But it shows the story of one of the choice influencers and that is the story of MARKET PLACE
Inertia can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what side of the curve you are on. It is
easy to read – the faster you are climbing the “Y” Axis the greater your Inertia. In this case if
you are riding high on a current business case with an evolved solution and billions of users…
you might almost feel invincible… and you are probably a Mobile Service Provider… and if you
are really good, you are probably a GSM Mobile Service Provider…
Mobile subs will number over 3 Billion Users now or very soon (depending on whom you listen
to) and this will increase to over 5 Billion users or devices by 2013. Currently about 70% of
these devices use GSM as the base technology and this is growing… The force is with them and
the MARKET INERTIA is Great!
The next best climber on the “Y” axis is the number of Internet Subs… also moving
exponentially – to over 2 Billion users at the end of this year… Obviously the Inertia l effect
shows us that the most popular choices people are making today involve Cell Phones and
Broadband Users represent the next best climber --- moving exponentially using Wireline
DSLAM’s, Fixed Wireless Proprietary and WiMAX, Mobile GSM and CDMA, and Mobile WiMAX…
Everybody wants BROADBAND, and to the ones providing it, it has to be delivered under $500
US per subscriber --- the more under $500 the better the case. In fact $500 seems is the Worst
But on the chart – look at the WiMAX Inertia… We will have fewer than 150 Million WiMAX
subscribers delivered from about 500 providers worldwide by 2011…
I have drawn this chart to scale so the Inertial effects are obvious… showing where the market
In my humble opinion WiMAX will have a greater challenge overcoming the Mobile (LTE) Inertia
and we have not even talked about the hand held multimedia device Inertia in both technology
This is not to say that WiMAX is not an important technology – It will be deployed and in my
opinion as a NICHE MARKET Solution --- there is nothing wrong with a GOOD NICHE MARKET!
other not thought about too often, show off type of tribe - the Ethernet Tribe… they are all
The GSM Tribe, think the CDMA tribe are a dying breed and they sometimes laugh at them…
The CDMA Acronym chant is… CDMA 2000 1xEVDO (A), 1xEVDO (b) – UMB --- oops not UMB
no more… QUALCOMM stopped the development of Ultra-Mobile Broadband last November ---
in effect they ran to the GSM tribe not wanting to be on the side of the losing CHOICE… and
wanting to influence the decisions made to ensure the royalty checks keep coming.
The GSM Mantra is GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, HSPA, HSPDA, HSUPA, HSUPA+ and finally the golden
grail itself --- LTE! Long Term Evolution is the endgame. Surely this will be the tribe ending up
with the most coconuts! This is not well known, but I have heard leaders of the LTE Tribe don’t
think of LTE as Long Term Evolution – they really think of it as… Let’s Take Everything!
To show the seriousness of CHOICE we can look at a case currently happening in CANADA –
where a few years ago Bell and Telus chose CDMA, which seemed a good choice at the time
based on a solid Nortel product plan… the technology was superior.
Rogers working with Ericsson chose GSM, and to this day ROGER’s CTO is treated somewhat like
a God --- for making the RIGHT choice!
Bell and Telus are now spending about $1 Billion dollars to build a GSM based network, like the
Rogers Network across Canada. Rogers is the only game in town for multi-media Mobile
devices like the iPhone… Bell and Telus are not amused!
As can be seen on the chart, the CDMA tribe does not have a path to LTE… IMHO, they will
become an orphan technology and eventually will go the way of the Floppy Disk… there may be
some around here and there but most people will not be using it any more.
The WiMAX guys are newer to the jungle. The WiMAX sales force, usually mention they are
Data Centric --- IP all the way and based on STANDARDS… where iNTEROPERABILITY between
Vendors becomes an advantage for the SUBSCRIBER and the OPERATORS. WiMAX has three
Acronym mantras --- 16(d), 16(e) and 16(m)… WiMAX is a great technology… and I saw this for
myself about a month ago in Toronto where I was in a van with 4 LCD screens built in… each a
separate virtual computer or TV… as the van was driven (by a driver who was not allowed to
have an LCD screen like the rest of us) at 120km/h, me and three others, were individually
watching live - Real Time TV programs like HBO or Oprah, while making a Skype Call, then
bringing in SLING and watching a foreign program like the NEWS in Japan! The technology
was Motorola 2.5GHz WiMAX 16e with 10MHz of Spectrum. And we did a successful seamless
hand off while moving at that speed.
This demonstration proved to me that the tribal war has nothing to do with Technology… I am
a technology whore and believe me when I say this technology is beautiful --- It will not be
commercialized soon though because the tribal wars are all about Business Cases… and in my
humble opinion, the WiMAX tribe will not be able to cannibalize the GSM tribe because the
GSM Business case is humming along and making too much money for the Mobile Service
Providers… If you are a Star Trek fan and a good observer of human nature, you may see that
most people belonging to the GSM tribe look like and talk like Ferengi!
It’s all about PROFIT!
The winning Business Case at the moment is being executed by the Mobile Service Providers…
they want nothing to do with WiMAX, since it is a game changing technology which would only
cannibalize the current case.
Who cares if it is based on a STANDARD which will provide a better deal for the subscribers
since they will be able to use one CPE device on multiple networks around the world?
While WiMAX is an excellent technology, it is a cannibal business case unless we are talking
about unserved or underserved areas… where WiMAX will provide an excellent solution… Right
now it is a Niche Market solution and in my humble opinion may remain just that… but very
good ROI can be made in a healthy Niche market.
It does not surprise me that Ericsson wants nothing to do with WiMAX --- Why cannibalize a
The LTE tribe may also be pulling a bit of a fast one on us… have you noticed LTE and WiMAX
16(m) look very much alike, having common technology platform components --- LTE is IP
Based, Packet Centric, OFDMA Based and MIMO based --- WiMAX(m) is IP Based, Packet
Centric, OFDMA Based and MIMO Based. Both are 4 G (Whiz) solutions – meaning they will
deliver over 100Mb/s over the air… and it is expected over the air speeds greater than 1Gb/s
will be achieved in the next few years.
Could it be the GSM Tribe have seen great merit in the technology attributes of WiMAX, but
could never call LTE a WiMAX solution? Both ways the technology platforms for LTE and WiMAX
will have common technology attributes… and there still can be a choice for the subscriber.
Some analysts portray the future of WiMAX and LTE to be shared --- where one Hardware
Platform will be able to emulate either the LTE Protocol or the WiMAX protocol – where
subscribers will have a choice of standard devices based on IEEE or proprietary extensions
based on ITU.
In my humble opinion, the LTE tribe have looked at WiMAX technology and realized how good
it actually is… They could not come out and say to the world the GSM tribe was inferior, but
they did make sure their LTE solution had converging technology which looks a lot like
WiMAX… Hey I am just writing out loud here… it may all be just a coincidence.
The main message here is that LTE and WiMAX are becoming converged technologies – CDMA
is becoming an orphan.
I will not talk about the multi- G/bps Wireline Ethernet tribe except to say that some good
poetic engineers believe the wireless speeds will eventually meet the Wireline speeds…
probably around CANTO’s 40th anniversary… If this happens please attribute this prediction to
me… if it does not happen, forget that I even mentioned it!