Others Cautious on WiMax

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-10-08 Print this article Print

"There's not a lot of advantage right now to having a notebook that is enabled with WiMax even as option," said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC. "A few manufacturers-Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer-saying that they have notebooks that are WiMax-enabled in some ways is a hollow announcement. Clients in Baltimore will be happy, but I don't think people that travel to Baltimore are going to buy their WiMax-enabled notebooks just so when they go there they can access WiMax. There are just other options out there like cellular broadband and Wi-Fi available."

While these announcements by Lenovo and other OEMs might not amount to much right now, Shim said he does believe that more competition, coupled with demand, will eventually help drive the price of WiMax technology down, which in turn should make it more available and easier to compare to other types of wireless technology.

An article in the Associated Press reported that Sprint will charge users $45 per month for its network, which promises download speeds of 2M to 4M bps.

In addition to WiMax, Intel has also made the 802.11 draft-n wireless technology standard with the Centrino 2 platform. This should increase the availability of this network if consumers and business users begin demanding notebooks that offer draft-n technology.

While Lenovo and others were busy jumping onto the WiMax bandwagon, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the world's two largest PC vendors, did not announce new WiMax options for their notebooks. In a statement, HP said it was still testing the technology. 

Editor's note: This article was updated to include more information from Lenovo, HP and Dell. It also includes comments from an analyst and additional details about Sprint's WiMax network.


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