From WiFi Networking News: WiMax Hype, 802.11 Reality
Wi-Fi will out evolve and deliver connectivity at costs dramatically lower than WiMax. WiMax / 802.16 is just starting on its path to evolution, has a much smaller base of innovators and chipset growth volume. Wi-Fi is already far along on its core learning curve, has an easy order of magnitude larger base of innovators / investors and chipset growth volume. WiMax hype will sputter out to reality of a niche backhaul and rural marketplace, Wi-Fi/802.11 will evolve and grow into many more realms and dominate the Local Area Network (LAN) / Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) / Metro Area Network (MAN).
Berger’s conclusion is based on the history and development of earlier, wired networking technologies, where Ethernet is the clear winner. He reminds us that “Token Ring, then 802.12 AnyLAN VG, then ATM” were all once considered leading technologies that would replace lowly Ethernet, but didn’t. Today, 802.11 products are shunned by wireless carriers, but their spread and market dominance will be hard to beat by WiMax and 802.16.