A Bad Week For WiMax
1) Deutsche Telekom has chosen not to use fixed or mobile WiMAX in the foreseeable future to expand their ISP business to rural areas of Germany. They won't bid for 3.5GHz licenses.
2) Nokia has promised a WiMAX phone, but not until 2008.
3) With MIMO integrated into WiMAX technology (which is good), the costs of the CPE are going to exceed expectations (which is bad).
4) The Yankee Group released a major report saying that mobile WiMAX won't be available until 2008.
5) AT&T pulled out of a mobile WiMAX trials in which it was participating with other carriers. AT&T's explanation for leaving the Netherlands-based, multi-operator trials was that "the technology was too immature". According to Informa, AT&T says it will be another two years (2008) before 802.16e is mature enough in security terms to power service to enterprise customers.
Granted, I've skipped over some positive news in the Informa Telecoms-based newsletter. But we think that bringing WiMAX closer to reality would be a good thing for the industry. Wireless vendors, with real trials in the works, need to make sure their rhetoric somewhat matches the results carriers are getting with respect to costs, performance, availability, and standards-compliance. Promising WiMAX laptops by 2006 just sets up the technology for a backlash. (Did anyone really make such ludicrous claims? Click here.)
By going against the hype, Techdirt has sometimes caught flack from the much-better-funded bandwagon, however, it seems like the consensus from Deutsche, AT&T, and Yankee above is that we may optimistically see some mobile WiMAX by 2008. Of course, that's what we've been saying all along. Check out this 2003 headline where we wrote that because of lack of rigid standards, security, and roaming, we'd see "WiMAX - Ready For Prime Time... in 2008."