With confusion and doubt still surrounding the implementation of WiMax in South Africa, some sceptics have dismissed the effect that the technology will have on the market. But others are enthusiastic about it – and mobile WiMax could have the biggest impact.
This is according to Rick Rogers, MD of Alvarion, who says the vision of personalised broadband in real time, at home or on the go, anytime anywhere is the Mobile WiMax promise.
"Mobile WiMax offers continuous connectivity using many types of mobile consumer devices allowing subscribers to get the most out of work or play, taking their broadband connections mobile or making their mobile service broadband. This merge means subscribers can greatly enhance their lifestyles and get mobilised with personal broadband services."
World trends indicate that Mobile WiMax is targeting two distinct markets: primary broadband services and personal broadband. The primary broadband services market addresses both rural and remote areas in the emerging markets. WiMax offers an excellent solution to cross the digital divide and bridge the gap to areas not receiving communication services while, in developing areas, WiMax offers an alternative to DSL.
For the personal broadband market, WiMax targets densely-populated areas, providing the opportunity to mobilise broadband connections by offering a DSL-on-the-go service. Mobile WiMax facilitates always-on broadband connectivity, complete with mobility and roaming services, ensuring that subscribers are always connected and on line.
Mobile WiMax enables new revenue models for operators by providing triple play services (voice, video and data) over a mobile broadband network, Rogers says.
"It offers a new adoption model for subscribers as they are able to leverage the 'retail model' offered by WiMax for WiMax-enabled devices. Subscribers will be able to get their WiMax-enabled devices in the electronics stores and retail chains. Devices will not have to be pre-approved by the service provider and will only require WiMax certification."