AT&T-Bellsouth behemoth may harm WiMAX market
Before Behzad Nadji resigned as the CTO of AT&T Labs, he was a vocal proponent of WiMAX, insisting that AT&T had "billions of reasons" to get WiMAX up and running between its central offices and customer premises... he was referring to the billions of dollars that AT&T spent every year on last mile access over monopoly telcos wires. AT&T's investment in WiMAX might have created a real alternative to the Bell operating companies...
But with SBC's acquisition of AT&T and the pending acquisition of BellSouth, strategists at the new Ma Bell reasonably have concluded that there is no reason for them to create competition to their own infrastructure. The Wireless Report's Brian White writes today that
With the AT&T-Bellsouth merger close looming ever-so-closely on the horizon, members of the U.S. Senate are a little perturbed that this merger, when complete, will possibly dampen development of newer broadband technologies like WiMAX, which is considered to be the potential third broadband pipe coming to a PC near you soon -- DSL and cable need competition anyway.White points out that Sprint Nextel owns licenses to the 2.5GHz range where WiMAX is likely to be deployed in the US, but the fact remains that the old AT&T, with its vast business customer base and wide variety of central office locations to mount WiMAX gear was in the best position to offer a real alternative to the Bells.
When there is real competition, markets work. When there isn't... well I think we can all see what happens.