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WiMax in Flux

The early results of the Unstrung poll on the future of WiMax following the dissolution of the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)-Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) deal are pretty fascinating and show the divided attitudes that people have towards this new broadband technology.

On one hand, a majority of respondents believe that there won't be a nationwide WiMax network rolled out in 2008 in the U.S. or that it will be much more limited than originally envisioned. Only 24 percent say that they'll be surfing WiMax U.S.A. next year.

Despite that, 53 percent of the readers that replied intend to use WiMax services when they are available. This is partly because a sizeable slice -- 47 percent of voters -- believe that WiMax will still arrive on the market before competing technologies such as 4G LTE (long term evolution) technology. Although 29 percent, a cynical fringe, don't expect we'll see any 4G networks rolled out much before 2013.

So, who will do the rolling? Not the established cellular carriers according to Unstrungers. Fifty-three percent see dedicated WiMax carriers, such as Clearwire and Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER), spearheading wireless broadband in the U.S. rather than Sprint.

All-in-all, an illuminating snapshot of what a state of flux the WiMax market seems to be in at the moment, at least in the U.S. Personally, I also believe we'll still have WiMax in the U.S. before LTE, but I wonder if that could once again lead to a CDMA- and GSM-style split in the American market just like with previous digital cellular deployments.

You can still have your say on the WiMax woes, just click WiMax: What Now? and vote.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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