Friday, August 19, 2005

Wireless Broadband Unlikely to Push 3G Aside

The IDG News Service examines the impact of Wireless broadband networks, such as WiMax, on 3G and concludes it won't push it aside, but will "be deployed by mobile newcomers, such as cable operators and smaller carriers, and as a supplement to a few big carriers' 3G networks."

According to Michael Cai, analyst at Parks Associates, 3G and mobile wireless broadband systems "may converge in a future "4G" system, but that is still years away from being defined." He added that the "roadmaps of major mobile operators in both of the world's major cellular technologies, GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and CDMA, are pretty solid." He added this was true "even in China, a relatively young mobile market."

IDC analyst Shiv Bakhshi opined that "WiMax can't outrun 3G in the next five years because it will take about that long to get established." Bakhshi said, "In the short-to-medium term, it is going to disrupt nothing, because I don't think it'll even find itself a very strong footing in that time. By the time it comes to market the cellular world would have progressed, too."

The article states WiMax and other broadband wireless systems might be attractive to the non-cellular players, such as fixed line networks and cable operators, to better compete with cellular carriers and telcos.

Bakhshi notes the celluar carriers also stand to benefit too by offering customers "access to multiple types of networks for different uses in different places, all appearing on one bill." "It's not the killer application, it's a killer environment," Bakhshi said.

Bakshi nails it in my opinion. Customers want the best user experience anytime, anywhere, and the carriers need to recognize that offering different access options will benefit everyone in the long run...