Reality hits mobile WiMax

Wow, there is some actual reality in the market when it comes to the potential of mobile WiMax. It is uncertain. Of course analysts have been saying that for a while, but it has taken business press folks a while to weed through the hype coming from Intel and other exuberant backers. Fixed WiMax is well on its way, but is mostly an emerging markets story.

The real market differentiator is mobility, but that's a 2007 story at the earliest. WiMax backers are keeping their fingers crossed that Sprint Nextel, which owns the most spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, announces plans to use WiMax in the band to give WiMax a foothold in the U.S. But Sprint Nextel wants mobility. As a condition of the merger, Sprint Nextel is required to meet certain milestones for offering service in the 2.5 GHz band. These include plans to cover at least 15 million potential customers with service within four years and another 15 million potential customers within six years.

Sprint Nextel's COO Len Lauer is expected to talk about the carrier's wireless broadband moves in the next year during this week's Wireless Communications Association convention in San Jose, CA. Analysts are betting the carrier won't choose WiMax.

For more information about mobile WiMax's uphill battle:
- read this article from Red Herring