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Summary:

Texas Instruments is not convinced that WiMax will replace DSL anytime, according to Infoworld. Joe Cruppi, a senior executive with the company chatted with the magazine and had to say about Intel’s claim of WiMAX as a DSL replacement. But Crupi is skeptical of these plans, […]

Texas Instruments is not convinced that WiMax will replace DSL anytime, according to Infoworld. Joe Cruppi, a senior executive with the company chatted with the magazine and had to say about Intel’s claim of WiMAX as a DSL replacement.

But Crupi is skeptical of these plans, citing as an example the Broadband Wireless Internet Forum (BWIF), an industry group that several years ago advocated the adoption of a different fixed-wireless technology for broadband Internet access. While BWIF made many of the same promises now being made about WiMax, the BWIF technology was never deployed commercially and the broadband Internet access market has since come to be dominated by DSL and cable. For example, in China, one of the world’s fastest growing markets for broadband Internet services, operators are not talking much about WiMax, he said.

Talking about WiMAX, I am conducting a panel on WiMAX down in Palo Alto for the MIT alumni gang. Fujitsu, Intel, Alvarion and several others are going to be there, and would report in complete detail what they have to say!

By Om Malik

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  1. But did BWIF get to chip designs and reference platforms? I’m not familiar enough with it to know. I guess my point is that, while we don’t know if WiMax will be a marketing or product success with the general public and businesses, it seems to me like WiMax is progressing forward technically.

  2. what is happening is that things are changing quite fast. i still believe this could be a great back haul technology and intel is overselling it to us

  3. Murari Srinivasan Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Om, agree with you that WiMAX could be a revenue machine as a backhaul technology. The business makes sense at the $750/T1 prices that carriers have to pay for cellular backhauls. As data grows, there will be need for multiple T1s to every cell site, and this starts to consume a significant share of a carrier’s OpEx.

    Btw, is your WiMAX forum in Palo Alto open to the public?

  4. murari

    thanks for the post. i am not sure if the panel is open to the public. i don’t think so but you should check the MIT alumni website

  5. Looks like it is open to the public:

    http://www.mitcnc.org/www/Events_List.asp

  6. Damn near everything related to WiMAX is a complete fraud. Period. eos.

    1) It will never provide a broadband experience at 20-30miles. The physics are obvious.

    2) It not even relevant on the backhaul scene due to two developments, a) WSP’s have bulk contracts with ILECs and the new rates show great deflation, b) MULTIPLEX ers, allow carriers to extract 2x-4x the normal T1 yield.

    Net-net the monthly cost for backhaul is only changing modestly, even though volume has exploded. This is just like whats happening on the retail side. Big surprise.

    So, if WiMAX is a complete fraud, why does it have momentum?

    Intel is in a colassol(sp?) bind, with the CPU having long ago entered “overshoot” mode, and after they got the ass’ kicked in the GPU market, they have to have some kind of motivation for future PC buyers to buy new PCs.

    Intel has 3 options:
    1) Continue with WiMAX and hope nobody asks any hard questions, and then fire somebody when it all blows up.
    2) Buy Flarion.
    3) Buy or work out a deal with Qualcomm.

    Option 3 is highly unlikely because QCOM knows they have Intel by the balls, and every dollar spent on WiMAX hype just motivates the boys in San Diego to dig their heels into the sand a little deeper.

    Option 2 is also not likely because the stakeholders aren’t ready to deal.

    Option 1, anybody familiar with the PC business knows that professional politicians are amatuers compared to the technology spin doctors.

  7. There is no reason to think that Flarion’s technology is fundamentally superior to whatever gets ratified as WiMax. After all, as the name implies, Flash-OFDM is just a flavor of OFDM (kind of like comparing UMTS and CDMA2000). The main differentiator for Flarion is that they are using FDD which makes it more practical for licensed wireless applications. The range of a base-station is all about the physics of propagation and user density. In the plains of Kansas you might get 30 miles. In New York City, you will get a quarter mile if you are lucky. That said, a quarter mile in NYC has the potential to bring in a lot more revenue than 30 miles of farmland.

  8. Actually the real point about Flarion is that it works now, and it was always designed for low latency, mobility, and a standard IP backend. Something WiMAX won’t achieve for 5yrs.

    What’s important for Intel is the control its future, and since Flarion is a “here and now” solution vs. WiMAX’s smoke and mirrors, the advantage should be obvious.

    WRT to 30m radius’, of course its all due to propagation, which is turn is a function of the carrier wave frequency and the power used to push the signal, plus modulation technique, etc.

    Your example about Kansas and NYC is intuitively obvious and thus irrelevant, because there’s no way in hell WiMAX or any other technology will ever be approved to operate/blast an omin-directional signal at the required power level.

    Thus WiMAX is a complete fraud, but until WS analysts learn some physics, the fraud will continue, because they are the current audience.

  9. Blephen Stoom Tuesday, October 5, 2004

    As suggested above, Wimax will fail because it’s not cost efficient for anything but rural use and carriers won’t adopt it because it doesn’t fit their (value added services, not dumb pipes) business model. As for alternative technologies, of notable absense in this discussion is ArrayComm, whose iBurst technology is currently deployed in 100+ square miles in Sydney Australia–where they are currently serving up a reliable dsl-type experience (on a fully loaded network–the acid test) using only 5 mhz of unpaired spectrum. btw: just by way of comparison, iBurst gets 4 bits per hz, flarion and navini ~ .4, ipwireless is crap and everyone who has tried it is furious. Their only claim to fame is that they are already an (orphan) standard (umts tdd), and 1xevdv/do get around .2 bits per hz. yipes ‘n yup, you heard right. Big Q isn’t even in the ball park. bottom line: the future belongs to technology that will a) work, and b) is cost efficient…prediliction based on any other parametres in this extremely arcane arena is just so much posturing before doomsday.

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