Mobile WiMax Plays Leapfrog


We’re already seeing a competition between mobile 3G, Wi-Fi Mesh, and Metropolitan WiMax as governments and service providers decide which will make best sense to the demographic they serve.

Among the above mentioned technologies, WiMax has been the slowest to role out and may end up being used in territories where wired networks have no reach because of its large coverage footprint’s ability to reach the last mile.

Surprisingly, its cousin, Mobile WiMax–a portable Internet service with QoS–is almost ready to hit the streets in South Korea where broadband uptake is highest in the world.

Known as WiBro the service by KT Corporation is set for launch in June 2006. In fact, traction on this technology has been so good the same is slated for commercial launch in Italy in Q1 2007. Korean technology supplier Samsung is capitalizing on the interest and has formed a technology partnership with Telecom Italia.

Taking a cautious stance, a news brief by NWT Consultant, Yong Kuan Loong in an IDA Singapore report said, “Critics may point to the fact that WiBro, being a home-grown Korean standard, will not enjoy the same international acceptance and economies of scale as WiMAX, touted by Intel to be ‘the global standard’.”

But the flip side shows that “fans of mobile WiMax–which is designed to provide broadband access over a radius of up to several miles–claim the technology will cover exponentially larger areas than today’s Wi-Fi networks and cost less to use than 3G mobile-phone services,” reported Wired News (In an article titled ‘A Word to the Wise on WiMax’).

Originally in Convergence TechPlanet by Benjamin Koe.


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