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6/20/2007
03:12 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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WiMax To Replace Wi-Fi And 3G For The Enterprise?

The study about mobile WiMax, which was conducted by Motorola, found that 49% of respondents said they would use it to surf the Internet or read email. On top of that, 45% of enterprise users would use it for work-related purposes. But just how important is the ubiquity of wireless coverage?

The study about mobile WiMax, which was conducted by Motorola, found that 49% of respondents said they would use it to surf the Internet or read email. On top of that, 45% of enterprise users would use it for work-related purposes. But just how important is the ubiquity of wireless coverage?The key aspect of the study is the mobility angle. Motorola defined mobile WiMax as "being able to be used while walking or traveling in a car, cab, bus or train, and the Internet connectivity it provides will have the connection speeds of cable or DSL, but with the mobility and roaming of today's cellular networks."

Even though the same benefits are already offered by 3G wireless wide-area networks, survey respondents warmed to the idea of the mobile Internet. In fact, 31% said they would read or view live, real-time online media (which we have to assume means streaming videos); 28% indicated they would use it for mobile entertainment; and another 28% said they'd use WiMax to download music to their computers.

The real killer is that 57% of survey respondents said it is imperative for wireless broadband service to be available wherever they happen to be.

Uh. It already is. (I have to wonder if Motorola bothered to tell the people being surveyed that such technology already exists in the forms of Wi-Fi and 3G wireless.)

The enterprise aspect of the survey was somewhat more baffling. The results state:

*45 percent would find it beneficial to use WiMAX for reading and responding to e-mail; *43 percent for accessing the Internet for work; *33 percent for accessing their company Intranet to better manage customers, resources and field service; and *30 percent for sending data, including pictures or video, from remote sites back to the office.

These answers seem to indicate a general lack of awareness of the availability of mobile technology. Don't enterprise users already use Wi-Fi and 3G for these tasks both in and out of the office?

What sets WiMax apart from already existing technologies? I would have liked to see some questions comparing WiMax to Wi-Fi and 3G in this study, just to get an idea of the perceptions of the three different technologies.

I, for one, happen to believe they will all find their own niches in the market and compliment one another.

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