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Nokia Dismisses WiMAX, Compares it to Betamax

  • Posted: Friday, April 03, 2009
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Nokia, WiMax

By Phil Goldstein

Nokia again dismissed WiMAX as a 4G technology standard, and seemed to solidify its support for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology while comparing WiMAX's future to that of Betamax, the video format that met its demise when VHS triumphed in the 1970s and 1980s."I don't see that WiMAX is taking hold anywhere in a big way," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's head of sales and manufacturing, at a Nokia launch event in San Francisco on Wednesday. "I don't think the future is very promising [for WiMAX]. This is a classic example of industry standards clashing, and somebody comes out as the winner and somebody has to lose. Betamax was there for a long time, but VHS dominated the market. I see exactly the same thing happening here."

Nokia has wavered in its support for WiMAX in the past, but this is by far the strongest condemnation the world's largest handset maker has made of the technology. Nokia still holds a seat on the board of the WiMAX Forum, yet James Harper, Nokia's senior manager of technology marketing, called WiMAX a "niche play" while speaking at a Portable Computer and Communications Association meeting held in Grapevine, Texas, in early March. Harper said WiMAX's lack of backwards compatibility and a clear roadmap were major drawbacks.

However, just days after that, Nokia denied that it was completely abandoning WiMAX as a 4G technology. The company said that its decision to end production of the N810 WiMAX tablet "does not apply to other WiMAX business development efforts that Nokia is involved in." [FierceWireless]

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