WiMAX gets realistic... Finally?

One moment it’s there and the next it’s gone. Nokia, according to The Boy Genius, has pulled its N810 WiMAX internet tablet before it had properly gone into the channel.

With WiMAX on the go slow deployment path it’s understood that Nokia don’t see the reason to support the limited market. The analysts also don’t appear to be keeping the WiMAX faith either, demoting it to a fixed wireless replacement rather than a realistic competitor to LTE 4G mobile.

With that view Richard Wndsor, telecoms analyst with Nomura Bank, has reduced his WiMAX market forecast from $8bn to $4bn. This approach concurs with all that I’m hearing in the market. WiMAX is a great play for urban fixed substitution and remote communities, but not for a truly mobile world.

On the other hand OQO is still keeping faith, demonstrating their nifty UMPC on Sprint’s Xohm WiMAX network. Proudly proclaiming a 3-5 time faster download speed at 2-4 Megabits per second than any available mobile service.

Perhaps this is remarkable for the US, but it’s less so here in Europe where 7.2Mbps is offered (though rarely delivered). With HSUPA in deployment and HSPA+ on the horizon, OQO’s and Sprint’s announcements have already been upstaged.