Five Burning Wireless Questions

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4. Do you need to pay attention to Google's Android?

Yes, but Google's open source mobile platform not expected to overrun your network anytime soon.

It's hard to determine whether IT departments should start thinking hard about Google's open source mobile Android platform, mostly because no Android devices or enterprise applications actually exist yet.

In contrast to the Apple iPhone, which recently added a plethora of new corporate applications and capabilities, Google isn't aiming to make Android an enterprise fixture just yet.

Android, the platform that Google and its partners in the Open Handset Alliance unleashed last fall, was created to open up carriers' wireless networks and allow users of Android-powered devices to connect to any network and to add whatever applications they choose. Google doesn't currently have any plans to develop its own device a la the iPhone or the BlackBerry, and therefore any enterprise-friendly applications or features added onto Android-powered phones will have to come from third-party developers.


5. Will WiMAX have a place in the enterprise in the next 12 months?

While WiMAX appears to be set for commercial deployment in some U.S. markets by year-end, the technology has been plagued by fits and starts.

While WiMAX appears to be set for commercial deployment in some U.S. markets by year-end, the technology itself has been plagued by various fits and starts.

One of its biggest problems has been at the carrier level, where only Sprint-Nextel has adopted it as its 4G technology of choice. While Sprint had initially billed itself as "the 800-pound gorilla in WiMAX," the carrier has gone through a period of turmoil over the past year and is still working on turning itself around.

Things seemed to be going in the right direction last summer when Sprint and Clearwire signed a letter of intent to jointly build out a nationwide WiMAX network, but their plans fell apart soon after then-Sprint CEO Gary Forsee, who had been instrumental in investing in WiMAX, resigned under investor pressure. Officially, the two companies said they "could not resolve complexities" involved in the original plan for building out a nationwide WiMAX network, although they continued to negotiate with one another on an alternative plan. 


This story, "Five Burning Wireless Questions" was originally published by Network World.

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