User devices gearing up for WiMAX

Based on announcements made recently by Intel, we should be seeing WiMAX integrated into laptops in the next generation of Centrino chips in 2008 and WiMAX in digital cameras and handheld games consoles in 2009.Based on announcements made recently by Intel, we should be seeing WiMAX integrated into laptops in the next generation of Centrino chips in 2008 and WiMAX in digital cameras and handheld games consoles in 2009. This adds to a growing list of other devices, such as PC cards and mobile phones, that either already or will very soon provide WiMAX interfaces. Whether or not WiMAX will be available in these types of devices by the dates Intel is stating, the wireless industry certainly seems to be gearing up user devices for WiMAX.

The actual proliferation of WiMAX-equipped user devices, though, will depend highly on the magnitude of mobile WiMAX network installations. Without WiMAX networks, what good are the WiMAX user devices to anyone? Sprint is certainly doing a fair share of the work by installing a nationwide mobile WiMAX network in the U.S. The wireless industry news is also dotted every day with other cities around the globe that are in the process of installing and pilot testing mobile WiMAX solutions. This leaves a pretty good impression that WiMAX is coming in a big way, and we’ll probably be seeing a large number of WiMAX-equipped user devices soon.

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Jim Geier provides independent consulting services to municipalities deploying wireless networks and is Principal Consultant of Civitium (www.civitium.com).

Comments

  1. Usually see news of wimax installs in Europe, Asia or Africa, outside of Sprint very little seems to be happening in the US. Most large cities going wireless are going with wifi. Seems to me wimax would be much cheaper (less equipment required) and provide better and faster access speeds. With the new wimax devices coming maybe the tide will finally turn to wimax.

  2. Kevin Kapich says:

    We all know WiMAX would be an optimal solution, but the ecosystem is not ready to support the change. Point in case, Clearwire provides a WiMAX + CPE solution in the Northwest. After IPO, Clearwire is not looking too good. In order for WiMAX to truly take off, WiMAX standards need to promulgate the market and become highly coupled with mobile devices. I wonder if Clearwire is the Ricochet of WiMAX, would be interesting to see a comparison case study on Clearwire of today and Metricom (“Ricochet”) of yesterday and to identify any corollaries that suggests similarities.

    Good piece on WiMAX, although before WiMAX truly takes off (a) consumers will need to become heavily educated; (b) ecosystem needs to evolve; and (c) heavy industry cooperation will need to blast off. Another interesting research question, what happens to the power of a mobile device that is coupled with WIFI + WIMAX + Bluetooth running on top of a cellular platform? Seems to be a scary combination. The device may need to run three separate lithium batters + solar panels :)!