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Poll: Nationwide WiMax Unlikely in 2008

Only 22 percent of Unstrung readers believe the United States will have a nationwide WiMax network deployed next year.

That's one striking result from the latest Unstrung poll, following hard on the heels of the dissolution of the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) WiMax deployment deal. That separation is indicative of the chill breeze blowing through the market at the moment. (See WiMax: What Now? and Report: Sprint & Clearwire Split.)

In earlier reader polls on mobile WiMax, a more sizeable chunk of readers was confident about the technology's prospects. In April, 48 percent of respondents to one poll expected to see a network deployed in 2008. (See Mobile WiMax.)

Forty-three percent of voters in our latest poll still expect some kind of WiMax network to be rolled out in the U.S. in 2008, even if it is not nationwide. There's a sizeable minority of 29 percent, however, that expect that WiMax will face competition from long-term evolution (LTE) 4G technology soon enough. (See Verizon Goes LTE.)

The problems with the Sprint's XOHM deployment has also got readers thinking smaller about WiMax in other ways. Fifty-five percent now expect "younger, dedicated WiMax operators" to spearhead deployment in the U.S.

There is one ray of hope in the WiMax gloom and doom poll, however. Despite pulling back on expectations for the technology, 52 percent of respondents say they will use WiMax if it rolled out at "a reasonable price."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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