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Nottingham University launches WiMax network next week

If you’re living in the Radford, Forest Fields and Haddon Park areas of Nottingham, you’ll shortly be serviced by a rather wicked WiMAX network, courtesy of Nottingham University.

Ostensibly the network is a pilot — aimed at connecting students, teaching staff, business and local residents. The network launches on the 29th of September (the day, by the way, when I turn 31).

WiMAX is a dirty word here on Mobile Industry Review after our industry columnist, Mr Operator, went to town on it. Here’s a reminder of just how scathing Mr Operator was:

If WiMax had come along 5 years ago, it would have been a lighthouse for Mobile operators struggling to right the shipwreck of 3G’s launch. But WiMax – and critically its mobile version – just didn’t arrive in time. HSPA and the roadmapped HSPA+ / LTE have stolen the show.

Evolution, not revolution. Why tear apart what you have, when you can just bolt on some new cards? Why give customers ‘orphan’ handsets when they can have devices that are backward-compatible with legacy networks?

For nations where 3G mobile broadband with its high QoS and device choice is already commoditised, WiMax has no place to play. Not because it’s inherently inferior, but because it doesn’t have anything to differentiate it except less choice in vendor/device, premature mobility & QoS standards, poorer performance in approved bands and the same cost base for infrastructure.

All it can do is play catch-up. And there’s precious little profit in being last to the party.

I’ve been meaning to head up to Manchester to check out the Freedom4 WiMAX network there — and now I need to add Nottingham to my list.

More news about the Nottingham roll-out at http://www.ingenuitygateway.com/programme/.

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