While hardly enabling a mobile phone, Fujitsu Microelectronics America’s new Mobile WiMAX System-on-Chip (SoC) is a step in the direction of high bandwidth, large radius mobile broadband devices running in the 2.5 GHz WiMAX spectrum.

Fujitsu introduced the chip at the Wireless Communications Association Conference 2006 in Washington, D.C. as a “first generation of the mobile piece,” said George Wu, marketing director at Fujitsu’s WiMAX group. “The handset is not going to come around for two to three years.”

The SoC, he said, will be built into laptop PCMCIA cards and is expected to be part of equipment proffered during wave 2 certification in August 2007.

“The first generation really addresses the portable market so it’s not full mobility,” said Wu, adding that Fujitsu has been “talking to not just the laptop guys but also people who are building the actual PC cards.”

WiMAX, he said, would advance the ubiquitous Wi-Fi by enabling users to send and receive secure content over greater distances.

“Wi-Fi is contention-based, and quality of service and other security features are not built into the standard itself as compared to WiMAX,” he said. “This would allow you to go further as far as being able to access the Internet, being able to download and upload secure content across a much greater radius.”