WiMAX World in Vienna, Austria has just started so we are probably going to see a couple of interesting WiMAX announcements in the next couple of days. Nokia already announced some time ago that they are working on a WiMAX mobile phone for 2008. No details given so far. Now, DMedia (Taiwan) and Comsys (Israel) have announced that the former is in the process of developing a WiMAX/GSM/GPRS (GPS) handset/PDA for release in 2008.
No further details are given and the web pages of the companies at this point also don’t contain any more details so it’s about as much vaporware as the Nokia announcement at this time. However, this vaporware announcement is a bit different.
First, it seems that they have understood that a WiMAX only mobile will not be worth much. First network deployments, similarly as when 3G first started, will be patchy at best, so users will need an alternative when not in a WiMAX area. One could even go as far as to speculate that GSM will be used for voice traffic even in WiMAX covered areas. That would make mobile WiMAX deployment a lot easier as coverage would not have to be engineered to have margin high enough to allow smooth handovers for voice calls at cell edges. Also, WiMAX operators could slowly ramp up their mobile VoIP offerings instead of getting battered by lousy mobile performance in the beginning.
And second, the announcement also shows that with a bit of luck, WiMAX will give back benchers in the mobile terminal market such as DMedia (ever heard of them before?) a chance on the market.
Original Source: Heise