WiFi and WiMax

At RWW, they ask whether WiFi will someday go away. I think that WiFi is in no danger of going away, but the ubiquitous web access is already on our doorstep and it’s called WiMax (everyone, chant with me: Xohm. Xohm. Xohm.) The future of web access will be 802.11n in the home and office (assuming it ever gets out of draft!) and WiMax everywhere else.

That said, Xohm is being designed explicitly for the embedded market, so it is possible that our toasters, TVs, and car keys will ultimately be WiMaxed instead of Wified. It really depends on the pricing model, and thats something we just cant predict how will play out yet. WiFi will probably always have an advantage in cost.

I tend to think of wifi and wimax as complementary technologies, however, in much the same way that commuter rail is complementary to a subway system. One is a heavy mover, with high capacity over long distances. The other is a short distance, low capacity transport. The analogy holds pretty well when you look at WiFi and WiMax as well.

UPDATE: hey, neat. I won the Comment of the Day at RWW for my comment. Thanks, Richard!