Vodafone has announced that it has joined the Wimax Forum paving the way for high-speed internet access from laptops and other mobile devices over large distances from the operator in the future.

"Our membership of the WiMAX Forum will complement our existing memberships of other key industry bodies such as the GSMA, 3GPP and the Next Generation Mobile Network initiative", said Steve Pusey, Global Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone.

Vodafone is hoping the adoption of WiMAX will allow it to promise greater speed and range than Wi-Fi can. In addition it also offer the operators a better quality of service over existing technologies.

However, Vodafone rules out just focusing on the new technology; "Vodafone remains technology neutral as far as our future network options are concerned, and joining the WiMAX Forum is a logical step as we seek to evaluate the full capabilities and potential of this technology".

As a forum member, Vodafone has said that it hopes "to play a role in shaping end-to-end specifications".

In related WiMax news, Nokia's N800 tablet is said to be getting Mobile WiMAX connectivity in order to be used on Sprint's US WiMAX network next year.