WiMAX continues to lose it’s battles, this time it is to WiFi.
Alvarion, known to be the most extensive customer in WiMAX, has turned its attention to WiFi and is in the talks to sell its now former partner, WiMAX. According to the Globes, the Israeli company plans to sell its WiMAX unit to Fortissimo Capital, a private equity fund which is controlled by Yuval Cohen. There was also an interest in the WiMAX by a firm in India as well as a U.S. investment fund, however Fortissimo Capital is the only active plan as of now.
The news should come as no surprise for Alvarion had announced its plans for WiMAX, including the possibility of a sale last fall. Not to mention, it’s a reminder of how WiMAX, which was once an equal alternative to Long Term Evolution, is now loosing to LTE. Even at it’s height, WiMAX had failed to make the transition into the mobile broadband space, led by Intel and Samsung. For Alvarion, sale of its WiMAX systems grew too slowly to drive expansion. But the actual fall of WiMAX came when it lost the race to remain the provider of 4G technology to LTE, causing Alvarion to lose resources to either escape or upgrade to LTE, leaving two options: DAS or WiFi, to which it chose WiFi.
Analysts hope that Fortissimo could boost the WiMAX unit by merging it with its own Telrad Networks subsidiary. However, this may not work, since Telrad hasn’t been doing too well either. Still, it doesn’t hurt to keep fingers cross.
Although WiMAX has gained some momentum in Africa and the Middle East, it continues to lose fuel in the U.S.
Earlier this month, AT&T announced their discontinuation with their WiMAX through high speed Internet. Starting January 2013, customers whom have been using WiMAX via high speed Internet will have to find an alternative service. The top cellular company in the nation will stop offering WiMAX to new customers come March 30. The sudden abandonment is due to AT&T desire to focus more on wireless broadband services, such as Long Term Evolution technology. In light of this change, AT&T is gaining new share plans for their mobile devices as well as Mobile Hot Spot and other compatible USB modem devices.
However, AT&T was not the first network to drop WiMAX. The fall of WiMAX started with Verizon Wireless and their victory over Clearwire, an Internet WiMAX provider that serviced at least 42% subscribers with their 4G LTE. In a similar vein, Clearwire has recently turned on WiMAX as well, making a deal for Sprint to take over with LTE. Sprint had once been a WiMAX provider but the provider unfortunately experienced a serious loss due to obtaining WiMAX. Now it is taking up LTE in hopes it can recover.
On a lighter note, there is some hope for WiMAX in the U.S. with FreedomPop, a recently launched home internet service provider where customers can use their service for free or as low as $10 per month, depending on the amount of data they use. FreedomPop seeks to replace cable modem with free or low costing WiMAX service using the FreedomPop Hub Burst. The Burst is a router in which you can connect 10 devices at once to it using WiFi or Ethernet cables. Not to mention, Moldova, an Eastern European country, announced last week that it would be accepting applications for WiMAX licenses.
WiMAX may be losing fuel in the U.S., but there is still hope for a comeback.… Read the rest
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