Monday, August 06, 2007

Making too many waves?

Two interesting stories on wireless ironically appeared on the same page of my San Jose Merc this morning. In one, Intel crowed because it has finally shipped a notebook chip set for the emerging WiMax network. In the other, metro Wi-Fi operators bewailed the fact casual consumers are not signing up for their services, forcing net operators to require significant contracts with city governments to assure they get paid for building and maintaining the nets.

Intel has been driving WiMax hard for years, claiming it will make it happen just as it did Wi-Fi by embedding it in every notebook. Intel needs the extra bandwidth to drive systems sales. But with broadband at the office, at home and in the coffee shop, there is not a huge pent up desire to fire up devices while walking in the park or driving around town. Someday novel applications and improving devices such as the iPhone may drive a need for broadband everywhere, but it's gonna take awhile.

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