A few weeks ago I’ve been sitting in a meeting with a Wimax service provider. I was there for a completely different reason (they were interested in our outsourced network management solution), but after the meeting one of the Wimax technical gurus was kind enough to give me a quick walkthrough. I was more interested in the backhaul issues than in the wireless part (which is a total mystery to me) and I really liked what I’ve seen: pure IP-based backhaul, reusing exiting well known protocols like GRE, DHCP, RADIUS and Mobile IP.
Even the wireless part looks promising: they can map a CPE-side VLAN into a channel with its own QoS settings – a perfect solution to separate voice from data (and avoid the issues that choke the DSL world).
So, I started to wonder: will Wimax be the next disruptive technology (like IP was) or is it a dead branch on the wireless evolutionary tree?