After watching a brief overview of WiMax on ZDnet which touched on Mobile WiMax, I wondered what Cisco might have in the pipeline regarding services orientated around WiMax and, in particular, Mobile WiMax.

Fixed WiMax Potential

Cisco already make point-to-point Wi-Fi bridges that, with a dish and some breaking of the 802.11 spec, can go very far. For 2.4Ghz, potential figures of up to 11mbps over 11.5 miles (18.5km). For 5Ghz, the figures are around 54mbps over 12 miles (19km).

WiMax should be able to beat that distance and speed, and more reliably, too. Because WiMax doesn’t have to operate in the unlicenced band, WiMax could help eliminate the current issue of saturated Wi-Fi frequencies in urban areas.

I am ignoring the glaring price issue; A point-to-point WiMax solutions would probably be prohibitively expensive in comparison to a Wi-Fi solution. Hopefully, as with Wi-Fi , the prices will rapidly fall as more people adopt the technology.

Mobile applications of WiMax

Recently, Nokia and Motorola announced they will ship WiMax support in some of their Mobile Equipment in 2008. With Intel firmly behind WiMax, this means that both Cellular Phones and Laptops will eventually ship with WiMax as standard; much the same as almost every Phone ships with Bluetooth and every laptop seems to ship with Wi-Fi nowadays.

Maybe Cisco will develop a Unified Communications client for the Symbian OS? Seems they already have, along with a bunch of other Mobile platforms. Mobile WiMax access to your company’s VPN at true broadband speeds would be amazing. Not to mention the cost benefits of redirecting voice over WiMax and Wi-Fi networks, particularly for international calls.

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.

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