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Does anyone care about WiMax?

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Mr. Easy
Staff member
Just taking the temperature here. I stopped being interested in WiMax a few years ago when it became bogged down and seemed like it wasn't going anywhere.

The recent hoo-hah with the Xohm Baltimore rollout, nonwithstanding, I still haven't changed my opinion. I just don't see anyone being able to make the investment to put the infrastructure in place on a widespread basis.

It might find a niche in campus applications, or in countries that don't have an existing broadband infrastructure. But the pitch that it will be used to provide broadband to rural areas just doesn't wash. Maybe in the midwest prairies, but not in mountainous / hilly areas like I live in. And rural is always the last to be served because the population density and uptake just doesn't pay without some sort of subsidy.

I just don't ever see it being a viable alternative to cellular 3G (or 3.5 or 4). If cell carriers are having a hard time financing system wide rollouts of high speed data service, how the hell is someone else going to?
Isn't one of the reasons for WiMax being more economical that you can get greater coverage with fewer sites? I was told that you can stuff a lot more users on per antenna and each user would see more consistent and faster speeds than a 3G connection. Is my understanding incorrect?

As for being excited about it... I'm not that thrilled yet, but I figure that in due course of time, this may become a viable third pipe, given that most places have a "choice" between identically priced wired connections.
Isn't one of the reasons for WiMax being more economical that you can get greater coverage with fewer sites?
Supposedly. But my guess is, like most wireless technology, that those estimates are optimistic. And I'll bet that when nodes start to get loaded that more sites will need to be added to handle it.

I just can't see all the cell tower owners letting a competing technology onto their towers. And putting up a whole new set of towers will be very costly.

I just don't see how the economics work out.

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