During his remarks at a conference, Cisco's CTO Charles Giancarlo said his company isn't interested in WiMax: He said that the case for WiMax is "challenging" right now. While WiMax has certainly been overhyped, Giancarlo's reasoning for WiMax's impending doom are a bit off the mark. He notes that 3G networks will be deployed by the time WiMax is available so he wonders why anyone would build two parallel wireless broadband networks. The answer is, they wouldn't and few people suggest they would. The cellular operators that are working on 3G networks have expressed very little interested in WiMax. Instead, ISPs or wireline telecom providers have expressed interested in WiMax. They could build networks that might in some regards compete with 3G networks or extend their existing coverage areas. Because the licenses to build 3G networks are already scooped up, WiMax could allow other operators to enter the field.
Giancarlo also reminded his audience of the failures of MMDS and LMDS efforts historically, suggesting that the poor economics that caused those failures would also affect WiMax. That may be so, but it's only fair to give WiMax some credit for attempting to improve the economics by creating a standard. The LMDS and MMDS markets didn't have standard equipment which almost always drives up cost.
This isn't to say that Giancarlo may not be right about WiMax struggling because the movement has its share of problems. It's just that he sees failure for WiMax due to issues that are really non-issues. [Link via TechDirt]