Editor's Corner

Will WiMax Ever Make It Out of the Gate?

After nearly two years of non-stop hype, WiMax is still struggling to make it to market. The WiMax Forum this week warned that WiMax testing and certification could be delayed until October, possibly pushing commercial certification of WiMax equipment from this year until early 2006. While the delay is not yet official, it raises an important question: When will this technology ever be ready for prime time?

While there are plenty of pre-certification WiMax deployments around the world, the fact is that this technology is still not ready and delays keep popping up at every corner. WiMax is entering dangerous territory. It has been hyped past the point of belief and now it's time for the technology to deliver. If the vendors making WiMax equipment, and the WiMax Forum as a whole, cannot get WiMax gear certified and into the market soon -- and make sure it lives up to the hype -- WiMax could be in for a rude awakening from the likes of the media and financial analysts. A rush of bad press and financial reports could undermine all of the hype and severely undercut the technology's future.

Further delays also risk alienating carriers, who might begin looking at other systems, especially if they cannot be assured that WiMax will be stable and ready for commercial use. A word of caution to the wireless broadband industry: It's show time. Start acting like it. - Stephen