Nevertheless, Intel has pushed WiMax as an alternative to broadband over DSL in China. In June, the company announced an agreement to try WiMax-based Internet services in two Chinese cities, Dalian and Chengdu, but did not release specifics of the agreement, including when the trials are expected to commence, how many users would be involved, or which operators would participate.
The announcement was made based on agreements signed with local authorities in these cities and does not involve operators or officials at the national level, said Sean Maloney [CQ], the executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Communications Group, speaking in Busan, South Korea, earlier this month.
Maloney had no further information on the status of the trials.
While TI's Crupi sees little potential in WiMax as a way of providing broadband Internet access to homes, he sees promise in the mobile version of the technology, which will let users log on to Internet services provided by a mobile operator from any location within a large area, such as a city, using a notebook, phone or PDA (personal digital assistant).
"I think the key issue there is for WiMax to rationalize itself with cellular standards somehow, and I think if that works out it will be fairly big," Crupi said.
Despite Intel's enthusiasm for WiMax as a means of providing broadband Internet access to homes and offices, Crupi thinks the company is more focused on the mobile version of WiMax. "I don't underestimate Intel and what they can do with their marketing power, but I think their play will be more on the portability side," he said.