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The basis for what will be mobile WiMax was approved by the IEEE today: Om Malik notes that with the standard done, the hard part is developing hardware and replicating cellular infrastructure. As Jeffrey Belk of Qualcomm wrote in a white paper a few weeks ago, the many challenges that face rolling out 3G cellular networks, from spectrum availability to real-estate rights for transmitters, equally apply to mobile WiMax. Add to that, that it’s a new standard without the real-world evolution that’s happened in the cell world, and there’s going to be a long lag between today and real, functioning, interoperable mobile WiMax equipment.
Over the next two to three years, however, we’ll be reading stories every week in the mainstream press that continue to conflate the abilities of fixed WiMax—something cell carriers are tremendously interested in for licensed use to backhaul tower traffic—and mobile WiMax. Fixed WiMax doesn’t operate in moving vehicles dozens of miles from a base station running at 72 Mbps. It can run fast, far, and mostly static, and not all three: you get fast when you’re close up and slow when you’re far away.
TechDirt is saying it will be 2008 before we see anything resembling real mobile WiMax given the timetable that took fixed WiMax from 802.16 standards work to a ratified proposal to the very first stages of certification that don’t offer real interoperable benefits today.
Posted by Glennf at December 7, 2005 10:25 PM