Approved on December 6, 2001, 802.16 promises to be the answer to all of the shortcomings of long distance applications that people have encountered using 802.11 protocols. It should be pointed out that the 802.11 family was never intended to provide long distance, metropolitan-area coverage (although this book shows you some examples of people doing exactly that). The 802.16 specification is specifically designed for providing wireless infrastructure that will cover entire cities, with typical ranges measured in kilometers. It will use frequencies from 10 to 66 GHz to provide commercial quality services to stationary locations (i.e., buildings).
In January 2003, a new extension (802.16a) was ratified, which will operate in the 2 to 11 GHz range. This should help significantly with line-of-sight requirements of the extremely short waves of 10 to 66 GHz. Realistically, actual equipment that implements 802.16 is just now coming to market, and is priced well above the consumer-grade equipment of the 802.11 family.
It will be interesting to see the 802.16 story as it evolves, but it's too early to tell how this technology will fare. 802.16 will certainly be a welcome technology for long distance point-to-multipoint applications, which are difficult to implement effectively using 802.11.
Bluetooth, Mobile Phones, and GPS
Network Discovery and Monitoring
Wireless Network Design
Appendix A. Wireless Standards
Appendix B. Wireless Hardware Guide