Monthly Archives: August 2008

WiMAX and Emerging Markets

Although many predict WiMAX failure almost before it is born, the reality is that WiMAX is far from dead.

Emerging markets (Africa, India, South East Asia or Latin America) have such a lack of proper fixed broadband that WiMAX becomes a cost effective alternative to ADSL, with the additional value of mobility.

It is true that in developed markets (US, Europe, Australia, Japan…) there might be no room for WiMAX, due to the extensive offering of multi-Mbps broadband and HSDPA mobile broadband plans. But emerging markets still need to fill the digital divide gap, and WiMAX is an effective way to do it.

Intel recently announced that Centrino 2 will have built-in WiMAX support. The initial availability, though, will only be for 2.5 GHz band, which leaves some emerging markets with 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz licensees, waiting some more months before enjoying the ubiquity of WiMAX support that the Centrino platform will bring to laptops.

Intel delay for some of these markets is not delaying commercial launch and as an example Malaysia already enjoy commercial WiMAX, thanks to Packet One.

The PC penetration in these markets is still low, but cheaper laptops and specially affordable netbooks as the Asus Eee PC are rapidly increasing the number of computers.  And for people owning a laptop, instead of a desktop, wireless broadband with mobility is a much better deal than ADSL.

Back from Holidays

After a long summer break, welcome to the new season of tech-talk.biz

It has been two months with big sport events as the UEFA EURO Cup and the Beijing Olympics, covered for the first time not only on TV but also on Internet and mobile phones. And competition has not been intense only in Beijing these days among the Phelps, Bolts or Nadals, but also between the biggest challengers to Nokia’s reign in the handset market.

On 11 July Apple launched the much awaited 3G iPhone in 21 countries, and 20 more would follow on 22 August, including Singapore, Philippines or India. The 3G iPhone has not disappointed, though some complained about 3G connectivity issues supposedly linked to its Infineon chipset, and promised to be fixed in the next iPhone software update. Still the launch can be considered a great success with more than 6 million units being sold in the first 2 months.

iPhone competition has not taken any break, and the first Android handset is rumored to be launched by T-Mobile US as early as September. The handset comes from Taiwanese vendor HTC, and has been dubbed Dream, although the official name will be G1, reminding it is the first Google phone in the market. Equipped with a sliding full qwerty keyboard, a full web browser and a powerful CPU,  it will have access to plenty of applications to download from Google’s App Market. I can not wait to grab one.

In parallel, RIM is about to launch its Blackberry Bold, targeted to keep the heavy email business users away from iPhone, and adding functionality such as iTunes sync, GPS, Wifi and HSDPA support. Even some iPhone users might switch back to this beast from RIM once they realize email is so much easier.

Competition is great, both at the Olympics and at making us mobile users happy.