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Saturday, September 24, 2005

WiMAX – Yet To Take Off

Sometime back we covered while writing about emerging new technologies like WiMAX that the reality , is that Wimax is slow to reach out to the masses. WiMax and its reach is overhyped. The Economist noted few months back that the actual number of WiMax devices on the market is precisely zero.The hype is now giving way to much scepticism about the technology's prospects. WiMax may be used by telecoms firms in rural areas, to plug holes in their broadband coverage. In urban areas WiMax does not make sense, since it will be uneconomic compared with cable and DSL. It is also too expensive for use in the developing world, since early WiMax access devices (which must be fixed to the outside of a building) will cost around $500; other forms of wireless link, such as mobile-phone networks, will remain a cheaper way to connect up remote villages. Despite good amount of hype behind WiMAX , big budget backings with stellar names pushing the technology, as cellular operators roll out "third-generation" networks, Bill Alpert points out that it is still trying to get out of the testing lab. Analysts point out that by the time WiMAX is ready to challenge 3G in 2008, says Sagawa, 3G will be faster, cheaper and selling in volumes of more than 300 million units a year. With several telecom operators reportedly getting bruised with 3G Rollouts and NTT DoCoMo already talking about4G demonstrations the market is in for an interesting turning point. Sitting in Asia , supposedly the hotbed of telecom developments and fresh from a tour of north asia – including korea- I can definitely say that WiMAX has a very long way to go before popular adoption – its not to say anything about the potential of technology but its spread- who knows if the US were to adopt this and leapfrog the cellular technology wave that it missed out largely to Asia.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"