This Week in WiMax

3:50 PM -- This week in WiMax, here are the big issues, as I see them:

WiMax gets a big thumbs up from FCC chairman
From a strategy standpoint, it was pretty smart for FCC chairman Julius Genachowski to make a last-minute decision to give a keynote speech at this past week's CTIA show in San Diego. Though the fall CTIA show is typically a smaller cousin to the wireless industry's spring event in Vegas, by showing up in person Genachowski walked the walk of the new FCC's pledge to involve all parties as it molds its national broadband plan and associated items, like the net neutrality ideas Genachowski introduced late last month.

If you listened closely to Genachowski (or read his speech transcripts online) you could detect some already apparent admiration from the FCC for Clearwire's deployment of WiMax networks. While speaking about 4G in general, Genachowski delivered praise to Clearwire and a little bit of a hand-smack to Verizon and AT&T:

"Clearwire has launched WiMax in 14 markets. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS have each announced plans to launch LTE in the next year or two. But of course it’s easier to roll out a press release than roll out a network. There is a lot of work to do, and I know it won’t be easy."

Ouch! Maybe we're reading too much into things, but such admiration for WiMax probably bodes well, not just for Clearwire, but also for players, like DigitalBridge Communications, which have WiMax at the heart of their bids for stimulus-fund cash. At the very least, it shows that Genachowski and the FCC consider Clearwire and, by extension, WiMax to be serious players in the 4G future, which is different from other telco-leaning industry influencers who are already starting to write off WiMax in favor of LTE, a technology that doesn't yet exist in the real world. For WiMax and Clearwire, not a bad friend to have on your side.

Need to know more about Clearwire and WiMax? My Clearwire NTK report costs less than a large beer at the local Sprint Nascar race. 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.

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