WiMax: Bubble or Bloodbath?

5:40 PM -- BEANTOWN -- WiMax World -- To say that there's a lot of venture capital interest in WiMax these days would be an understatement. I've had at least three separate VC types ask me "What's hot?" while I've been here.

As other folks have noted, there are at around 30 startups working solely on chips for WiMax client devices. And many of these firms are apparently getting venture funding.

The math, however, could prove to be brutal in the long term. Lets assume that the chips startups need $50 million to get a working chip out there. Their investors will be looking for anywhere between $100 million to $200 million return on their VC ante.

The device market, however, probably won't start to take off until late 2007 or 2008. And it probably won't be a billion-dollar market for years.

Which probably means that the big players will be able to pick up a lot of IP from struggling startups on the cheap in a couple of years. As some cynics at the show are already asking: "WiMax -- bubble or bloodbath?"

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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