Changing Opinions On WiMAX

In an article over at TV, Will Workman revisited his year-old opinions about WiMAX, concluding that like March, 802.16 came in like a lion, but out like a lamb. After further thought, Workman has found a bunch of holes in the publicized WiMAX story. Kudos to Workman for being willing to scratch below the surface, and question his own conclusions. But the new conclusions are essentially much of what we have been saying here for some time: WiMAX is going to arrive later than expected, there are other solutions that will also progress during that time, interoperability is going to be a big hurdle to overcome, unlicensed spectrum is going to prove to be a problem except in cases with directional antennas, and expensive customer premise installs will keep WiMAX in an enterprise niche for some time. But despite all these negatives, we still actually like WiMAX, but just in the context for which it was designed: point-to-point backhaul, and point-to-multipoint enterprise ISP. A couple of analysts have chastised Workman for joining an “anti-Intel” camp, and suggest that instead of Intel-bashing, he should evaluate the technology on its merits – but that’s exactly what he did! He didn’t look like an Intel-lover a year ago when he thought WiMAX was the next coming, and he doesn’t look like an Intel-basher now that he has re-positioned.

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