Sprint commits $5 billion to WiMAX

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I have a long-standing heuristic that I rely on in the tech industry: Where Intel goes, so goes the industry. And we’re on the cusp of a major Intel move that I think we should all be paying attention to: WiMAX.

Up to this point, Intel’s vision of broadband wireless via WiMAX has been a bit slow to market–at least from what I thought Intel was setting out to do. I think now that Sprint is putting such major resources into WiMAX deployments, however, we’ll see the roll out that many of us have been expecting.

If the wireless service providers price the technology and provide availability as I hope they do, then my bet is that WiMAX will be a game changer. For instance, if WiMAX makes it to market in the US, we’ll see a final sweep of mobile PCs–it looks like sometime by 2010. This will have a lot of implications for laptops, Tablet PCs, and especially highly mobile devices, such as UMPCs. In fact, the more mobile the device, the greater the impact.

What changes might we see? I imagine we’ll get richer apps, more video, more content. We’ll also be able to stay more connected, more often, which will change the way we use our computers.

Exciting times are ahead.