Telecom & Wireless

Patent Pool To Drive WiMax Adoption, If Anyone Wants It (S)(CSCO)(INTC)(ALU)((CLWR)(T)

Douglas A. McIntyre

Several companies which hold most of the patents for super-fast wireless broadband technology WiMax have creating a patent pool to keep licensing fees down. Included in the new arrangement are Cisco (CSCO), Intel (INTC), Sprint (S), Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), Clearwire (CLWR), and Samsung.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “They have scheduled a conference call Monday to announce an organization, the Open Patent Alliance, to gather rights to WiMAX-related patents.” PC makers will get better deals for using the tech.

Of course, none of this works if WiMax goes nowhere. So far, in the US, it has not made much progress. Sprint was going to build a national network and so was Clearwire. Neither of those worked because of the expense. Recently several companies like Intel have put cash into a new program to get that national network built.

The WiMax roll-out will be done with Sprint trying to upgrade its cellular customers. The company hopes to steal some consumers who use AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless. But, Sprint’s customer service is consider the worst in the world. Getting people to use a new product is tough when they hate the old one from the same firm. AT&T and Verizon are also working on faster networks of their own.

It is a lot of effort to get people to buy something they may not want.

Douglas A. McIntyre