003.

Under terms of the agreement announced on Friday, Nokia and Intel will work together on issues related to the development of mobile WiMax clients and network infrastructure, and promote the technology to operators and service providers. The companies plan to jointly demonstrate mobile WiMax technology to service providers as a data service that complements existing 3G networks, the statement said.

Both Nokia and Intel are members of the WiMax Forum, an industry group established in 2001 to promote the adoption of the technology and to certify the interoperability of WiMax-based devices.