Continuing on my earlier post on this blog, I wanted to talk a bit about a piece of news today that has the potential of implementing fundamental changes in the way cellular communications work. According to this report, Sprint-Nextel will build the first nationwide Wimax network in the United States, investing as much as US$ 4.5 billion according to this report.
Now, to put this into perspective, imagine this. Wimax can provide about 50 kms (31 miles) of non-line of sight connectivity. Now, instead of using pure wireless network technology like GSM or CDMA, cellular providers can leverage this network of omnipresent broadband internet to transmit voice and data over VoIP. And suddenly you have a situation where there is a drastic fundamental paradigm shift in the technologies used to provide 4G voice and data connectivity (atleast in the urban populated areas). There are still multiple challenges – spectrum needs, end-user equipment power requirements etc. But this is the next big wave in transformational changes in the telecom industry. And atleast in the United States, Sprint-Nextel has been the first provider to react.
Heartening that India is starting to embark on that path as well. With much less legacy investment in communications infrastructure – India is much better placed to take advantage of this new technology to connect our vast and diverse country.