Its a Mobile WiMAX World


Wimax World — the conference touting all thing WiMAX — starts later this week in Boston and already companies are sending out their announcements. Milpitas-based WiMAX equipment startup Aperto Networks said this morning that it has adapted its hardware to include mobile WiMAX.

Up to this point the seven-year-old company, which raised $94 million from a long list of investors, had been selling fixed WiMAX equipment. It was one of the first companies to get its products certified. Now that mobile WiMAX is getting closer to market, it makes sense to include the mobile standard.

Other WiMAX equipment makers like Motorola decided to skip fixed WiMAX with the thought that mobile WiMAX will be the dominant standard in the long run. Motorola’s Senior Vice President and CTO of Wireless Broadband Networks, Dan Coombes says “mobile WiMAX can do everything fixed can do but better.” Coombes says that the company will have some demos at the show this week.

Coombes also gave his take on muni WiFi vs WiMAX networks: “The metro WiFi systems will get people interested in these services, but as the networks become too congested, people will move to licensed WiMAX. A certain class of users will be willing to pay for this service.” We wonder what that means for the $20 subscriber fee planned for some of Earthlink’s WiFi networks?


Jesse Kopelman

I think most agree that if WiMax gear sells well there will be an incentive to develop unlicensed gear around 802.16 due to economies of scale (no different than GSM at all the different bands). I question whether 802.11n will ever really take off as unlicensed 802.16 (with support for MIMO) would be far superior. I think unlicensed MAN will continue to have a bright future, it will just begin to shift away from WiFi to a technology that looks a lot like WiMax. It wouldn’t even be that hard to do dual band equipment that roamed through the licensed bands of 2.3 and 2.6 GHz and the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band . . .


I’ve wondered what Wimax would do to Wifi networks since the Philly project began. I keep holding the view that Wifi isn’t designed for WAN coverage, whereas Wimax is. Why Wifi when Wimax is a couple years away.

Ok, I know… cost and immediate availability and hope for those without spectrum.

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