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WiMAX provider CEO blames technology for application failure

Blaming the second-tier vendors and technical problems of the technology, the first WiMAX service provider in Australia has stated that WiMAX is a failure.

This article originally appeared on Brighthand.com.

Blaming the second-tier vendors and technical problems of the technology, the first WiMAX service provider in Australia has stated that WiMAX is a failure. Once a proponent of the technology, Buzz Broadband CEO Garth Freeman has changed his opinion based on real-world experience with the technology.

The CEO of the first WiMAX provider in Australia declared that WiMAX technology has "failed miserably" in its application by his company.

Garth Freeman, CEO of Buzz Broadband, speaking during a speech to the International WiMAX Conference in Bangkok, called the technology a "disaster" and blamed its technical 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.

Change of heart
Freeman's attack was underscored by the fact that a year earlier at the same conference he had generally praised WiMAX shortly after his company rolled it out, despite concerns expressed then about indoor performance issues. In his more recent remarks, he said that these comments provoked complaints from the company's hardware vendor, who felt that they were being implicitly criticized.

Freeman went on to endorse the 3G technology HSPA over WiMAX, praising its existing deployments and vendors.

Opinion not universal
Though some other early adopters of WiMAX, such as VSNL in India, have also expressed displeasure with their real-world experiences with WiMAX, not all such providers are unhappy with their networks. Australia-based Internode Systems reports that its initial rollout in the Yorke Peninsula region is successfully providing average speeds of 6 megabits to customers up to 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the tower.

Several major technology companies including Sprint and Intel have invested considerable amounts of money in developing and promoting WiMAX as a faster alternative to cellular-wireless internet technologies such as EV-DO and HSDPA.

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