Time running out for WiMax

The window of opportunity appears to be closing before WiMax Technology has stated its business case. Is there still a future for this hyped communications solutions?

01 September 2008

WiMax technology has promised the potential to deliver high-speed internet access to rural areas and other locations not serviced by cable or DSL technology for some time now. But, it has yet to make significant headway in the South African marketplace. What`s more, time is against it, according to Dobek Pater, a director at consultancy company Africa Analysis.

"The bottom line is that WiMax is an access technology. In this respect, it has to compete with all the other access technologies out there. While it may have certain advantages, it also has certain disadvantages. And it ultimately depends on the services being offered and where the technology roadmap is going for service providers to remain competitive." Unfortunately for WiMax in South Africa, he says, the country already has many other well-developed technologies in the access space, although there`s potential for it to be used by newcomers to the market. This includes the value added network service (VANS) providers, as well as established players who may use it for last-mile connectivity.

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