WiMAX, at least in Silicon Valley, is like the proverbial Loch Ness Monster — it’s out there somewhere. We’ve heard about it, we’ve talked about it, but we’ve never actually used it. Meanwhile the rest of the planet, especially the emerging markets, are already happily dabbling with WiMAX. Well, that changes today. Clearwire has announced a new initiative called the WiMAX Innovation Network that will bring 4G wireless services to the Silicon Valley campuses of companies including Google and Intel using core Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) infrastructure equipment from Cisco.
Why the launch? Developers, developers, developers! They will be able to get ahold of WiMAX in a roughly 20-mile radius of Silicon Valley later this summer, ahead of a Bay Area-wide commercial launch set for 2010. Will this “innovation” push be enough to drum up excitement for WiMAX, especially now that LTE is beginning to gain traction? Unlikely! Clearwire and WiMAX seem to have little or no chance of beating Metro PCS, T-Mobile USA, AT&T and Verizon.