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2009 Likely to Be a Big Year for WiMAX

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In the continuation of our series of executive interviews, I spoke with Motorola’s Fred Wright last week on WiMAX milestones in 2008, and the prospects for WiMAX in 2009. (Scroll down for podcast) In the US, we saw the launch of Sprint’s Xohm service in Baltimore in October, the approval of the Sprint/Clearwire merger, and a Clearwire soft launch started in Portland Oregon. Those are all big achievements, but they’re just the beginning of a nationwide WiMAX network that should see major advancements in the next 12 months. For the US, 2009 looks to be *the* year for WiMAX deployments.

In addition to network infrastructure, we’re going to see a lot of new WiMAX consumer devices in 2009. Sprint’s Barry West indicated at the Baltimore launch that 13 different laptops with embedded WiMAX have been or are ready to be released. Meanwhile, Clearwire is launching its network with a Motorola WiMAX adapter and CPE device. And there are many more WiMAX gadgets on the way.

In the rest of the world, the focus is on fixed and nomadic WiMAX rather than the brand of mobile WiMAX being deployed here, but momentum certainly continues.  Motorola is expecting more contracts in 2009 beyond the 23 (21 outside the US) currently in hand.

These are just a few of the insights from the full conversation with Fred Wright. To hear more, take a listen to the interview via the player below. (Audio file is just over six minutes) And stay tuned for a conversation on LTE with Motorola’s Darren McQueen next week.

Interview with Fred Wright (Hit play below)