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Perhaps no technology today splits analysts to the degree that WiMax does.
Which is it?
Maybe both. Maybe neither.
This is because WiMax is still vapor. The delivery of a final standard has been delayed until summer, which means products won't come out until late this year.
There's also Intel's move to make WiMax mobile to consider. Making the 802.16 standard mobile will take more time, mobile operators are building 3G networks as fast as possible, and purchases of the coming standard may be delayed by people waiting for the better one.
Unlike the situation with 802.11 we have no guarantee that 802.16 implementations will be fully backward-compatible. The gear out there now isn't even guaranteed to be compatible with itself.
So what will WiMax become?
There's a natural impatience to be found among people looking at the broadband wireless field who figure that "first in wins."
It doesn't have to be that way.
WiMax has many uses, some evolutionary and others revolutionary. It can deliver 802.11 networks backhaul to competitive fiber. It can give cellular operators backhaul as well, allowing them to extend their own broadband coverage. As a mobile technology it would deliver true broadband to cars, and its use on unlicensed frequencies could mean all this comes free.
What I would counter is patience. That's hard to do in a world that speeds along at the pace of Moore's Law. But sometimes you don't know what a technology will be used for until it's out.
And Bluetooth is just now hitting its stride...
"mobile operators are building 3G networks as fast as possible"
That one is hard to swallow. More like, mobile operators will build 3G networks if they are ever pressed to by the competition.Permalink to Comment