DSL/cable technologies require telephone/cable lines to be laid over long distances to serve customers. In countries such as India, Mexico or Brazil, the potential for broadband access is extremely high, taking into account the trend of Internet requirements. However, the penetration of DSL/cable is not as high, mainly due to a lack of reliable infrastructure, cables or backbone switching equipment.
A viable complement to DSL/cable based service is WiMax or wireless broadband, which connects users to the Internet, even in places where the infrastructure might not be as developed. At first glance, WiMax would seem similar to 3G cellular technologies, since both these networks can transmit data and voice, but by design, cellular 3G is voice-centric while WiMax is data-centric.
WiMax can achieve data rates up to 75Mbps and a theoretical 30 mile reach, however, in typical deployment scenarios, data rates fall with increasing reach. Geographically WiMax is flexible and can improve yield due to wiring/labor cost savings. It is very likely that service providers will use the tiered pricing approach and service contracts that they currently employ for DSL/cable.