Wireless Broadband, The Virtualization Crowd
6. Wireless Broadband Gains Ground Wireless broadband-the last mile separating users from the PC experience on mobile devices-took great leaps forward and grabbed a foothold on reality in 2008.However, at Google's urging and with some trickery in the auction process, the FCC will require Verizon to allow legal devices and services to connect to the network that will be built out of the spectrum. But there was more to come from the spectrum and the FCC: Over the strenuous objections of broadcasters and wireless microphone makers, the FCC approved the unlicensed use of the interference buffer zone spectrum between television stations. Google, Microsoft and others claim the FCC's decision will open the airwaves for innovation as much as or more than the FCC decision to approve Wi-Fi. But the spectrum remains theoretical until it is built. In the realm of reality, after years on the drawing board, WiMax technology made its U.S. commercial debut in Baltimore as Sprint Nextel rolled out the 4G, all-IP broadband network. The debut comes after Clearwire and Sprint Nextel agreed to merge their 4G wireless operations in hopes of building a nationwide WiMax network to compete with rivals AT&T and Verizon and their 3G networks based on LTE (Long Term Evolution). Backing the WiMax play with $3.2 billion are Google, Intel, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. 7. Virtually Crowded The former one-man party that was x86 virtualization got crowded in 2008. With its June release of Hyper-V, Microsoft presented x86 server virtualization leader VMware with what may prove its toughest challenge to date. That's because while Hyper-V trails VMware's ESX Server in core features, management options and guest operating system support, Microsoft's new virtualization offering boasts a pair of significant-and familiar-advantages: Hyper-V is bundled with Windows Server 2008 and carries no additional charge. At the very least, the entrance of Microsoft and Hyper-V into a market in which Xen-based offerings are already giving VMware a run for its money means that the days of VMware as the "no-brainer" option for server consolidation and similar virtualization-based tasks are over.
Early in the year, Verizon won the battle to use the 700MHz band of spectrum being abandoned by television broadcasters moving to HD signals. Verizon, the nation's No. 2 carrier, captured prime swaths of spectrum for its next-generation wireless broadband service.