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Fixed WiMAX emerges from Slough of Despond (official)

It's progress

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WiMAX World Yankee Group's VP Berge Ayvazian gave the analyst company's summary of how far WiMAX has inched along the Hype Cycle - that's The Gartner Group's Hype Cycle.

And it's a tale of two WiMAXii.

Ayvazian said that mobile WiMAX was still stuck in the Slough of Despond. Actually, according to Gartner's Hype Cycle (this really exists), it's called the "Trough Of Disillusionment", and for a successful technology that's the brief resting place where it lies catching its breath, once it's responded to the "Technology Trigger" and hared off up the initial "Peak of Expectation".

"It's way down the 'Slope of Enlightenment'," warned Ayvazian.

Better news for fixed WiMAX, he said. That was well clear of the Slough, by now. In the far distance, he implied, it might even be able to see the end of its journey: the celestial city Gartner calls the "Plateau of Productivity".

But there's no room in the Gartner Chart for the fate that befalls most technology hypes: what we might call the "Watery Grave".

Gartner's Hype Cycle Chart

With mobile WiMAX, they haven't even started having talks about specifications, just talks about talks about specifications - so it's some way off before it can lay down to nurse its bunions.

Nevertheless, that didn't stop Ayvazian being bullish about all this - scarily so. He prowled the room reeling off dodgy analogies (the iPod was the fastest growing consumer device of all time - but it isn't - that's the DVD Player) and dodgy facts (municipal governments "have money to spend right now" - when most of them are broke). Ayvazian boldly predicted that municipal wireless networks would magick up "the next wave of business models."

Then he paused and as afterthough, reminded us,

"... and in the end users will ultimately have to come to the table as well."

Nice of him to remember us. ®

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