Comcast and the WiMax Drive-By

It was interesting to read last week that one of the things that convinced Comcast CEO Brian Roberts of WiMax’s viability was a demonstration of how well mobile WiMax can work, even at 50 mph.

In a report last week from Light Reading’s cable guy Jeff Baumgartner, Roberts (whose company poured just north of a billion bucks into the New Clearwire WiMax deal) said “he became a believer partly due to a Clearwire WiMax demo that served up video as he and his test group zipped down the road at 50 miles per hour.”

While we’re not sure where Roberts’ demo took place (guessing Portland, Ore.), we were similarly impressed by the Motorola-Intel mobile WiMax demo at CES way back in January. From our most recent WiMax report, here is a small snippet about the WiMax drive-by (which one of our guest editors said should have been the first part of the report, because he liked the tale so much). Remember, you can order the report and get the whole story via immediate download. But here’s the excerpt, anyway:

When it comes to Internet use, watching a streaming YouTube video clip is a pretty mundane thing these days. But when you add in a significant degree of difficulty — say, watching YouTube without interruption inside a sport-utility vehicle driving around Las Vegas at 35 mph — then you start to realize the power and potential of Mobile WiMax in a very simple and understandable way.

The aforementioned experience was facilitated this past January by Intel and Motorola, who earned no small bit of publicity at the CES show by equipping a small fleet of SUVs with internal Internet connectivity powered by Mobile WiMax. The completely un-canned demo — reporters riding in the vehicles were allowed to use the connectivity in any fashion they desired on a range of devices — showed a high degree of confidence from Motorola and Intel that even a small, hastily constructed Mobile WiMax network would perform sufficiently well.

The report goes on to describe what you might find if you drove one of those trucks about an hour away… to a small town where a big telco is quietly running a commercial WiMax network of its own… if you want the details, you know where to find ‘em. :-)

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