July 9, 2004 11:42 AM PDT

Report: WiMax won't take off soon

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WiMax in the wings

June 25, 2004
Despite a lot of recent attention, the wireless broadband technology WiMax is years away from wide use--and will take root in Europe and Asia before spreading to U.S. shores, according to a report.

More than 7 million subscribers worldwide will get wireless broadband access from carriers selling WiMax services by the end of 2009, according to a report released this week by research firm Parks Associates. Carriers will start with equipment using the fixed version of WiMax, which means the service will initially be available only to subscribers in homes and businesses.

WiMax is radio technology that promises two-way Internet access at several megabits per second, with ranges of several miles. Backers of the technology believe it can challenge DSL and cable broadband services because it offers similar speeds but costs carriers less to set up, since installation doesn't require roads to be torn up.

The up-and-coming technology is expected to be particularly useful at getting broadband service to remote areas economically or physically out of read of conventional wired networks. WiMax will probably find its first success in Europe and Asia, said Parks Associates senior analyst Michael Cai.

Companies selling WiMax products and services will find fertile ground in developing countries, where the need for voice and data services is hampered by poor wireline infrastructure.

WiMax has recently pulled ahead of competing wireless broadband technologies-in-development. The standard for fixed WiMax, 802.16-2004, was approved by an industry body late last month, which should spur development and sales of lower-cost equipment. However, testing and certifying that gear will take time. High-volume shipments of those products are not expected until 2006.

Another WiMax standard, 802.16e, is in development. It will allow mobile devices to send and receive data, promising unwired broadband connections beyond the home or office desktop.

3 comments

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Sounds Promising
hey, the idea sounds promising to me. If the connection speed doesnt depend on distance and the speeds can reach that of 6-10mbits, then I will be looking more into the technology as it appears.
Posted by KDoggMDF (25 comments )
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Bull Hocky
This chaps my butt. This is what happens when you have politics involved. Now it looks like the cable and phone giants have paid off the politicians in this country to hold off. The other news stories that preceded this one were all really hyped up to get with the program. Now overnight we are hearing about 5 years now.
Somebody got paid off to hold off.
Whats makes the other country's more important?
This for one makes me sick?
Signed: Redneck in the boonies that is stuck with dialup and highpriced satellite.
PUKE PUKE
Posted by domcelyea (14 comments )
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Just like Wi-Fi
...I remember reading several years ago that Wi-Fi was just a fad and probably would never take off.
Posted by bobtheman22 (21 comments )
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