Unstrung has provided a hopeful article on Clearwire and Sprint’s possible reunion on the WiMAX front–apparently with help from Google and others. Analyst Eric Kainer provides a synopsis on some of the possibilities:
- When could the deal be announced? The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is one possibility. It takes place next week.
- Clearwire is “close to the finish line” in the deal with Sprint
- Google’s interest in Xohm may be because they feel they can reach more people sooner than via 700 MHz broadband.
- With Sprint’s financial troubles in the news and Clearwire in need of more funding, this may be the optimal time for a reunion
Let’s hope these plans come to fruition in the coming weeks, as postulated. This would be nothing but good news for WiMAX
in the US.… Read the rest
Comsys Communications and Signal Processing and Agilent Technologies Inc. have combined their interests in a collaboration that may help speed up product development on the WiMAX front. Agilent brings to the table the Agilent N8300A, a wireless networking test set that can be used to identify WiMAX-compliant chipsets. According to the press release, “with Agilent’s support of Comsys chipsets, modules based on Comsys ICs can be calibrated and tested with the greatest speed and efficiency.”
The Agilent N8300A has been noted for the accuracy and speed with which it functions as a test solution. Likewise, Comsys is a leading supplier of chipsets on the WiMAX standard. With the two companies working together, one can imagine an assembly line-style movement with WiMAX chipsets being designed, tested and perfected. The efficiency of this type of collaboration may in fact ultimately trickle down and contribute to the production of viable WiMAX-enabled products (and the speed with which developments take place). Given the important role the development of products and devices will play in the adoption of WiMAX, these types of partnerships–if executed correctly–can prove to be valuable to the industry as a whole.… Read the rest
The Kansas City Business Journal recently wrote a small but noteworthy article concerning WiMAX-deployment in the Kansas-city area. Kansas-based company CTC (Computers & TeleComm, Inc.) has recently received license for a block of bandwidth from the FCC and plans to use it to deploy WiMAX “well before Sprint’s XOHM project comes to town.”
Why do we care about WiMAX in Kansas City? For one thing, the fact that a much smaller company is taking up the project of offering WiMAX in their area reveals that there is in fact market interest in–and arguably a need for–the technology, not just for large cities like New York or San Francisco but perhaps especially in more rural areas like some parts of Kansas. There is also a lesson in this for Sprint as well: timing. The rather large task of deploying WiMAX nationwide is something that larger companies like Sprint have within their power to accomplish. However, this plan needs to be executed in a timely fashion in order to essentially grab the market while there is still significant demand (or even before competing technologies gain an advantage). Anecdotes like these show that the time is now. As a result there will hopefully be more rapid progress on the WiMAX/Xohm front in the coming months.
CORRECTION (2/6/08): CTC will be deploying primarily in the Kansas City area, not encompassing “rural areas.”
… Read the rest
According to Juniper Research, half of all mobile WiMAX subscribers will be located in Asia by the year 2013. This half will account for roughly 40 million subscribers concentrated mostly in Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Australia. The reason? It is believed that WiMAX’s growth will initially be spurred by areas where wired access was not a viable option. WiMAX’s ability to deploy quickly and efficiently in areas that were previously underserved will make it an attractive option for such countries and locales.
Top markets for 2013, according to the research, include the United States, Japan and South Korea. The caveats? Spectrum and devices. In order to reach a potential 80 million subscribers licenses must be acquired in a timely fashion. Furthermore, in order to utilize the WiMAX network, WiMAX-enabled devices will be an obvious necessity. Future projections on the success of WiMAX are hinged on these two elements. Therefore, as more spectrum is allocated and more devices are developed the likelihood of these future projections will continue to increase.… Read the rest
There’s been plenty of talk about how WiMAX could work wonders for device integration as well as inciting a new era for mobile devices. Now some evidence of that is becoming clearer in the gaming world with the first WiMAX-enabled gaming device. POSBRO, a Korea-based company, has developed the WiMAX, WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled G100. It features a four-inch LCD touchscreen with a slide-out gaming pad reminiscent of a somewhat sleeker and more compact Nintendo DS. The G100 will also utilize the Opera browser for a “PC-quality” internet experience. The device is set for release early this year in Korea and in late 2008 to early 2009 in the United States.
Needless to say the gaming industry is a huge one both in the United States and abroad. The mobile gaming industry in particular is poised for major growth, with revenue increasing from the millions to the billions, according to some projections. If anything, it is thought that the somewhat limited nature of mobile technology in North America (slower connections, lapses in connectivity etc.) are what has hindered some of the potential growth in this area. WiMAX and the network speeds and reliability associated with it would allow for the development of more complex mobile games with richer graphics and better features. Devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS have already made huge waves in the gaming industry without including particularly impressive web-based features. Devices like the G100 could set a new standard by raising the expectations of mobile gamers, thus realizing another niche WiMAX’s capabilities fall into. Simultaneously, the early introduction of WiMAX-enabled gaming devices would serve as a hook for the “YouTube generation” market; a market that plays a significant role in trend-setting and the successful adoption of new technologies.… Read the rest
With last week’s announcement of 4,000 job cuts, reductions in its retail footprint and the loss of three top executives, many wonder what all these changes with Sprint will mean for Xohm. To provide more background on the latest news, key executives Paul Saleh (chief financial officer), Tim Kelly (chief marketing officer), and Mark Angelino (president of sales and distribution) are all leaving Sprint in the wake up plummeting profits and subscriber losses for the company. These realities have defied Sprint’s hopeful financial estimates and lead to some criticism–criticism that has been somewhat on the rise since the company’s acquisition of Nextel a few years ago.
