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Wi-Max Cometh

Here’s a good primer on Wi-Max or, as it might be called, “Wi-Fi on steroids.”

Unlike Wi-Fi, which was designed to send signals no farther than 300 feet, only a few Wi-Max transmitters are needed to blanket an entire city with high-speed Internet connectivity.

And they continue:

Analysts are bullish on the prospects for Wi-Max. Boston-based Yankee Group is forecasting 28 million subscribers by 2011, while research firm In-Stat says Wi-Max infrastructure equipment and devices will become a $5 billion market within four years, up from $177 million today. Wi-Max “will enable all sorts of new devices we’ve never even thought of,” says Fred Wright, senior VP for networks and enterprise at Motorola. “Any applications that are cumbersome today because the cell phone can’t provide a fast enough data rate, those will be the sweet spots Wi-Max will be able to address.”

The significance of all this for radio is, of course, profound.

Anywhere, anytime, mobile Internet access will expand the distribution possibilities for all flavors of audio entertainment for any company which is willing to create or license the content and pump it out to an audience on ubiquitous mobile devices.

And it will be enabled simply.

It is very likely that the so-called “radio” you now own will be the last one you ever buy.

(That doesn’t mean listeners won’t tune in your content – it means they won’t be doing it on a new “radio.”)

It is very likely that you and your current competitors will be squeezed by dozens of new ones who were not born in the “radio business” – nor will they view themselves in that business. But your competition they shall be nonetheless. And your advertisers shall be theirs.

It is very likely that your audience’s audio entertainment and information needs will be met via tools that are only hinted at by the iPhone and their kind.

This is not science fiction.

It’s only five years away.

You ready?

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