WiMax Gaining Some Mainstream Momentum

by: Mark Evans

It looks like Wi-Max is starting to gain some momentum - at least in the eyes of the mainstream media judging by a feature story in BusinessWeek featuring Intel executive VP Sean Maloney.

The story looks at the Wi-Max industry and the role that Intel is playing to promote the wireless technology as an alternative to fiber. BusinessWeek suggests that $13-billion will be spent by telecom carriers on Wi-Max over the next few years to build 300 networks.

WiMAX technology and businesses built upon it still have a lot to prove. But once these networks are finished, WiMAX will be poised to deliver video entertainment and voice telephone services that will compete with traditional telecom and cable-television services. It also will extend the range of wireless e-mail and Web-surfing services in mobile computers. Beginning next year, stores will stock new laptop computers equipped with Intel’s WiMAX-capable chips, code-named Echo Peak.

BusinessWeek’s bullishness about Wi-Max is clearly good news for suppliers such as Intel, Motorola, Samsung and Nortel. The question is whether this bullish approach is realistic and whether consumers, who have embraced DSL and cable service, will do the same with Wi-Max.