Though Xohm has not been specifically mentioned in conjunction with some of the changes that have been happening with Sprint, one can’t help but wonder if it will be affected. While there were hopes that Sprint would open the new year with a big bang on its promise to roll-out nationwide, buzz on their initial three-city soft launch has been on the low end. This has resulted in some doubts, as John Oram of Geek.com expressed, “Often Sprint makes good technology decisions, however their implementations are sorely lacking; e.g., Sprint’s promised WiMAX ‘savior solution’ that is going to be, at best, a tough row to hoe.” At the same time, however, there are no indications that Xohm will be coming to a halt being that Sprint has positioned the division alongside several services and agencies that will help make it happen.
Though these key movements among Sprint’s executives and other changes may suggest instability or reason for doubt, developments with Xohm still seem to be in order for 2008. Any announcements from the company suggesting otherwise remain to be seen.… Read the rest
WiMAX Day thinks so. Many have cited 2008 as the year for WiMAX. In fact, WiMAX topped several lists as a promising technology for the new year. The buzz about WiMAX may very well inspire more interest and more investments in the technology. WiMAX Day compares WiMAX to where GSM was ten years ago and estimates $30 billion in investments based on deployment of new networks, mergers and acquisitions, acquiring more spectrum, and other facets. According to the article:
“With all the spectrum up for grabs, we think 20 to 30 new WiMAX networks can pop up in the next year,” said an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York. “There’s no average size for investment, but some of these can enter the hundreds of millions [of dollars] to billions, gauging from recent RFPs issued to vendors.”
These figures do not include what Sprint is putting into WiMAX this year, or the KDDI-Intel venture in Japan. As more capital enters the WiMAX industry, some of the projected growth for this year may very well start to take shape. More details on the specific numbers for 2008 will be released by WiMAX Day later this year.… Read the rest
Some businesses in Texas will have more opportunities to sign up with WiMAX services as Airband Communications, Inc. announced that it will be expanding its reach and service by 50 percent in the Houston area. This expansion includes upgrading existing infrastructure and positioning new base stations around Northwest Freeway, Arena Towers, West Chase and Sugarland. Each base station covers a radius of three to five miles, thus allowing Airband to service more businesses in those areas. The company has been providing WiMAX services for Houston since 2001.
But this may very well not be the last time Airband comes up in WiMAX news. According to an article posted in Centre Daily, Airband is upgrading its Houston market as part of a larger project. With clients already located in Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, LA, Philadelphia,Phoneix and elsewhere, Airband is developing a strategy to provide services nationwide. As Airband expands its footprint, we may soon hear of businesses in other major cities gaining WiMAX as an option for their data and VoIP services.
… Read the rest
TMCnet reports on DiBcom, TeamCast and UDcast; three companies that are devoted to Mobile TV and the DVB-SH standard. All these companies are collaborating in the Mobile TV Without Limits Project and are combining their equipment and support to give an added push to Mobile TV both in Europe and eventually in the United States. For those that are less aware, Mobile TV is television service delivered to subscribers via mobile telecommunications networks, such as mobile phone carriers.
Interestingly enough, UDcast is also a proponent of WiMAX technologies, in addition to its work on Mobile TV. As standards related to Mobile TV continue to develop and testing extends to the United States, it will be interesting to see if WiMAX and the advantages it has to offer could eventually merge with this emerging technology.… Read the rest
Amid all the WiMAX demonstrations in cars and and the mobile flexibility WiMAX is set to offer, Chrysler has decided to jump on the bandwagon. At the North American International Auto Show, the company announced that it is working on a state-of-the-art in-vehicle communications system that will eventually feature wireless. The announcement was confirmed in a press release today.
Frank Klegon, Chrysler’s executive vice president of product development, explains the company’s thinking:
We recognize that customers are spending more and more time in their vehicles, and that the automobile is becoming much like an additional room in the home or office. To address this evolving reality, Chrysler vehicles will soon boast an unprecedented level of vehicle connectivity, delivering a wide array of important communications features directly to our customers, in their vehicles.
What does this mean for these future vehicle owners? If they thought features like in-vehicle DVD players, GPS and “hands-free” technologies like Bluetooth and voice command were great, what WIMAX can offer is incomparable. WiMAX-enabled vehicles will include internet search, voice-command e-mail access, streaming movies and music, file transfers, online shopping and more. So, practically speaking, while on a road trip your family could watch streaming video while you do an online search for local restaurants to check out at your next pit stop–all while keeping an eye on your office e-mail.
According to the press release plans are set for some of these features to be integrated in Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles “over the next few years.”
… Read the rest