Cable operators watching Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) and its Clear WiMAX product slog along in the U.S. should be interested in the WiMAX 2 standard that is expected to be solidified by the end of November (hardware certification will continue in 2011 and product will be available by 2012). Called 802.16m, the new standard is expected to deliver unheard-of wireless speeds up to 1 Gbps, with "actual and practical speed" for Internet services somewhere around 100 Mbps.
That kind of speed might influence cable executives like Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) Chairman-President-CEO Glenn Britt who, during a second quarter earnings conference, said the MSO is still "learning about the (wireless) business, how to sell the products. I don't think there's a lot to report other than we're in the early learning stage."
That learning curve might accelerate along with the WiMAX 2 speeds. Certainly things continue to bubble internationally where WiMAX has always been more popular. The WiMAX Forum is strutting its stuff at WiMAX India 2010 which, according to WiMAX Forum Chairman-President Ron Resnick (speaking through a news release) will "be an excellent venue to interact with all the potential players in the WiMAX domain (and) will give us an opportunity to bring to the form the key challenges which service providers are facing in rolling out their WiMAX services in India."
India, which by some estimates will be the world's third largest economy after China and the U.S., is expected to embrace WiMAX in a big way with 19 million subscribers (and that's a drop in the bucket considering how many people live in India) by 2012 and annual market growth of 140 percent. Even so, it's expected that about 20 percent of global WiMAX users will be in India.
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