Make or Break for WiMax?

3:00 PM -- Hey there, Broadbanders!

This is a big year for WiMax as international standards bodies make decisions that could seal the technology's fate as a legitimate 4G technology, or not. Last week, we talked about the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) working party that gave WiMax an important recommendation to be approved as an IMT-2000 radio technology. (See WiMax Goes Official and WiMax Gets ITU Standards Boost .)

In October, the World Radio Conference 2007 will also make some significant decisions on spectrum bands – currently used by WiMax and other wireless broadband technologies – that could be suitable for mobility.

One of the agenda items for the WRC is whether the 3400 to 3800 MHz spectrum band should be identified as an International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) band, which would allow for mobility. The U.K. regulator Ofcom thinks that it should and published its opinion this week, which will be submitted to the WRC. The nod from Ofcom is an important endorsement for mobility in the 3.6GHz frequency.

WiMax stats
Research firm Maravedis Inc. tracks 103 WiMax operators in 36 countries and has published the latest market stats. As of the first quarter 2007, there were 950,000 WiMax (including proprietary technologies) subscribers, of which 300,000 were using WiMax certified technology. The U.S., Spain, and Australia were the top three, accounting for 500,000 subscribers. In 2006, WiMax service revenues totaled $322 million.

Keeping a hand in
While Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) won't build its own WiMax base station, the Swedish giant is still keeping a hand in the technology through network management deals. (See Pipex Picks Ericsson for WiMax.)

What's with 700MHz?
Confused by the latest U.S. wireless spectrum auction. Here's a neat summary.

NC breakdown
Things are getting heated over North Carolina's municipal broadband plans.

One solar repeater per child
Another interesting community mesh development.


— The Staff, Unstrung

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