Friday, May 4, 2007

WiMax to Cell Industry: Is the End Neigh?, here we go.

Last summer, Sprint announced that it was rolling out a large-scale WiMax network (based on IEEE 802.16e) in 42 cities in the US by the end of 2007. (Quick primer: WiMax is a IEEE standard that provides 1 Gbps peak speed and 100 Mbps average speeds wireless connectivity over a 5 mile radius.)

There was much laughing and guffawing in both the mobile wireless (cell phone, to you cruds) industry, and the mobile wireless (WiFi, to you cruds) industry.

"What a buffoon!" laughed Verizon. "We have EVDO!"

"What a goober!" laughed WiFi pundits! "WiFi already blankets the planet!!"

This was followed by industry insiders jumping on the bandwagon, declaring WiMax a non-starter before it was even out of the gate. It did not, however, deter Sprint who was light-years behind both Verizon and AT&Ingular on rolling out so-called 3G data networks. also did not deter Intel from pressing ahead with WiMax chip design and standards implementation. also did not stop the FCC from approving a WiMax card laptop card from ClearWire last week. also did not stop NXP from developing a low-power WiMax chip that broadcasts in the 2.5GHz to 3.5Ghz range.

...nor did it stop Skype from creating mobile versions of its VoIP product.

...nor did it stop Samsung and Sanyo from quietly rolling out WiMax handsets.

...nor did it prevent millions of consumers from getting pissed whenever they open their monthly bills or have restrictions placed on how they use those data and voice services.


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