After a year or two of intense hype and speculation about WiMax, you might imagine that chip and hardware manufacturers would be happy to put a lid on the marketing for a while and get on with the real work of getting actual WiMax products installed and running in the marketplace.
You'd be wrong.
Check the press release about its new 802.16e-compliant issued by chipmaker Beceem Communications Inc. on Monday. "Beceem is the first to demonstrate and make available a commercial Mobile WiMAX/WiBro chipset solution that is suitable for mobile, portable and fixed applications," crows the company in its release.
Okay, let's get this straight. There's no way that a mobile WiMax chipset can be available, because the WiMax Forum hasn't done any interoperability testing on mobile WiMax products yet. It is that simple. It's not even yet possible to say when the Forum will start mobile tests, given that the first round of fixed-wireless interoperability testing has only just been completed.
So, vendors, stop trying to run before you can walk with all this mobile WiMax talk. You may believe that it gives your company a "first mover adavantage." But no one profits if the hype ends up confusing potential customers and turning them off WiMax products overall.
There are plenty of other issues with fixed WiMax that need to be addressed for serious enterprise users before we move on to the mobile version.
For instance, how easy is it for potential users to find a decent supply of customer premise equipment that is WiMax approved? What security measures are implemented for enterprise users? And will there be enough WiMax spectrum in the U.S. to enable high-data rate services?
Adressing these issues and more isn't as sexy as pushing mobile WiMax, I suppose. But they are the kind of things that users need addressed before they make a move on WiMax. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung