Nokia: WiMAX is the new Betamax
Representing a veritable 180 degree turn in opinion, a Nokia spokesperson told the Financial Times today that the company no longer believes WiMAX is a viable wireless mobile standard.
"I don't think [WiMAX's] future is very promising. This is a classic example of industry standards clashing, and somebody comes out as the winner and somebody has to lose," said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of New Markets at Nokia. "Betamax was there for a long time, but VHS dominated the market. I see exactly the same thing happening here."
That wasn't the case four years ago, when Nokia struck out with Intel to encourage WiMAX adoption in the United States. The Finnish company then got on board with Sprint in its WiMAX endeavors in 2007, acting as an infrastructure provider for the network that eventually became known as XOHM, and now Clear.
In fact, Nokia's confidence in WiMAX didn't begin to show substantial cracks until the beginning of this year when it discontinued its WiMAX edition N810 tablet that was slated to be a U.S.-exclusive XOHM/Clear device.
Vanjoki put his money on LTE as the future of wireless broadband, which currently only has 26 network operator commitments worldwide, according to the GSA, but has the most support from infrastructure providers.
By 2015, Vanjoki estimated, the international LTE network will adequately cover "the most important places in the world."