This Week in WiMax
Is WiMax's 'portability' a bigger lure for businesses than mobility?
When WiMax providers talk about the technology’s attributes, cellular-like mobility is usually near the top of the list. But for many business users WiMax’s simple portability --the ability to pick up and move your broadband connection -- may prove to be a more powerful economic and operational lure, the kind of money-saving, hassle-free attribute that gets CIOs interested and gets POs signed. That is some of the thinking that emerged from our latest report, something we call the "Sidecut Reports WiMax Business Deployment Guide."
The qualifying statement underlying such a theory: Since WiMax services are so new, there simply aren't enough business users yet to get any empirical data to prove such a point. But if Sprint is already rushing out workgroup versions of the innovative Clear Spot portable WiFi/WiMax router, that means we aren't the only ones who see a potential market for cheap, easy-to-deploy bandwidth on demand. For small businesses who may need to move around, or workgroups and branch operations of larger enterprises, having Internet access that isn't tied to a wire in the wall seems like something to kick the tires on, at the very least. And with day passes or no-contract options, WiMax services from Clearwire allow business users to do just that without signing up for a two-year deal.
Maybe later this fall and next year, when Clearwire finally launches services in true-commuter cities like Chicago and New York, we'll see business uses that embrace WiMax's ability to support cellular-like connectivity. Or maybe we'll see that emerge if and when we ever get a WiMax phone here in the U.S. But for right now, it seems like the ability to pick up your broadband and move it across the cube, across the hall, across campus or across town might be the most compelling reason for businesses to give WiMax a try.
Need to know more about Clearwire and WiMax? My Clearwire NTK report costs less than a triple-soy grande chai latte. Just $4.95 at the Sidecut store. Also available for the Kindle. Available now for free download is our "WiMax Business Deployment Guide."
— Paul Kapustka is the founder and editor of Sidecut Reports, a WiMax analysis site and research service. He can be reached at [email protected]. Special to Unstrung.