It’s interesting to observe the war of words between the supporters of the two main 4G wireless technologies – WiMAX and LTE – over which is best positioned to maximize mobile broadband. Both have their passionate supporters and both make compelling arguments. We don’t have a horse in this race and tend to believe that both can co-exist, much the same way CDMA and GSM do in today’s 3G world. But we do believe you have to give WiMAX some credit – it is up and running today, providing an actual WiMAX experience. Can’t say the same for LTE – at least that we’re aware of.
Gizmodo, the gadget technology blog, has an interesting post where they outline some recent WiMAX testing they’ve done on Clearwire’s Portland WiMAX network. They seem pretty excited about it. They achieved some promising results on an actual functioning WiMAX network – not a lab. Among other results, they achieved a 13 Mbps download speed in a car travelling at 60 mph. They’re quick to point out that these tests are ‘uncapped’ and do not represent a typical download speed for future Clear customers. Clearwire says typical speeds should be closer to 3-4 Mbps. Gizmodo provides some great insight into the test – it’s well worth a look.
The pending battle between WiMAX operators and current 3G options, as well as forthcoming 4G LTE services will offer some great competitive ‘theater.’ Indeed, mobile broadband will be a compelling competitive weapon – one that both telecom and cable hope to capitalize on.