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While there are plenty of factual errors in this piece, the author comes to a possibly accurate conclusion: To start with some of the errors, WiMax isn’t actually “here” yet. Equipment that is likely to pass WiMax certification is available, but nothing has been certified. That means that no one is really yet benefiting from economies of scale or interoperability. Also, WiMax doesn’t only use unlicensed frequencies. In fact, in Europe it is most likely to be used in the licensed bands. In the U.S., it could be used in the MMDS band.
But beyond the factual mistakes, the conclusion in this article may be correct. WiMax is likely to become a great lower-cost connectivity option for small businesses. It’s also likely to be used by small to medium-sized operators and even large operators, though potentially in a limited fashion.
But the vision of WiMax as a mobile solution is indeed quite far off. One challenge that I don’t think gets much attention is that operators that deploy fixed WiMax networks won’t have an easy transition to a mobile offering—and that’s if they are even interested in a mobile solution. The networks they build now won’t be architected for mobility so the evolution to mobility involves a new network plan, not just an upgrade of base stations. Also, in the meantime, other technologies are moving full steam ahead to offer mobile broadband, including the ever evolving 3G and potentially technologies like Flarion’s and IPWireless’. That means that when mobile WiMax arrives, the market may have changed enough to make it irrelevant.
Posted by nancyg at April 1, 2005 12:25 PM
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