Friday, July 20, 2007

Big WiMAX players unlikely to fill in broadband black holes

There's more evidence the big wireless players making WiMAX plays aren't going to fill in broadband black holes that commonly exist outside of heavily populated regions.

Some observers have held out hope that wireless providers would provide the long awaited broadband solution to less urban areas that are underserved by the wireline telco/cable duopoly. Instead, the big guys like Clearwire are concentrating on serving mobile consumers in big metro areas shown by this announcement today that Clearwire Sprint Nextel have signed a letter of intent to jointly construct America’s first nationwide mobile WiMAX network.

The key word here is "mobile." In short, that doesn't mean residential consumers who remain mired in broadband black holes across much of America. Their wireless option for now is going to continue to remain among the 1,500 or so small wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) that provide fixed terrestrial service.

That is unless a high powered coalition is successful in demonstrating a prototype service called white space broadband that would deliver wireless broadband over unused portions of the television broadcast spectrum.

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