Oddities In Headline Writing — Focusing On The Wrong Issue

from the wimaxian-obsession dept

Sometimes we wonder about the headlines the press comes up with. This morning, we wrote about the interesting move by Nextel to offer UMTS-TDD wireless broadband. That story had almost nothing to do with WiMax technology, the often overhyped wireless technology that still doesn’t exist. However, Mobile Pipeline’s headline reads: Nextel To Launch Non-WiMAX Wireless Broadband Trials. In other words, to them, the story is that this technology isn’t WiMax. What’s funny, of course, is that no wireless broadband technology launched today is WiMax, because WiMax equipment still doesn’t exist — so any wireless broadband launched today won’t be WiMax. However, it looks like Mobile Pipeline (which often does have good stories) is suffering from WiMax obsession in its headlines, as it used nearly an identical headline last week, when T-Mobile in Europe also decided to use UMTS-TDD. Once again, the story has almost nothing to do with WiMax, but the headline points to the non-WiMax part as being the story. If anything, the headline would have been more appropriate a few weeks ago when BellSouth announced they were going to offer up WiMax that wasn’t really WiMax. In that case, the story really is that it isn’t WiMax (despite BellSouth’s press release to the contrary). Instead, Mobile Pipeline’s headline was that BellSouth was launching “pre-WiMax”, which really isn’t accurate, either. They’re launching a proprietary solution that the tech provider (Navini) hopes may be upgradeable to mobile WiMax a few years from now. So, if you have one technology that’s getting traction (UMTS-TDD) and one that doesn’t exist (WiMax), why do announcements involving the first get announced as not the second? When companies actually do launch WiMax, will they run headlines saying it’s not UMTS-TDD?

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