If there's one thing that we'll never be satisfied with, it's finding out just how many nanoseconds we can shave off our download times from year to year, and thankfully, the IEEE seems to get that. While it has certainly taken its sweet time with 802.11n, the task force has already voted to make 100G the next Ethernet speed, and now it's pushing to make WiMAX implementations even quicker. Reportedly announced at 3GSM, the IEEE has began working on a new version of the 802.16 standard, dubbed 802.16m, which "could push data transfer speeds up to 1Gbps while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing WiMAX radios." Potentially more interesting than cheering for speed boosts is the group's outright assurance that this protocol will meet the ITU's requirements for 4G, insinuating that it should be the token choice for further 4G developments. Nevertheless, the increased bandwidth is supposedly needed due to convergence between VoIP and various forms of multimedia (IPTV, streaming video, digital downloads, etc.), and however true that may be, some skeptics are still understandably doubting the whole "backwards compatibility" aspect. Still, the IEEE hopes to have this together by "the end of 2009," but considering the team's less-than-stellar track record in the deadline department, we're not holding our collective breath.

[Via DailyWireless]

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