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Seattle-based Speakeasy sheds early fixed WiMax project: Speakeasy is a national DSL and dial-up ISP that has moved heavily in VoIP, pushing VoIP and broadband over naked DSL (no phone line required) service. They installed some fixed WiMax in downtown Seattle two years ago with a beautiful launch I attended up at the top of the Space Needle. But things didn’t go as planned: they were unfortunately naive enough to believe that their customers could self-install receivers. Tricia Duryee at The Seattle Times reports that the VoIP rollout was seen as more strategically important—I have two Speakeasy VoIP lines myself—and thus the wireless unit needed to be off the table. Speakeasy stopped promoting the service some time ago, and likely has few customers.
Towerstream gets an easy entree into a new market, and ostensibly will be inheriting a variety of rooftop leases and a partner for promoting the service locally. While Speakeasy offers T-1 and DSL service for business, they can certainly gain from working with Towerstream to court businesses with high-bandwidth needs more aggressively to which they can market VoIP and other packages.
Speakeasy has customers nationally, so this partnership could be an aid to Towerstream in customer acquisition outside Seattle as well.
A reporter in Intel’s backyard in Oregon writes superb account of WiMax’s state of deployment, potential: Mike Rogoway does a great job outlining the scope of WiMax’s potential, focusing on Intel’s bet on mobile WiMax. While much of the article covers familiar ground in accurate, interesting detail, there’s one fact I hadn’t heard before: Intel plans to have 4,000 of its 16,000 Oregon employees test mobile WiMax at home later in 2007 to get on the ground experience. Oregon has a difficult topology and verges rapidly in pure rural outside of Portland metro and its suburbs. It’s a good place to work out the kinks.
Sprint Nextel has chosen Motorola to install mobile WiMax across Chicago: Motorola will build out at least 1,000 sites around Chicago. It’s odd to see such a specific announcement given the national scope of Sprint’s build out. The network will start service in late 2007, but this press release describes a commercial launch as beginning in 2008.
As rumored earlier, Nokia will be one of Sprint’s three equipment vendors for its $3b WiMax deployment: GigaOm reports that while Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola will all supply infrastructure and end-user equipment, the division of that $3b budget is unknown.