RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — WiMax has been labeled “broadband on the go”, and the technology is fast gaining momentum. And a Triangle firm could be among the emerging players.

Among the interested parties is SpectraSite, one of the largest operators of wireless towers in the United States that is based in Cary.

Ted Abrams, vice president of technology at SpectraSite, said the company is aggressively exploring WiMax opportunities, but not as a service provider. Instead, SpectraSite wants to lease space on its towers to WiMax providers.

WiMax is wireless on steroids when compared to WiFi and wireless local area networks. It has a range of up to 30 miles.

Nextel, meanwhile, continues its trial of wireless broadband services in the Triangle, working with technology from Flarion.

“We are impressed for a couple of reasons,” a Nextel exec said in a recent conference call. “One, from a technical perspective, Flarion has a very good product. And we put
it through its rigor and it stands up pretty well.

“Second of all, we are pleased with the take rate of the customers down there. And we’re very pleased with the pricing that we have been able to charge and able to receive us result.” (Prices range from $35 to $75 a month.)

For details on Nextel’s service, see:

For a look at the WiMax service, see today’s New York Times (registration required):

The secret of the homing pigeon?

A fellow at the University of North Carolina believes the secret of the uncanny ability of the homing pigeon has been unraveled, saying experiments have shown the birds navigate by using the earth’s magnetic field.

“The two main theories are that pigeons smell their way home or that they have a magnetic map,” says Cordula Mora, who is a biology fellow in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Our work strongly supports the latter theory, which still remains to be proven in the field.”

Mora’s research appeared in the Nov. 25 issue of Nature. Co-authors include Michael Walker, Michael Davison and Martin Wild, all professors at the University of Auckland.

For details, see:

Blending dance and technology

Technology as an art form will be on display this week at Wake Forest University, with the audience wearing 3-D glasses.

The Alban Elved Dance Company and members of the computer science department at Wake Forest University have collaborated to produce “Free Space 2004 … The Bridge.” It will include a variety of features from multimedia interpretations to digital poetry and is “designed to encourage audiences to explore their creative relationship with technology,” the university says.

The program, which is the third in a series combining dance and technology, is set for Dec. 2-5.

For ticket information, call 336-758-5295.