WiMAX continues to get another shot not in the arm, but right between the eyes, as key Taiwanese operator Global Mobile Corp announces it is going to ditch the losing team in favour of LTE.
It’s another spanner in the works of Taiwan’s plans to go WiMAX or bust. Intel’s unwavering commitment to the “4G” platform has long been to the annoyance of the country, with fly-by-night visits from Otellini as well as Intel spokespeople saying there’s nothing to worry about.
But WiMAX has been the wrong horse to back for some time as the rest of the world opts for LTE.
Global Mobile runs on WiMAX at present, but they’re also compatible with LTE, suggesting the operator had an idea it needed some insurance from the start. When its WiMAX coverage spreads over 70 percent, chair Rosemary Ho said it’ll apply to change to LTE instead.
It’s not like they have much choice, says the Taipei Times, which highlights a government mandate to increase 4G coverage to 70 percent before they can pull a switch-a-roo.
There are reports that Intel’s support has had a knock-on effect all round. Here in the UK, its Pipex partner Freedom4 was also committed to bringing WiMAX coverage as the norm. Intel allegedly u-turned on its position and allegedly pulled funding while rivals at Qualcomm appeared unsurprised, while others confirmed that its take on the next gen networks was wrong from the start.
Last year the Taiwanese government seemed aghast at Intel’s decision to “re-organise” WiMAX operations, leaving the administration with little else to do but reconsider the costlier LTE.