The Wimax value proposition

Rob Dalgety/Mformation Technologies
22 Oct 2008

There is significant activity going on in Asia around Wimax. In terms of absolute activity, Asia leads the rest of the world in Wimax "” KDDI, Korea Telecom, SK Telecom, Bharti, FarEastTone and Wateen Telecom are a sample of the service providers who have deployed or are planning to deploy services based on Wimax.

One part of the Wimax opportunity is in the area of fixed services. The other part is to support mobility services for any number of mobile devices, from laptops to consumer electronics.

Timing of the rollout and uptake of these services depends on regional differences. For example, countries where there is a less developed wire-line infrastructure, for example, India and Pakistan, will have a different emphasis, looking first to use Wimax to support fixed services. Territories that have extensive and well-developed wire-line infrastructures, such as Japan and South Korea, will see more focus on the mobile-service opportunities than on the fixed-service opportunities

The commercial strategies of service providers will also impact the service mix. Some service providers may innovate, creating new service opportunities (such as providing connectivity for mobile consumer electronics devices). Others may go after known market opportunities that are currently serviced by wire-line technologies.

Service and device management is key

As has happened in the past, it is the Wimax network technologies themselves that currently dominate discussions. Based on the quantity of conference papers, standards body activity, press coverage and news, you might think that once the network issues are resolved, any issues to do with delivering services over those networks will be resolved as well.

The reality is far from the case. There is a range of other enabling-technology elements that are essential to delivering Wimax services. The consumer-premise equipment, as well as the devices and services that will use the network, are also critical components. In building a truly functional and vibrant Wimax ecosystem, we not only need to deal with network, device, application and service issues, but we also need to deliver the key advanced management capabilities and tools that are essential for a truly seamless, high-quality end-user experience.

Service providers have found that as the service environment becomes more complex, embedding advanced visibility and manageability into devices and services is critical to optimizing new services and delivering a great end-user experience. This includes being able to remotely detect and activate devices and services, troubleshoot devices, update software and secure device data.

In addition, while the technical ecosystem is a critical component in the delivery of Wimax services, it is compelling service propositions that provide value and will ultimately drive end-user demand.

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