WiMAX Services Move Step Closer to Deployment - InformationWeek

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9/2/2008
06:19 AM
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WiMAX Services Move Step Closer to Deployment

There has been a great deal of talk recently about the advantages that WiMAX networks offer small and medium businesses. However, the reality is no carrier has rolled out compliant networks and no third party services have been announced for them either. A handful of vendors are expected to soon fill those voids.

There has been a great deal of talk recently about the advantages that WiMAX networks offer small and medium businesses. However, the reality is no carrier has rolled out compliant networks and no third party services have been announced for them either. A handful of vendors are expected to soon fill those voids.Sprint Nextel, which has been leading the US WiMAX parade, plans to roll out it service in Baltimore later this month. A handful of third parties are working with the carrier to deliver location based services to customers: uLocate Communications will provide its WHERE platform and friend finding application Buddy Beacon, so customers can be connected to their favorite people, places and things.

Yelp Inc. will supply local business reviews and user reviews for services ranging from restaurants to doctors.

Eventful Inc. will deliver listings of local events displayed in map views, so they can determine their proximity.

Topix LLC will provide local news summaries, with the option to read full stories and others at its site.

NAVTEQ will supply customers with real-time local traffic and commuter updates.

AccuWeather will deliver three-day weather forecasts.

Google Inc. will contribute local search capability along with Google Maps.

Openwave Systems Inc. will provide the location platform that enables XOHM partners to use location to provide valuable services.

Autodesk Inc. will provide a standards-based interface and geospatial services, such as addresses, ZIP code and city/state information.

WiMAX has been touted as a less costly, more effective alternative than Wi-Fi can cellular networks. Deployments have been slowed by a lack of network equipment and support from carriers.

Sprint has been the primary promoter in the US. While its third party support is noteworthy, the companys service roll out has been moving slowly. The carriers cellular business has been hamstrung, which has resulted in turnover at the top of the organization and questions about its long term commitment to WiMAX. As evidence, the only other cities scheduled to have WiMAX services by the end of the year are Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Sprints third parties supporters expect WiMAX to gain traction, but its evolution has still been moving slowly.

How much interest do you have in WiMAX services? What would a carrier have to do to convince you to deploy them? Are you concerned about its slow rollout?

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