WiMax is a concept that has been around since mid 2001, but North American consumers only really got their first taste of the technology in September with the roll out of Sprint’s XOHM WiMax network in Baltimore . With verified download rates of up to 3Mbs, the technology seemed sure to pick up steam and flourish against its bandwidth impaired, and overly expensive 3G alternatives. Unfortunately, nothing is immune to the economic downturn and a new report from Infonetics research shows that sales of WiMax equipment has fallen close to 21 per cent in Q3 2008 to US$245 million.
These numbers are expected to get worse going into 2009 and likely won’t recover until sometime in 2010. "With less cash available for network rollout - and possibly less spectrum being auctioned until the current financial crisis passes - WiMax deployment will be inhibited for the next 12 months," said Richard Webb, wireless analyst at Infonetics. Despite the storm clouds on the horizon, Infonetics predicts that by 2011 nearly 76 million people will subscribe to WiMax. Currently its greatest concentration is in the Asia-Pacific region, but it is also a cost effective option for developing countries. In North America, it’s currently being considered mostly for urban broadband, but it would also go a long way towards providing last mile high speed connections to rural regions which are currently stuck with either satellite or dial up.
Are you holding your breath for WiMax?
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