BelAir's new cable-mountable Wi-Fi/WiMax access point could be boon for WiMax deployment: BelAir has introduced the BelAir100SX Strand Mounted Dual Mode Wireless Node, a long way of saying that this device can be attached directly to existing cable wiring, powered by cable plant voltage, and drive two kinds of wireless: Wi-Fi and WiMax. (No one apparently ever told BelAir to not introduce a product with the initial SX--say it aloud--on April 1st. But it's real.)
This device is an extension of BelAir's earlier 100S, which feeds out Wi-Fi only, and which is the basis of Cablevision's $300m deployment of many many thousands of nodes across its New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut territory. Backhaul and power come from the cable plant; the device has a built-in DOCSIS 2.0 modem (U.S. and European standards), and can accept a variety of radios.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House have all invested in Clearwire, the 51-percent Sprint Nextel owned venture that's rolling WiMax out across the U.S. As investors, the cable operators may be well suited to provide infrastructure for Clearwire, even though that hasn't been discussed publicly and, to my knowledge, no such deals have been made.
Comcast has already said it will resell the Clear-branded WiMax service in Portland, Ore., the only U.S. market deployed with that offering. Comcast needs Clearwire for the fourth element in a quadruple play of voice, video, data, and mobile communications (which can be voice, video, and data as well).
This all neatly dovetails.