After several fits and starts, wireless broadband is finally coming unto its own. Companies like Sprint Nextel, Clearwire and Towerstream are stepping over the bodies of service providers from another generation, service providers such as Winstar and Teligent that went bankrupt more than five years ago after much-hyped IPOs.
Early generations suffered from a high-margin business, and they didnâ€™t have a big gun like Sprint driving the mobile WiMAX ecosystem and economies of scale. The opportunity: Higher mobility and lower price compared with wired services and lower price and higher data rates vs. cellular data services. Of course, the WiMAX world has the WiFi community to thank. The proliferation of hotspots and muni-WiFi initiatives has taught users what to desire. Meanwhile, mobile operators are accelerating their next-generation plans as they look to higher-end data services.
Yes, wireless broadband is finally on its way. This yearâ€™s 2007 FierceBroadbandWireless Fierce 15 list represents the vast array of opportunities that await the wireless broadband industry. It consists of the 15 privately held emerging companies we believe hold the most promise to help shape the wireless broadband industry and establish a successful presence in this market. â€“Lynnette
P.S. Join FierceWireless Editor-in-Chief Sue Marek to learn more about the Sprint-Clearwire deal and how it will impact both domestic and international WiMAX deployments. Our invited guests will react to the August 16 announcements and take your questions. Register here.