WiMAX loses to LTE; positioned as a 'niche' technology

Cable operators who have, thus far, placed their wireless eggs in Clearwire's (Nasdaq: CLWR) WiMAX basket could be facing some bad news. A story by ZDNet Asia states that WiMAX has "lost out to Long Term Evolution (LTE) as the dominant cellular broadband standard globally" and will now survive as a "niche technology."

"LTE is quickly becoming a reality and the ecosystem is thriving, driven by the populous countries of China and India, with large scale deployments starting in the second half of 2011," Michael Higgins, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Competence Centre in the Asia-Pacific region said.

This, of course, is all based outside the U.S., but that was the market where WiMAX was expected to be widely deployed and from which the U.S. was expected to benefit. Now that market has shrunk, with clear implications for the U.S.

"For operators, the choice of technology takes a back seat compared to the availability of a strong ecosystem of devices to support the business case," Higgins said. "LTE is now recognized as the universal next-generation wireless broadband technology by many large operators."

For more:
- ZDNet Asia has this story

Related articles:
Time Warner Cable said to be testing WiMAX smartphone
Clearwire-Comcast-Sprint trio expand D.C. WiMAX footprint
Clearwire gets $1.33 billion to keep building WiMAX, 4G

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