WiMax has been a story of hype and hope, with very little to show for either – but it's time may have finally come in South Africa.
That's according to iBurst MD Alan Knott-Craig, who says his company is working closely with Intel on introducing WiMax into the local market.
"Intel wants to make WiMax a de facto standard and has finally got laptops available in the US that are WiMax-ready.
"We are testing these laptops here and they will be ready for launch about the third or fourth quarter of this year," Knott-Craig says.
"This is something that will really change things for consumers: their laptops will be able to connect to the WiMax network without the need for another piece of hardware."
And, although its WiMax service is not yet being offered to consumers, Knott-Craig says it is "flying off the shelf", being snapped up by its SME target market.
"I don't think the low level of broadband adoption in South Africa or Africa is so much a result of the price of bandwidth as much as the start-up cost of a laptop, terminal, security, insurance and electricity. The WiMax laptops take one of these issues out of the equation."