Mobile WiMax, a long-range, high-bandwidth wireless technology, may soon be making its debut in the UK.

Mobile-phone manufacturer Motorola recently told ZDNet it's been working with a new operator on a bid to offer the technology to the UK.

Mobile WiMax poses a threat to 3G - currently used in the UK for mobile internet access - because it has the potential to enable mobile broadband at anything from 1Mbps to tens of times that speed over distances of up to 10km. Users will also benefit because it's a symmetrical service, which in theory it can offer upspeeds every bit as fast as download speeds.

WiMax is not currently available in the UK as there is no spectrum allocated to it. However, this looks set to change when Ofcom auctions off frequencies later this year, which were originally set aside to expand 3G services but offered to fixed and mobile WiMax services under the regulator's 'technology neutral' policy. The auction was set for Spring 2008 but is now expected to take place between June and August 2008.

Andy McKinnon, Motorola's principal for WiMax in the EMEA region told ZDNet he was quite happy the Ofcom auction had been put back.

This revelation follows Motorola's announcement at the Mobile World Congress that it will license its mobile WiMAX modem, the WTM1000, to third parties.

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