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ThinkEquity Bangs WiMax Drum

11:10 AM -- If you were at the Mobile World Congress last week you may have gotten the sense that LTE is the only way forward for 4G and WiMax is a bit of a dead duck for wireless broadband.

That, however, is completely not the mindset of the folks at ThinkEquity LLC . These financial analysts are happy clappers for WiMax.

As well as predicting a renewed Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)-Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) partnership for months now, the analysts also claim that WiMax will go large in 2008.

"WiMax is now at a level of consumer readiness that we believe is very impressive and can scale to millions of users in 2008 and beyond with very inexpensive equipment, requiring no operator subsidies if necessary, and not so economically burdensome if subsidized anyway," writes Anton Wahlman in a research note.

"There are many public and private WiMax plays out there on the chip, systems, and other levels, and we like many of them because they are exposed to what we consider to be an underestimated market in terms of its global impact with probably billions of users in coming years as it becomes the "Mobile DSL" for the next few billion people."

This would give WiMax a head start over LTE for sure. Personally, however, I'm not so sure there is such a gaping divide between WiMax and LTE anyway. The standards are mostly based on the same underlying radio technology and vendors like Picochip are already suggesting that software defined radio could allow operators to support both or change to LTE in the future anyway.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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