YTL Communications, a Malaysian telecommunication company, recently launched its WiMAX service. Like P1 before it, both companies bill their WiMAX networks as running on 4G (4th Generation) technology. Presumably they will be faster than the 3G networks provided by rivals such as Celcom, DiGi, Maxis etc.
But, should you care?
If you are an old school who still surf the Web with PC, you may be interested in WiMAX. But if you are a fan of Apple iPhone or iPad, you can be excused for being less than thrilled. These gadgets won’t run on WiMAX. While there are some Android devices which run on this platform, their number is small.
Future may not be good for WiMAX either. Some of the world’s largest carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon of US, and T-mobile and Vodafone of Europe, have already thrown their weight behind LTE (Long Term Evolution), a competing 4G technology. Before long, the market will be flooded with smart phones for the new platform.
This is not to say that the future for WiMAX is bleak. It is just that it probably won't be a star. WiMAX is backed by chip giant Intel. The fact that WiMAX is at disadvantage signifies the shift of power from Intel and Microsoft to Apple.
1990s was the era of PC; the last decade was the era of the Web. Today we are entering post-Web era – an age whereby the phones are more exciting than the Web itself.