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3G/HSPA

BWA Takes the Honors

"Alternative 3G" kit from the likes of IPWireless Inc., Flarion Technologies, and Navini Networks Inc. has been tipped by Unstrung readers as the technology most likely to give the industry’s venture capitalists a winner in 2004.

In last month’s poll assessing the highs and lows of 2003 and predictions for the next twelve months, Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) and Wimax technology were deemed the runaway favorites to put a little oomph back into the wireless industry, winning 39 percent of the vote (see Fat Turkeys & Crystal Balls).

Such an opinion will surprise few industry watchers, given recent vendor activity in this space (see Nextel Gets Flashier With Flarion and IPWireless Strikes Double Deal) and the slow deployment of commercial 3G services based on Wideband-Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) technology (see Euro 3G's License Lunacies).

Second spot was grabbed by the emerging voice over wireless LAN market (VOWLAN), winning 10 percent of the vote. This view echoes the results of Unstrung’s October Poll (see Voice Over WLAN Gets the Nod) and an Unstrung Insider report last November stating that VOWLAN technology is becoming key to the marketing strategies of equipment vendors (see Voice Over WLAN Ups Stakes).

The Bronze Medal went to mesh networking (8 percent), closely trailed by 802.11x technology and the market for wireless security (6 percent and 5 percent, respectively).

As for 2003’s Fat Turkey award for overhype, the hullabaloo concerning carrier rollout of public hotspots won a 16 percent plurality, backing up analyst comments that the hotspot bubble may be about to burst (see Is the Hotspot Honeymoon Over? and Hotspot Profits On Hold: Gartner).

The Silver Turkey was shared by the much maligned Bluetooth technology and, rather surprisingly, CDMA2000 and all its 1x variants, each of which scored 14 percent of respondents’ votes.

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and friends will no doubt be left scratching their heads over such a prominent standing, especially in light of W-CDMA’s escape from a similar hammering. The European-backed 3G standard notched up only 5 percent on the poultry scale, on a par with skepticism over ultrawideband (UWB) technology (see UWB Standards Split?).

This month’s poll continues the hot air theme, attempting to establish the truth behind murmurs of a potential comeback in the cellular infrastructure market (see Wireless Kit Back From the Dead). Take the poll here and tell us whether you believe in comebacks.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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