Thursday, November 15, 2007

Will open WiMax disrupt the closed cellular networks?

As we have seen, WiFi and 3rd generation cellular networks are the primary options for mobile and portable connectivity today. But, WiFi covers only limited areas (though there are millions of them), and cell networks are closed to innovation and focused on a business model of selling voice and other expensive services rather than pure Internet connectivity.

One day, Google and others may force the cellular networks to open up, but it will be a struggle. Another possibility is that a new standard, WiMax, will provide viable wireless Internet access.

We have spoken of WiMax earlier, and the WiMax leader at this time seems to be Clearwire Communication led by industry veteran Craig McCaw. You can read of McCaw, Clearwire, and their possibly foundering negotiations to combine WiMax networks with Sprint in this Wall Street Journal article.

If WiMax sounds promising, you can follow standards and industry progress in blogs written by Glenn Fleishman and Steve Stroh both of whom know a lot about wireless technology and business. Fleishman has just written a positive review of Clearwire's test deployment of pre-standard mobile WiMax in its home city of Seattle.

Do you plan to subscribe to either Stroh's or Fleishman's blog? What industry blogs do you subscribe to?