The most hyped, most promising technology to really be tested gets another push from the Rupe.
Rupert Murdoch is looking for life after (or during) satellite and he seems to think that TV over WiMax is it.
It leads to an interesting discussion that is still ongoing, what is the business case for 802.16?
Not surprisingly many people are still convinced that VoIP or VoWLAN will be the real use for the technology. This is because of the super-sized cell that potentially can be created, the super-hotspot could be a real challenger for GSM and CDMA due to the typical usage habits of the average subscriber. So with that said do we already have the killer application for WiMax. Skype was an early disruptor to voice reveune and it's portability across many platforms does it make the ideal choice for the VoIP application. Gizmo is also a strong candidate for me, it has already been trialled on GoogleNet in Mountain View by Team OM, and I like the fact that it does run on the Nokia 770.
Others are talking about IPTV and the promised last mile bandwidth ability of 802.16. I'm not convinced that it's really a killer application. The whole TV Industry is up for change anyway and I'm not so sure that this is a necessary change anyway. I feel that the average couch potato is happy with ADSL and cable modem delivery.
One strong case, but no killer app, is backbone provision. There has been predictions of Cellular Back-haul. Here in Thailand the imminent changes for Interconnection and the years of concession to TOT and CAT forces other operators to use the duopoly owned copper. For an operator like TT&T that are solely rural this causes them some problems transiting a call on their own network. Combine their packet based NGN with WiMax and they could stop the un-necessary revenue leakage between regions.
As Paul alludes to the poor performance of the multi-billion pound 3G specturm sales is down to the lack of a justifiable application for the speed. We never found the elusive SMS for 3G that was the key behind the 2G and 2.5G explosion for GSM.
A like the turn of phrase from here "it's not the killer application, it's the kiiler environment"
Accepting that the technology is simply a pipe/tube the providers will have to be a lot more inventive on their revenue streams, paying for access won't cut it anymore as the buffet of conectivity options grows the pricing model has to change.
Blog Ping Echoes for this article
Rupert Murdoch and TV over WiMax from Om Malik
Is TV the killer app also from GigaOm
The developing business case for WiMax from TelecomAsia