Was I too quick to dismiss the WiMAX market yesterday because Nortel decided to discontinue a JV with Alvarion? Perhaps. Alvarion came out swinging today explaining that the company is still financially sound, beating competitors of all sizes, has a sizable amount of cash on its balance sheet and a positive outlook for the future.
While WiMAX may not currently be a big enough market for multibillion dollar Nortel to make money from today, for a smaller player like Alvarion it can still be a huge growth engine. Moreover, since some companies are pulling out of the market, Alvarion could emerge stronger when all is said and done.
And when the market picks up again, perhaps we will look back at this time as a pivotal moment when Alvarion became a major WiMAX player.
I just can't help thinking about 2001-2003 when companies like Yahoo and many others left the search engine space because they decided it wasn't important. Then a few years later they realized - whoops, search is where the opportunity is. By then it was too late and Google had such a lead you just couldn't catch them.
Do I think this will happen with WiMAX? Not with the information I have at hand today. But I do think there are niche markets where WiMAX can/will excel and I can safely say the desire for broadband wireless access should never let up and society will eventually get to a point where we expect every device to be connected via broadband so you can change the heater settings in your kitchen from work or see how many cartons of eggs are in the fridge when you are at the supermarket.