The Intel Technology Journal has an issue focused on WiMax. link courtesy of FierceWireless
They expect to have fixed outdoor wireless in first half (H1) of 2005, with fixed indoor wireless equipment in H2 '05, and integrated laptop and portable gear in 2006. It's interesting that they are going after outdoor first, then ramping down the signal strength for indoor installations.
Speaking of strength, they are talking about 75mbs bandwidth in a coverage area similar to current cellular base stations.
There is a lot of really interesting stuff in this journal, however the parts covering "full mobility" are the most interesting to me.
The next phase of functionality, known as "Full Mobility" provides incremental support for low latency, low packet loss real-time handovers between APs at speeds of 120 km/hr or higher, both within a network and between networks. This will deliver a rich end-user experience for high-quality multimedia applications. Figure 1 summarizes Intel's deployment evolution vision of the 802.16 standard.
What this means is that they will have support for range of Radio Access Network (RAN) topologies, but at the same time decouple it from the operator IP network, while maintaining constant quality of service (QoS) even during handovers. Doing the above is asking a wireless carrier and network to do all kinds of unnatural acts. While I don't doubt it will be adopted in the marketplace, I find it pretty hard to imagine that any kind of meaningful penetration will be achieved before 2007, but after that I think it's fair to say that the telecom industry will be forced through another revolution that will most certainly leave some dead bodies on the side of the road.