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WiMAX WaTCH: India's Tata Communications Beats Sprint to the Punch

Sprint's XOHM WiMAX network might still be on track to reach 100 million people, but even 100 million people is chump change compared to the size of the market in India. If Sprint is looking for a little inspiration for how to properly roll out WiMAX, they need look no further than India's Tata Communications:

India is about to become the frontier for high-speed, mobile Internet connections. On March 4, India's Tata Communications, an emerging broadband player, announced the countrywide rollout of a commercial WiMax network, the largest anywhere in the world of the high-speed, wireless broadband technology.
Already 10 Indian cities and 5,000 retail and business customers use the product, and by next year Tata will offer service in 115 cities nationwide. The folks at Tata can hardly contain their excitement. “WiMax is not experimental, it's oven-hot,” says Tata's Prateek Pashine, in charge of the company's broadband and retail business. - [Open Gardens]

We've about reached the point where 3G has penetrated the majority of the US on the majority of carriers (apologies to T-Mobile and to, uh, my hometown, which is still EDGE-only), so it's only natural that we're looking ahead to WiMAX and the GSM-based LTE, to say nothing of the new spectrum that Verizon and AT&T just snapped up. Still, wouldn't it be nice if the roadmap for where and when we'll see these lightning fast mobile speeds was a little clearer?

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Reader comments

WiMAX WaTCH: India's Tata Communications Beats Sprint to the Punch

2 Comments

Actually, who knew but evidently Australia beat both India and the US to the WiMAX punch.
More importantly (and much more distressing) is this snippet:Garth Freeman, CEO of Buzz Broadband, speaking during a speech to the International WiMAX Conference in Bangkok, called the technology a "disaster" and blamed it's techical failings and "second-tier vendors" for the weak performance of the WiMAX network his company deployed just over a year ago.
Describing WiMAX as "mired in opportunistic hype," Freeman described an inability to get a signal inside a structure just 400 meters (1300 feet) from the base station, and latency up to 1000 milliseconds, making the service unusable for Voice-over-IP.
YIKES
http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=13897

It is going to be interesting to track the fallout of the Buzz Broadband fall out. I saw Sprint had already joined Airspan on the defensive. The announcement was in Bangkok where Motorola has been touting a successful trial. I thought Carlo had an interesting perspective on this over at I was reading on this over hyperconnectivity.com. My guess is that the fall out will be minimal. What you all think?