WiMax Leads the Way
Suddenly, it's over: The decade-long phone and cable company data duopoly will give way to a new broadband technology player in 2008: WiMax. This hot new flavor of wireless networking - which works just like that hotspot at Starbucks, but over hundreds of square miles - will sprout from both major operators like Sprint Nextel and start-ups such as Clearwire and Airspan Networks. WiMax's effect will be alchemic: Just look at what once-lowly T-Mobile is creating with its new HotSpot@Home product. But an even bigger gorilla is looming in the wireless mist: Apple. If WiMax rollouts go as planned, a hardware company like Apple will be able to run its own network. The scuttlebutt is when AT&T's iPhone deal expires, you can expect Steve Jobs and company to go it alone and provide data to their customers without the help of a phone company. Just imagine what a pain Apple will be to deal with then.