20 December 2006

WiMAX and scale economies

Om Malik posted this item over at GigaOM. He argues that adherence to global standards and common frequency ranges is essential to gaining the necessary economies of scale. But there is a fly in the ointment:
... standards could also bring scale economics to gear makers. In ideal conditions, that is. However, we have started to observe some disturbing trends that run counter to the scale-is-the-salvation argument, at least anytime soon. Concerns both about multiple frequency ranges as well as the question of fixed vs. mobile flavors may keep WiMAX from scaling up quickly, making it more vulnerable to Wi-Fi and 3G/4G cellular alternatives.

India and China are often showcased as the big WiMAX opportunities, and with a reason. Booming economies and a lack of legacy wired infrastructure makes WiMAX perfect for the local needs. However, as we noted last week, India is opting1 for WiMAX in the 3.3-to-3.4 GHz band, a spectrum slice not available in say, the U.S. market. So there are spectrum conflicts that need to be thrashed out.

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1 comment:

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