Feeds

One and a half cheers for WiMAX

Europe cautious over next-gen wireless tech

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

WiMAX - the broadband wireless wide area networking technology - may fail to take off in Europe because of unresolved regulatory and technical standards issues. In contrast to the enthusiasm from leading suppliers such as Intel, and early success in north America, delegates at a conference in London this week struck a cautious note.

FierceWireless's Stephen Wellman, chairman of the WiMAX Forum conference, said enthusiasm for the technology from delegates was subdued - "It's a case of one and a half cheers for WiMAX."

To date there have been no commercially successful broadband wireless plays to date, he said. "Despite the hype around the technology it's unclear if WiMAX will change that." Spectrum licensing issues need to be resolved in order for WiMAX to spread outside North America to more tightly regulated markets in Europe, where users are more wary of using pre-standard technology with few guarantees of interoperability.

WiMAZ also faces commercial pressures from 3G networks and long-range WiFi technology (802.11n). "Improvements in these two technologies could act as a potential pincer removing the need for mobile WiMax. The use of WiMax for backhaul in the fixed broadband market is a much stronger proposition," Wellman said.

He made his comments when summing up the main conclusion of the WiMAX Forum to delegates at the larger Wireless LAN Event in London on Wednesday.

The forthcoming availability of phones that integrate GSM and WiFi technology and Voice over WiFi networks more generally were key themes of this year's Wireless LAN Event.

Dean Bubley, founder of Disruptive Analysis, was enthusiastic about the potential for the technology in corporate environments, although he remained sceptical about the market potential for Voice over WiFi in hotspots .

"Voice over WiFi works better in the enterprise because you can integrate it with IP PBXs and use it to avoid unnecessary cellular charges. 3G doesn't work well indoors. But operators can use WiFi to piggyback mobile services on corporate networks with the customer paying backhaul charges, so the technology is a play for service providers too," he said.

Jay Saw, manager of public wireless LAN at T-Mobile, described WiFi as a complementary technology to 3G. He played down suggestions that Voice over WiFi might adversely affect operator voice traffic revenues. "Voice over WiFi happens in hotspots but it’s a niche market," he said. ®

Related stories

Intel launches WiMAX chip
T-Mobile steams in with WiMAX, Wi-Fi train
WiMAX summit: 'Standards-plus' could harm 802.16 roadmap
WiMAX hype peaks
WiMAX turns the screw on 3G
UK Wi-Fi hotspot users offered free Skype calls
US to embrace VoIP
Intel preps chip to link 3G, Wi-Fi networks

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.