What is fixed, nomadic and mobile WiMax?
Wireless broadband products and services can be divided into three main categories: fixed broadband, nomadic broadband and mobile broadband. Fixed broadband services include permanent installations for homes, businesses and government applications. Nomadic broadband service is tailored for laptops, for example when a user’s laptop is wirelessly connected to a Wi-Fi network at home, or at a Starbucks hotspot. Forthcoming mobile broadband products and services will be tailored for portable devices (e.g., phones, PDA’s, laptops) and people on the move similar to a cellular architecture that hands off signals, even as the user is in motion. Although such networks are inherently less powerful and less reliable than fixed wireless solutions, the market for mobile broadband wireless is very significant and Solectek will address this opportunity with our renowned commitment to quality wireless products.
Solectek and mobile/802.16e WiMax
Although most industry experts believe that mobile WiMax technology and its market opportunity will not be proven and widely available for a couple years, Solectek will meet this market opportunity when mobile WiMax is both out of the “early adopter” phase and the core components/chipsets are (a) available and (b) thoroughly proven and (c) available at a reasonable cost. For now, no company is shipping mobile WiMax products.
Solectek’s focus today is on the fixed marketplace for wireless broadband, as that is where there is an immediate customer need and sizeable market for both Solectek and its distributors, resellers and integrators. According to WiMAX research firm Visant Strategies, it is “the traditional fixed wireless markets that will remain the technology’s bread and butter through 2009” (source: Visant report/press release: Amidst Mobile Aspirations, Many forget other WiMAX Opportunity).
Fixed broadband wireless, nomadic and mobile broadband wireless will coexist
As mentioned there will be three growth areas for wireless broadband delivery and each one serves specific needs. A comparison can be made to the existing cell phone market. All of us carry a cell phone because it provides mobile voice communication capabilities and, perhaps, email capabilities. Yet, even with this capability all of us still have our “fixed” telephones in our homes and businesses. Why? Because mobile technology is inherently less reliable (dropped calls), has generally much less quality (i.e., static-prone or highly compressed voice quality) and has physical limitations related to battery life and power transmission. In short, none of us trust our cell phones with the task of providing continuous voice services at our homes and businesses. This is exactly why there will be a market for both fixed and mobile broadband services for years to come. Fixed broadband is more powerful and reliable and it is here today.
Solectek’s recommendation for operators considering rolling out fixed and mobile networks
Clearly an opportunity exists to offer both fixed and eventually mobile broadband services. As mentioned, Solectek offers fixed products today and will add mobile capabilities when the technology is both proven and feasible from a cost standpoint. In addition, Solectek will assertively bid on appropriate mobile WiMax RFP’s and welcomes such inquiries.
For operators, the question of whether to deploy fixed, mobile or both types of networks involves many issues. For more information on this subject, please see Solectek’s white paper Capturing customers today with WiMax 802.16d: The business and technology case for fixed WiMax.