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March 26, 2008
Motorola Splits Handsets into Separate Firm
Motorola bows to shareholder pressure, splits firm:
The company will divide into two pieces in what Motorola hopes will be tax free to shareholders. One company will take the handset operations, which have languished; the other, enterprise, modem, and set-top boxes. This puts WiMax in the “good” company, the one that has a lot of potential to grow into a new international market, as well as continuing their sales of Canopy and fixed WiMax gear. The handset business would also encompass WiMax embedded into phones, but it’s likely a smaller part of Motorola’s WiMax portfolio.
Posted by Glennf at 9:34 AM
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March 25, 2008
Sprint, Clearwire May Form Venture with Comcast, Time Warner
Odd pairing of firms might bring WiMax to fruition:
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this evening that Comcast and Time Warner might fund a joint venture of Sprint Nextel and Clearwire that would roll out a national WiMax network. The Journal says the two telcos have been trying to raise $3b in recent months towards the deployment. Intel, Google, and a smaller cable operator would also contribute; Comcast and Intel would each invest $1b in the current proposal. The cable firms would gain both ownership and wholesale access for resale.
The article notes that cable firms have had a muddled strategy for wireless investment and service, even as they’ve spent money ($2b on licenses in 2006, with nothing deployed) and pursued partnerships.
What the Journal doesn’t note specifically is that wireless can often be used as an adjunct to obtain and supplement customers in areas where you can’t provide them primary service. Cable operators would prefer to use their existing plant to serve customers, but with WiMax, it’s possible they could still bring data, voice, and some video to markets within their territories but outside or at the limit of their plants.
Posted by Glennf at 9:26 PM
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March 24, 2008
Australian WiMax Operator Trashes WiMax Performance
First WiMax operator in Australia, Buzz Broadband, says tech vastly underdelivered:
I’m too far away from the action to know how much of this is a) accurate and b) accurately reported (no offense). At WiMax conference in Bangkok last week, CEO Garth Freeman apparently slammed distance, throughput, latency, and reliability. A year ago, he extolled his early deployment of Airspan equipment. Another Airspan customer in Australia cited in the article, finds great performance at distance. It may be that this fellow is generalizing from a specific case; his firm is now moving to “wireless DOCSIS” (cable-style access over 3.5 GHz) and TD-CDMA (over 1.9 GHz).
Posted by Glennf at 7:08 AM
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March 18, 2008
Intel Expects Third of Ultramobile PCs to Have Wi-Fi, WiMax
Intel’s Atom Centrino platform will push out a lot of ultramobile PCs (UMPCs) with WiMax side by side with Wi-Fi:
A third of the UMPCs will sport Wi-Fi and WiMax, while half will pair Wi-Fi with HSPA, the GSM 3G standard. It’s unclear what the sales of this new generations of devices will be; UMPCs haven’t lit up as a category so far. These new UMPCs use a chip designed specifically for the needs of this smarter-than-a-smartphone device; they’re due out later this year.
Posted by Glennf at 8:27 PM
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March 17, 2008
Tata's Indian Launch of WiMax Services Slated
Indian firm Tata plans 115 cities covered by WiMax by 2009:
The firm has 10 cities covered with Wi-Fi and 5,000 consumer and business customers. The company is awfully ambitious. They’ve reportedly invested $100m so far, with $500m planned over four years. They are looking for 50m subscribers, perhaps a reasonable number in a country with a highly inconsistent wired infrastructure and over 1b inhabitants. So far, only 3.2m households subscribe to broadband; business numbers weren’t noted.
I have seen a lot of ambitious announcements over the years, and very very few of them turn into deployments of any real scale, or any deployment at all. The money committed so far is serious, however, and Tata could leverage their network into a real boost for the entire country, where cell phones are ubiquitous because they leverage services that aren’t available with fixed computers.
Posted by Glennf at 3:41 PM
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