If you were doubting whether WiMAX/802.16 would materialize as a broadband wireless access service, Cisco put their $330m where their acquisition machine is by gobbling up WiMAX antenna and base station maker Navini Networks. The prevailing argument (including from Cisco) is that WiMAX eats into existing WiFi’s products’ revenues, but it’s inevitable that carriers offer a wireless broadband network with much broader coverage over longer ranges. Carriers aren’t going to leave broadband’s wireless "last mile" revenues just to cell phone networks. Cable modems and DSL need a healthy wireless competitor and WiMAX is best equipped to bring it on.
Predictions are that WiMAX will make most of its inroads in developing countries where there’s much less wired and fiber infrastructure. Maybe so but there’s no reason WiMAX can’t make big inroads in North America where we all depend on intermittent low-WiFi 802.11 hot spots and cell phone networks for Internet access on PDA phones and tethered PDAs and laptops.
I tether my PDA phone and laptop all the time but would much prefer to ditch the "last 2 feet" of wire between my laptop and PDA phone, for a WiMAX standard in my laptop that could ride on broadband wireless offered by multiple carriers. Bring it on, Cisco. We want WiMAX.