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Rich Tehrani


[June 15, 2004]


WiMAX Opportunity




The need to get broadband to the masses is still growing. ILECs (define - news - alert) still have a stranglehold on the market and their DSL (news - alert) offerings absolutely stink when compared to cable. How can telecommunications companies that are a century old supply an inferior product to cable - an industry 2 decades old? Ridiculous I say. Worse yet, ILECS can take months to provision a T1 in some cases! In a world where we are used to seeing search engine results faster than we can blink, waiting 60+ days for a T1 is unacceptable. The Asia-Pacific region is overflowing with bandwidth and we have two choices: slow DSL or high-speed cable that costs a great deal more. Still, Asian markets have bandwidth of a greater magnitude than what is available in the US and it costs less!


And these problems are here in the US where we invent most of these technologies. A maze of government regulations coupled with poor decisions made by most CLECs (define - news - alert) has left us with pitiable broadband alternatives. The situation is far worse in less developed countries where the concept of laying down fiber rings and lines out to all of the citizens is beyond comprehension. The last mile, or to be internationally correct, the last 1.6 kilometer problem is very real and needs a solution.


Thankfully WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) (news - alert) is the technology that can end this last-mile problem once and for all by allowing service providers to compete for subscribers without having to lay down fiber, cable, or rent anything from the ILECS. WiMAX is synonymous with the IEEE 802.16a standard for broadband wireless, a technology that allows service providers to serve customers dozens of miles away with bandwidth in the range of 70-268 Mbps! Suddenly, competition in the service provider market will be real. Worldwide, there will be a bonanza of bandwidth and it should cost less than we are used to paying. First generation CPE (define - news - alert) devices will cost a bit more than $300 and within a year we could see them drop down the $200 level. Companies like Intel are major proponents of this technology and as such we can expect to see WiMAX enabled laptops, PDAs (news - alert) and phones in the future.


It is in the world’s best interest to make WiMAX a success.


TMC is doing its part. We recently launched WiMAXcon; an event collocated with our Fall Internet Telephony Conference in LA. The specific dates of WiMAXcon are October 6-7. VoIP will be a killer app for WiMAX and the collocation of these events makes infinite sense. If you are a service provider looking to offer wireless access or VoIP  - you need to be at this event! I hope to see you there.



Rich Tehrani


Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments. Participate in our forums.


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