While everyone remains excited about WiMax, despite its consistent rollout delays in the US, a new technology may be adopted instead, leaving WiMax behind to be put to sleep. This other 4G technology is called Long-Term Evolution (LTE) - a GSM-based standard that has (and is expected to evolve) a greater bandwidth capacity than the TD-CDMA-based WiMax. Both technologies are based on the same 802.16 standard but LTE boasts speeds in the hundreds of mbps while WiMax only facilitates data transfer in the tens of mbps. Additional advancements to both technologies are expected to yield even greater capacities.

Performance aside; what does competition in the mobile data market mean to the industry? Well, with WiMax ever-so-slowly rolling out and LTE still on the way, WiMax does have the upper hand, albeit in a limited way. To LTE’s advantage, the standard is being adopted by equipment vendors (See: Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson) and can be easily piggybacked off of the upgrades previously necessitated by WiMax. Also, GSM more widely used than CDMA and Verizon, a CDMA network, is already making changes to accommodate LTE. Odds are being stacked against WiMax. The economy may be the final nail in the coffin for WiMax which is really Sprint’s 4G baby. Sprint’s financial turmoil, despite support from Google, Comcast, and Time Warner et al., could delay rollouts long enough to let LTE gain even more footing. It is undoubtedly possible for these similar technologies to coexist, but if Sprint can’t push hard and fast enough, there would be no cause for surprise when LTE swiftly moves in and dominates the market.

For now it will be interesting to observe business, consumer, equipment manufacturer, and carrier adoption of both technologies. As things progress, we will have consider more carefully what impact widespread high-bandwidth wireless data networks will have on broadband in the US.

Share To:

David Pastore

Post A Comment:

0 comments so far,add yours