It is ironic that my name is Peter, especially since I’ve felt like Peter and the Wolf. But in my case it is Peter and the WiMax. I’ve cried out that WiMax is coming so often now that I don’t believe when I say it is coming. But this time Clearwire promises that the WiMax coverage will expand on September 1, when it adds 10 markets to the four-city coverage it already has under the mobile broadband umbrella.
Currently those cities are Baltimore; Atlanta; Las Vegas; and Portland, Oregon. The additional markets to be added are actually a bit smaller. These include eight in the great state of Texas including Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Kileen-Temple, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Waco, and Wichita Falls. The other markets are Bellingham, Washington and Boise, Idaho. And not to belittle these smaller markets, but these seem like baby steps towards Clearwire’s goal to reach 120 million customers by the end of next year.
But even baby steps are at least a step forward. Those in the selected markets will also be able to get near anywhere Internet. And the rates are actually reasonable, with fixed plans starting at $20 per month, while mobile service will be available for $30 per month (with speeds between 3Mb per second (Mbps) to 6Mbps). That’s some speedy service for just opening a notebook or pulling out a mobile phone… not that the latter option is quite ready yet. But don’t worry I’ll be hollering about that real soon I’m sure.
Of course the final issue is whether WiMax as a mobile broadband is actually going to attract customers. The idea of anywhere Internet is certainly attractive to business users, but we’ve been talking about it for a while now, and new technologies seem to do the same thing. One example is that 3G mobile services are already offering anywhere mobile coverage, and the adoption of mobile smartphones could make carrying a bulky laptop (when all is considered anyway) a thing of the past. And right now the Samsung-produced Mondi MID (Mobile Internet Device) is about the only handheld WiMax device out there. With 4G networks on the horizon, WiMax might not be “max” enough. Still, many larger cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle are poised for WiMax delivery later this year, while San Francisco, Boston and New York could get unwired with anywhere broadband next year. However it pans out, I hope this time I’m not crying wolf.
Will There be a War Between Google and Apple?
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has left the Apple building, and resigned from Apple’s board of directors. In a statement Apple CEO Steve Jobs had stated:
Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest.
What does it mean? Well, across the blogosphere in the last 24 hours it was clear. The two companies probably won’t only not play so nicely everywhere, but this could be the beginning of a showdown between Android and the iPhone. But is this really a surprise?