Craig Mathias: WiMAX is dead

We all had a feeling this was true but Craig Mathias states it unequivocally in his article, WiMAX is Dead: “Clearwire’s recent (and completely unsurprising) announcement that the firm is going with LTE is the final nail in mobile WiMAX’s coffin. I have not been as vocal over the years on this topic as I should I have been, and only recently gave my first public presentation where I stated that, IMHO, mobile WiMAX is in decline and will eventually disappear entirely. Clearwire has been the poster firm for WiMAX since the company was founded, and I remember meeting a few years ago with all of the senior managers of the company in which they made their case as to why WiMAX would carry the day. They were, of course, dead wrong, and all of them are gone.”

WiMAX was overhyped: it turned out not to be WiFi on steroids, it did not have such a big lead over LTE, and it did not replace 3G. I believe that the main reason behind the demise of WiMAX is its fragmentation: unlike the GSM standard which is global, WiMAX operators around the world used different frequencies and as a result, mobile device manufacturers could not take advantage of the economics of scale that 3G provided. Now we are moving to LTE.

NOTE: WiMAX will survive  in rural areas where there are lousy cellular and DSL/cable/fiber connections.


  1. C.S. Puglio says

    Mobile WiMAX was no more overhyped than WCDMA and LTE. It was/is actually deployed in fewer bands than WCDMA and LTE worldwide – mainly the 2.6 GHz band.
    The simple fact is that it was a standard brought to the mobile radio market, by mostly outsiders, to a strongly dominated and consolidated market, whose players were not ready to cede their control of the market.
    The WiMAXers took an aggressive and combative stance but just couldn’t compete.
    BTW. LTE, as for instance mandated in the 800 MHz auction in Germany and currently being rolled-out, will do the rural areas also as so-called DSL replacement.