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Raining on the WiMAX parade

30 января 2007
In this age of fleeting fashions and passing fads, it is good to know that some things do not change. If nothing else, we can orient ourselves according to our relationship to such immovable objects or immutable beliefs (what Bill Clinton used to refer to as "navigating by a fixed star"). In evidence: Skepticism about the commercial potential of WiMAX. We have written several times about how, for about two years or so beginning in 2003, you could not find a reference to WiMAX which did not have the adjective "over-hyped" attached to it. There is no doubt that WiMAX advocates exaggerated, as advocates often do, the speed and ease with which WiMAX would come into its own, but there was an air of intensity and vehemence to the WiMAX skeptics' campaign which was disproportional to the advocates' provocative assertions. As is often the case, there were many reasons for the concerted effort to belittle WiMAX's promise. Let us mention but two here: The fact that Intel was promoting the technology, while becoming the Yankees of technology--resented and envied for its success, power and money; and the fact that Qualcomm's effort to promote its own technology by having the company's leaders and PR people issue a string of ever-more-ludicrous prognostications about WiMAX's shortcomings.


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