TI, which is not heavily into WiMax like its competitor Intel, says WiMax won't be very effective at bringing broadband to the home: It's true that it's far from certain that WiMax will be anywhere near the success that Intel promises, but most of the reasons TI gives here are pretty weak. Because China hasn't jumped on the bandwagon and because broadband wireless standards have failed in the past doesn't prove that WiMax will fail. If WiMax products have a lower price tag and are more robust than previous attempts at broadband wireless, the technology has a chance of success. WiMax can be far easier to deploy than most wireline technologies and appears to offer a good alternative to wireline especially in developing regions of the world.
But there are plenty of reasons that WiMax could fail, which aren't mentioned by the TI executive. In the United States only a few spectrum holders own the licenses that would be ideal for a WiMax deployment and it's not clear that they're interested in the technology. One of those companies, Nextel, has expressed interest in using other proprietary technologies in the spectrum. Other large operators that don't own such prime spectrum are unlikely to want to execute a major deployment in unlicensed frequencies.
The TI executive suggests that a portable or mobile version of WiMax might have a better chance of success. While future iterations of WiMax may sound more promising than the initial fixed version, it's very difficult to know today what the market will look like by the time a mobile or portable solution becomes available. By then, other technologies may have leapfrogged WiMax.
It's also not clear that WiMax will indeed result in low-cost equipment for operators. Some wireless ISPs have said that vendors they've spoken to have said that the first couple generations of their base stations won't be interoperable with clients from any vendor. That lack of interoperability may not be very attractive for many operators and may prohibit prices from dropping.
Ultimately, there are plenty of forces working against WiMax but much of what the TI executive says here sounds to me like sour grapes.