Watch WiMax

When cable companies, cellular operators and Google think about going into business together, I listen.

Not that I don't think that they will eventually kill each other, but ...

Comcast, Time Warner and other companies are thinking about financing a new wireless company that would be a joint venture of Sprint and Clearwire to build a nationwide WiMax wireless network.

To build a WiMax network would cost billions. Sprint knows. It has tried to raise the money.

If you're a radio person thinking, "so what", wake up.

WiMax is even better than WiFi -- that very local wireless way computers and phones can connect to the Internet.

WiMax would give consumers high-speed access to the Internet using phones, mobile devices and laptops. Mobile video might benefit the most because WiMax would allow high quality pictures to be transmitted over the air.

Comcast -- according to a March account in the Wall Street Journal -- could be considering investing $1 billion in the WiMax project with Time Warner perhaps willing to add half that much. Intel and Google reportedly are also considering sizeable but less significant funding.

What all of this really is -- is a corporate pissing match.

Cellular operators like AT&T and Verizon have invaded the pay TV business so it seems logical in corporate think for the cable companies to strike back and hit them below the belt by getting into the wireless business.

The eventual construction of a high-speed, wide-area quality wireless link to the Internet has tremendous repercussions for the traditional radio industry that would just like all technology to go away and let it return to transistor radios.

Universal WiMax would make it seamless for consumers to have Internet-based music, information, communication with them everywhere. The advantage that radio transmission now has -- it's everywhere and it's free -- would be reduced to one thing.

It's still free.

But consumers would likely pay a premium to get Internet on-the-go.

That's why Internet streamers could be the next broadcasting revolution when their delivery system is put into place.

All this is not going to happen any time soon. But it will eventually happen. Only a matter of time.

If automakers are including WiFi capability in some new cars, can you imagine what WiMax -- a much wider range signal from transmitter to transmitter -- would mean to terrestrial radio operators?

They're thinking it would be another in a long line of setbacks.

I'm thinking -- and you may be, too -- that terrestrial radio companies might be ready to get into the content business. That's pictures, video, text and audio and become a new age broadcaster.

How exciting is this?

The salvation of Internet streamers is the arrival of a WiMax network. But some broadcasters seem to have a hard time seeing that the salvation of a dying radio industry is also this new form of wireless accessibility.

Not transmitting a terrestrial stream over the Internet. That's so 20th century!

But creating new content for the delivery system of a new age.

Want good news. Read this piece again and think about the possibilities.

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