Light Reading
Networking giant says WiMax could rival 3G, but won't be mainstream for years

Cisco Weighs WiMax

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
2/1/2005
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) says wireless metropolitan area specification WiMax could potentially be a challenger to 3G cellular networks for some high-speed data applications, but expects mass market acceptance of the technology is up to four or five years away.

The networking firm, which is a member of the WiMax Forum, has been fairly quiet on its plans for WiMax thus far. But, speaking to Unstrung on Friday, Cisco's Ann Sun, senior manager for wireless and mobility, shone a light on how the firm sees the market developing, while mostly sidestepping the question of what actual products Cisco will bring to the party [ed. note: company policy, dontcha know].

"WiMax now is like where we were with WiFi in 1999... with the standards just coming in place" says Sun.

Cisco's predictions about the adoption curve for the overall WiMax market are similar to what others have already laid out. Sun expects to see initial fixed-wireless WiMax products -- using the 802.16-2004 (née 802.16d) specification -- on the market at the end of 2005 or early 2006.

Initial mobile WiMax products -- using the 802.16e specification -- should hit the market in 2006 or 2007. Mobility and cheaper customer equipment should help to drive consumer interest, hopefully leading to mass market uptake by 2009 or 2010.

Cisco's Sun envisages fixed-wireless WiMax products being used as a cable or DSL replacement, mainly in "underserved rural areas in developed countries or in developing markets." Sun cites Brazil as an example of a developing country -- with a fairly large and diverse land mass -- that could use WiMax for wireless infrastructure purposes.

Mobile WiMax, however, seems to be the technology that interests Sun more. The 802.16e mobile update to WiMax should allow users to move between basestations at autmobile speeds, opening up some new possibilities for data, multimedia, and even VOIP applications.

"That's very compelling from a data application perspective," says Sun. "Our thinking is that it could potentially challenge some of these 3G [cellular] deployments."

And, as she notes, unlike the initial versions of the 802.11 wireless LAN standard, the WiMax spec already implements security and quality-of-service technology, which means that it could be suitable for more than just consumer applications from the get-go.

Sun regards WiMax and wireless LAN networking as complementary technologies. In fact, while talking about using the two networking mechanisms together, Sun drops a hint about the direction that Cisco itself may be going with the technology.

Cisco already has a product called the 3200 mobile access router that can be used for wireless access that hands off between different network types.

Sun suggests this could be used in municipal network deployments to switch between WiMax and wireless LAN networks. And this is not the only way the 3200 could be deployed: The box could potentially also use WiMax as a backhaul mechanism for WiFi users in a train and other mobile environments.

Of course, last November, Cisco CTO Charles Giancarlo left many thinking that backhaul was about all WiMax was good for, at least in Cisco's eyes (see Cisco CTO Whips WiMax).

"Other than providing the backbone infrastructure that may be behind any WiMax deployment, Cisco is not invested in WiMax," Giancarlo told the Next Generation Networks conference in Boston. "DSL and cable are [already] there, and they are much more deterministic."

We should note that after Giancarlo made his comments, some analysts suggested that he was mainly talking about WiMax's use -- or rather uselessness -- as a home networking technology.

Whatever. Cisco seems to have mellowed out on its approach to WiMax a little since then. Although, Giancarlo and Sun are essentially saying the same thing, Cisco won't be pushing to deploy WiMax in areas that already have cable or DSL in place.

For Cisco, metropolitan area mobility seems to be the market where things start to get really interesting.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
self2
50%
50%
self2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:27:57 AM
re: Cisco Weighs WiMax
Buy one Greg Raleigh company was enough for Cisco.
enderwiggan
50%
50%
enderwiggan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:27:44 AM
re: Cisco Weighs WiMax
And of course Cisco looks to the potential Wimax revolution from the standpoint of a network hardware provider. Ever blinkered, they miss the idea of VOIP, which will without doubt result in high volume low cost voice calls over a high bandwidth network. Should they realise this, the growth potential for the company would be huge. Come on Cisco, you have one market, now here's an emerging market ripe for the picking and all before other potential hardware providers get a foot in the door!
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed