Most of the WiMAX attention in the U.S. centers on Sprint’s and , both of whom are using spectrum in the 2.5 Ghz range. Carriers not lucky enough to own or have access to that spectrum appear to be on the short end of the WiMAX stick. But don’t tell that to Grand Haven, MI based . They just recently launched WiMAX services in Michigan and New Mexico, using the 3.65 Ghz spectrum range. Branded as , the Azulstar service offers consumer and business services, as well as a voice product. The consumer services pricing begins at $24.95 for 1.5 Mbps downstream and tops out at $34.95 for 6 Mbps downstream. Azulstar is using equipment from .

This is an important development because the 3.65 Ghz band is more widely available to potential WiMAX service providers. It’s basically an unlicensed spectrum, but does require registration and filing fees with the FCC. For telecompetitors who lack spectrum, this option may be appealing to explore WiMAX options, particularly in rural and less densely populated areas where competition from licensed spectrum holders/users is less intense.

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One thought on “WiMAX Coming in Multiple Forms

  1. The real issue here is that Clearwire and or Sprint will have a hard time competing with Verizon Wireless new 700Mhz based LTE networks using a marginl Spectrum (2.5Ghz)to deliver a Mobile and in Building Broadband Service. Where it will struggle is when it tries to deliver these service in a heavily canopied Rural and Suburban markets-trees will absorb their signal regardless of how much spectrum they own.
    The 3.65Ghz spectrum is interesting but will be limited to PTP and or Line of Site based Broadband Links. Will not really offer any viable VoiceIP like services or anything Mobile.
    This competition will also include AT&T if they go ahead with their long range plans to use both the 700Mhz and AWS-1 spectrum for their LTE network. However,do not be suprised if AT&T elects to deploy their own WiMAX network,focusing mainly on a Data Centric (FDD based)network(Data/Video and VoiceIP list of services) which would quickly free up spectrum on its HSDPA and Plus Voice networks using their nationwide 700 & AWS spectrum. By simply offering a new series of Dual (or triple) Mode phones, HSDPA and WiMAX 700 based, they will have an immediate and early impact on VZW Cell business which is their real competition.
    Or they may simply focus on using this new spectrum to enhanced delivery of their planned Broadcast Video services net challenging VZW in this camp as well.


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