Nortel’s Wi-Max Strategy

If the telecom geeks out there, Telephony Online has an interview with Peter MacKinnnon, Nortel’s new Wi-Max manager, about the company’s strategy for the market. Wi-Max has been identified as one of the key focuses for Nortel by CEO Mike Zafirovski (the others being enterprise and solutions and services).

“Nortel more than any other vendor is touting its research and development and all-around technical savvy in WiMAX above all else. MacKinnon said Nortel has seven years of solid research in orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) and multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) smart antenna technology under its belt and the intellectual property and patents to back it up,” the article proclaims.

While Wi-Max has lots of potential and supporters (Intel, Bell Canada, Nortel, etc.), the question is whether the technology will be able to establish a viable foothold within the telecom industry and, if so, how long it will take for carriers to embrace it. It’s one thing for Nortel to identify Wi-Max as a key strategic priority but it won’t matter much if the opportunity fails to materialize. MacKinnon, by the way, used to head up Nortel’s GSM/UMTS unit and, most recently, was president of the Nortel-LG joint venture.


5 Responses to “Nortel’s Wi-Max Strategy”

  1. Not Observer Says:

    From what I read, a key market driver for WiMAX will be video. Video comes in many different forms from pure entertainment, to business video conferencing and public safety video streams. For instance one application could be the delivery of public safety video from a high risk area to a Police car laptop while officers are en route to the scene. WiMAX could also be used for last mile access for video delivery to your home for those Service Providers moving down the IPTV path.

    The question will become how does a Service Provider that owns spectrum allocate portions of the spectrum to various user types.

  2. Nortel Says:

    So Nortel plan to be a concurrent of Linksys or Netgear for the new WiFi? I really do not understand the strategy behind this…

    Not enough money to make for such a big compagny and I think PMK will soon have plenty of time to play hockey!

  3. Not Observer Says:

    Care to explain why Sprint is investing close to $3 Billion USD on WiMAX if you honestly believe that WiMAX is like Linksys or Netgear WiFi? You have a lot to learn since WiFi and WiMAX are very different.

  4. Observer Says:

    Very different? What job do you do at Nortel?

    May I suggest you research IEEE 801 (WiFi) and future 802 (WiMax).

    These wireless standards operate under different ranges and spectrums. So what… one is here, the other is not.

    What future standards will be developed? More importantly, by who.

    So much is slow to take off, I agree here too. Lots of time before WiMAx comes of age. Lots. …will NT be around by then? I doubt it…

    Nortel is now struggling to find new areas with little success. They pay a premium for service or router companies or try and develop slow to take off voice to try and sell some one else’s enterprise server software to with traditionally optimistic targets and no miracles on the horizon. Think WiMax in years from now will save them?

    Remember how Nortel tried aligning itself with so many consumer companies that sell shares successfully, like RIM, Symantec, IBM, MSFT, and NT is the only company who has no consumer product.

    The Asian and intel will dominate WiMAx anyways, never mind WiFi or SMB of today…, look at WiBro. Samsung leads and in 4G too. Noika just announced cellular capabilities with intel for notebooks. the world turns without Nortel, perhaps better in light of its accounting problems. Just ask yourself where will Nortel be when this starts to take off, history I suspect.

    As for Sprint, Investing is one thing, seeing returns is another. Just look at Nortel’s R&D budget as a prime example.

    Even their core business suffers. Even Sprint Canada’s last order, in Nortel’s own backyard, went with Lucent and BMO ripped out all of their Nortel gear and replaced it with Cisco’s. Reliability issues also made the news recently. Anyone but Nortel is the trend and what everyone seems to be doing avoiding them as they cut products -do you think WiMax will be different?

    Nortel is also right in that even if succesfully, it would be low ticket item relative to its traditional business which is now rapidly decling as they shoot from the hip directionless looking for new avenues unable to afford much as others compete in this future space they may not be around to non-profit hobby in.

    Maybe Nortel can design something else with their untouched/least efficient R&D budget, directionless, in the communications arena the way I see it =) Leave WiFi/Wimax to the volume happy survivors and visionaries and Nortel to the courts, police, and trustees as they print paper holding so many hostage with endless hype under safe harbour and so many still there if you will kindly excuse the crass jab =)

  5. rock samborsky Says:

    Hey observer /jamezzz, if you hate Nortel so much then why do you spend so much time obsessing about it? If this is isn’t proof that you’re nuts, what is?

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