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Published on March 22nd, 2010 | by Babar Bhatti


WiMAX Struggles in US as Cisco Quits

The retreat of Cisco from the WiMAX market space is hitting headlines. This is a tale of technology, standards and political stakes. It does not matter which technology is better – the main factor for success is who backs it. Anyways, there have always been 2 groups: those who favored WiMAX and those who did not.

InformationWeek reports that Cisco is quitting the WiMax radio access network business and will cease making WiMax base stations. However, the networking company said it will continue supplying IP core and WiMax edge products like Wi-Fi and femtocells to WiMax customers. When Cisco acquired Starent for $2.9 billion a few months ago, the acquisition also appeared to seal the doom of WiMax as a Cisco base station supplier. Starent was already gaining major contracts from LTE carriers like Verizon Wireless, which is scheduled to roll out the first U.S. LTE network later this year.

Wall Street Journal talks about Sprint and its companion Clearwire which has rolled out WiMAX in the U.S.

While Clearwire pioneered wireless broadband, carriers including AT&T and Verizon Wireless have ignored its WiMax technology in favor of a rival 4G standard called Long Term Evolution.

The camp of WiMax backers, which includes Intel Corp. and Comcast Corp., has recently lost some supporters. Last week, Cisco Systems Inc. closed its WiMax business, following fellow equipment vendors Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks. Cisco and the others said they wanted to focus on LTE equipment.

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