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December 2008 | Volume 11/ Number 12
Feature Story

Ari Zoldan: Why the Telecom World is Trying to Keep Him Quiet

By: Shoshanna Webberly

With impending success and a strong conviction for his company, Ari Zoldan has the telecommunications world on pause. They wait as he and other major companies press play on WiMax's ultimate launch.

Ari Zoldan, President and CEO of Quantum Networks, LLC, a WiMax equipment and service provider, has certainly shaken and rattled the telecommunications wireless world into a query; and he's just getting started.

Wimax, otherwise known as the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless data in a variety of informative ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access.

Practically speaking, WiMax is a similar technology to WiFi (News - Alert), only it’s much more advanced. WiMax works through a tower that will establish microwave connections with its users. This tower operates in a similar way as a cellular phone tower, only with WiMax, the tower is connected to the Internet through a high-speed cable. This 'Invisible Internet,' so to speak, allows for a network within the radius of 50 kilometers–much greater than WiFi, whose radius extends only up to 100 meters.

WiMax differs from WiFi in that WiFi is only accessible in select 'hot spot' locations, such as Starbucks or one's home. WiMax is shaking and changing the world, in that it will make the world into one gigantic hot spot. This will allow people to access Internet anywhere, and even have better reception on their cellular phones. It will leave the world forgetting that incommodious slogan, Can you hear me now?

This technology is taking the world by storm, and will provide countless advantages for its users. Since WiMax works through eliminating the use of cables, it will be beneficial in large areas such as airports, college campuses, and large corporations. Now businessmen, university students, teachers and the like will be able to able to travel, use laptops and even iPods at their discretion without ever distorting their bodies in a series of ways, to pick up on the local WiFi.

Moreover, WiMax beats broadband wireless in that it will be able to reach rural areas, where there are currently no wired connections. WiMax will be a mass merger, bringing the wireless world together at a fraction of the cost, which will not only benefit everyone's wallet, but everyone's connectivity as well.

Ari Zoldan is not the only one who is a firm believer in this powerhouse sector. He is currently having words with the 800-pound gorilla carriers who are nervous about his strong conviction for WiMax, and the potential power that it can unleash upon the world. Not only that, but he is also rumored to be in talks with Google, Intel, Samsung, and Sprint (News - Alert), a deal that he is very tight lipped about, which is how he prefers to handle his business dealings. Zoldan has taken WiMax and turned it into a household name, which has simultaneously left the wireless world watching and waiting for what he will do next.

His conviction for WiMax has left other companies with the same belief, foreshadowing its ultimate influence in the wireless world. Sprint, Clearwire (News - Alert), Google, Comcast, and Time Warner have all placed their cookies into one basket, assured of its widespread success. These companies are not the only ones who are currently deploying WiMax. Pipeline Wireless is deploying WiMax technology in Boston, Nth Air in San Jose, and Next Phase plans to bring the same technology to California. Although deployment has already begun in the United States, and is picking up amazing speed, deployment is also occurring internationally and is producing astonishing results. Countries such as Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, United Kingdom, and Germany are currently deploying WiMax. Other countries are set to deploy, such as China, Greece, India, and Italy. Internationally, WiMax is a huge success because it is able to put the world over seas online more effectively without the worry, cost, or trouble associated with installing cables where there are currently none.

Quantum Networks has left a majority of companies excited for its launch, while others are terrified for their existence. Simply look at the battle AT&T (News - Alert) has been fighting, a trailing battle that will eventually leave them last at the finishing line.

WiMax poses a continual threat to not only AT&T but to other large carriers as well. The inherent brilliance about WiMax is that the user gets unbeatable wireless connection without a wireless carrier. It’s no wonder WiMax is coined as disruptive technology.

In order for cellular companies to compete with WiMax, they will have to lower their prices, which will greatly decrease their annual revenue.

With the exception of large carriers, such as Verizon (News - Alert) and AT&T, WiMax will leave its users satisfied, as they will be able to surf the web with groundbreaking momentum and do it from more locations than ever before.

Although WiMax promises to be a huge success, Ari Zoldan may have some barriers in his way. In order for WiMax to truly reach its potential in the wireless world, it would have to unify many technological spectrums. Broadband wireless and cellular networks would have to join forces and comply under WiMax's leadership, a feat that some deem impossible. Not only that, but to uproot DSL where it is already installed and replace it with WiMax technology is another trial that Ari Zoldan and WiMax is faced with. Internationally, WiMax may be successful, but others are waiting to see if the same success will infiltrate the United States. Others argue that LTE (News - Alert) may be a better alternative, a technology similar to WiMax, but debatably more effective since it is backed by major telecommunications equipment manufacturers. This provides an easy upgrade for carriers that are already deploying 3G wireless networks.

Nevertheless, the future for WiMax looks bright and if Zoldan is correct the prospect of the digital landscape will be changed forever. The world as we know it will become unwired, and restrictions for when and where one can use the Internet will become obsolete. The next step is to simply press, “play.”

Ari Zoldan is the President and CEO of Quantum Networks, LLC. More information can be found at He is also an author of the popular blog, IT

Shoshanna Webberly is a freelance writer.

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