Olympic WiMax likely to disappoint

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A much-heralded WiMax deployment at China's Olympics looks likely to be " over promised and under delivered", according to analysts..

China's dominant mobile phone operator, China Mobile, has been designated to provide a WiMax network for the games, according to analyst firm, IMS Research.

However, the 15 months China Mobile was given to roll out a network with 150 base stations in Beijing alone was a "lofty goal" that the company is unlikely to have met, according to a statement from IMS analysts.

The network was intended to cover the Olympic village and surrounding areas.

WiMax will be be used mainly at the Olympic sailing events near the coastal city of Qingdao, according to recent comments from Intel chief executive officer Paul Otellini.

Prior to the sudden shift to WiMax, China's government was reportedly hoping to use the games to showcase its own locally-developed wide area wireless networking technology, Multicarrier Wireless Internet Local Loop (McWill).

The standard is based on SCDMA technology and uses the 400Mhz frequency band. Local firm China Netcom was reported to be working on the McWill network for the Olympics.

China has also endeavoured to roll out its long developed 3G mobile phone standard, TD-SCDMA, in time for the Olympics.

Although the network is operating in major cities, some early users have complained of technical difficulties. China's government has delayed the introduction of foreign-developed 3G standards while local companies work on TD-SCDMA.

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