In this chapter, some comparisons and then the conclusion are proposed. It is rather risky to give comparisons in a time where the broadband wireless access is at the eve of great changes and innovations. However, based on technical background, many news reports and conference analyses, some comparisons are given. A start is made by comparing Fixed WiMAX and Mobile WiMAX.
Which technology must be chosen? Fixed WiMAX products are already here. The problem is that they can only propose a fixed wireless access, although at rather long distances, up to 20 km. Is it better for an operator to wait some time, until the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008, according to present expectations, to have Mobile WiMAX? It is up to each operator to decide, taking into account the market targeted. In places where telecommunication infrastructure is well developed, it seems that Fixed WiMAX cannot compete with wired technologies such as DSL. Indeed, it would be surprising to have a wireless (unlimited) Mb/s cheaper than a wired (unlimited) Mb/s in London or Paris one day soon. However, what if this wireless (unlimited) Mb/s includes nomadicity (‘your PDA Internet connection works everywhere in the city, although you have to restart your session’) and, even more, mobility (‘your session is uninterrupted when you move’)?
WiMAX has some strong advantages: the same infrastructure can have Fixed and Mobile WiMAX access; the operator can start by covering a small area (if regulatory requirements do not forbid it) in order to adapt the deployment evolution to the business case. This is sometimes known as the ‘pay as you grow’ model. More generally, the business case must be adapted to the market profile: figures of business travellers, remote (fixed) subscribers, urban technophiles, applications expected (such as Internet, games), etc. This could make, in some cases, Fixed WiMAX a good starter before wide deployments of Mobile WiMAX. This could also give the Fixed WiMAX operator a leading position (reputation, market knowledge, client database, technical teams, etc.) before the deployment of Mobile WiMAX. Mobile WiMAX should normally occupy a majority of the WiMAX landscape for some years. However, a precise estimation of the number of years is thought to be very difficult to give today. This may well leave a market share for Fixed WiMAX, at least for ‘some’ years. Some applications are, by nature, fixed (e.g. telemetering). On the other hand, it must be kept in mind that Mobile WiMAX can also be used for fixed access from the technical point of view, not taking into account the cost parameter. An important parameter is the spectrum and the cost of this spectrum for each of Fixed and Mobile WiMAX. As of today, these spectrums do not have overlapping zones.