At a recent international WiMax conference, the CEO of Australia's first WiMAX operator, Hervey Bay’s Buzz Broadband, Garth Freeman launched a scathing attack on WiMAX, the wireless technology which was heralded as the next big thing in wireless technology.
WiMAX, which is backed by Intel and a host of other hardware manufacturers, was supposed to represent a viable alternative to cable and DSL.
Instead, it turned up to be the cause of the downfall of Buzz Broadband with Freeman saying that "non-line of sight performance was “non-existent” beyond just 2 kilometres from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000 milliseconds."
He also added that poor latency and jitter made real time applications like Voice Over IP and gaming problematic.
Buzz Broadband has now given up on WiMAX, choosing instead to revert to TC-CDMA standard at 1.9GHz together with a structure that Freeman described as the Wireless DOCSIS which can operate at up to 38Mbps at very high frequencies.
Buzz Broadband is not the only WiMAX provider reporting issues: India-based VSNL also encountered teething problems with WiMAX after experiencing indoor loss at just 200m from the base station.
Intel and other manufacturers are banking that WiMAX technology will finally make its way in laptops this year and a WiMAX enabled version of the popular Asus EEE laptop is said be scheduled.