The WiMAX wave is cresting… just ask the WiMAX folks

WimaxcesmotorolaxohmsprintAs I mentioned prior, a large part of the CES buzz was around WiMAX. While an infrastructure rollout of this magnitude is sure to take time, the folks behind WiMAX aren’t letting that dampen their enthusiasm. Mari Silbey covered a panel discussion on the topic that had participants like Intel, Sprint, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. She has part one of the conversation at Media Experiences 2 Go all summarized to hold us over until the second part:

  • Folks feel that WiMAX is coming to town regardless of the viability of Sprint’s Xohm service, although if it goes bye-bye, I’m wondering who will pick up the WiMAX torch from a carrier perspective.
  • A unique cost model could appeal for those thinking 3G on monthly basis is too expensive and inflexible.
  • Hardware is separate from the service, differing again from today’s 3G options.

My thoughts: it’s an exciting wireless technology and I expect it to become as ubiquitous and pervasive as WiFi is today. The real question is: when? We’ll see WiMAX ready devices and peripherals as early as the second quarter of this year. I’m wondering where I’ll have to go to find coverage or how long I’ll have to wait to enjoy longer signal ranges and higher bandwidth. That’s something I don’t have to worry about today as my most recent 3G purchase with Verizon Wireless provides a signal nearly everywhere I go.

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