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Cisco CTO Beats Up On WiMAX

If WiMAX wireless broadband technology succeeds, it won't be because of support from of networking giant Cisco Systems.

Charles Giancarlo, Cisco's Chief Technology Officer, spoke to a group at a technology conference in Boston. "Other than providing the backbone infrastructure behind any WiMAX deployment, Cisco is not invested in WiMAX," Giancarlo was quoted as saying in the online publication Unstrung. WiMAX is the name given to wireless broadband based on the still-pending 802.16 standard.

Giancarlo noted that other technologies, such as DSL and cable, were already available. He also noted that wireless operators are starting to bring 3G wireless systems up to speed. All those technologies negate the need for WiMAX, he said.

"Why would anybody build two parallel networks," Giancarlo said of WiMAX and 3G systems. "I maintain that the case for WiMAX is challenging at the moment."

Giancarlo drew parallels to LMDS and MMDS, two wireless broadband technologies that failed several years ago. "The economics (of LMDS and MMDS) became very bad very quickly," he noted.