Monday, March 31, 2008

Did you know? Did you consider? (Part 1)

In 2007 the European average mobile revenue per user (ARPU per month) was €28+/-€6; a drop of ca. 4% compared to 2006 (the EU inflation level in 2007 was ca. 2.3%).

of the €28 ARPU, ca. 16% could be attributed to non-voice usage (i.e,. €4.5).

of the €4.5 Non-Voice ARPU, ca. 65% could be attributed to SMS usage (i.e, €3.0).

Thus, leaving €1.5 for non-voice (mobile) data service (i.e., 5.4% of total ARPU).

The increase that most European countries have seen in their mobile Non-Voice Revenue has by far not been able to compensate for the drop in ARPU across most countries over the last 5 to 6 years.

Adding advanced data (e.g., UMTS and HSPA) capabilities to the mobile networks around Europe has not resulted in getting more money out of the mobile customer (but absolute revenue has grown due to customer intake).

Although most European UMTS/HSPA operators report a huge uptake (in relative terms) of Bytes generated by the customers, this is not reflected in the ARPU development.

Maybe it really does not matter as long as the mobile operators overall financial performance remains excelent (i.e., Revenues, Customers, EBITDA, Cash, ....)?

Is it possible to keep healthy financial indicators with decreasing ARPU, huge data usage growth and investments into brand-new radio access technologies targeting the €1.5 per month per user?

More on this subject yet to come :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wireless Broadband Access (BWA) Greenfield Ambitions?

In case you are contemplating starting a wireless broadband, maybe even mobile broadband, greenfield operation in Europe there will be plenty of opportunity the next 1 to 2 years.

Will it be a great business in Western Europes mature market? - probably not - but it still might be worth pursuing. The mobile incumbants will have a huge edge when it comes to spectrum and capacity for growth which will be very difficult to compete against for a Greenfield with comparable limited spectrum.

Upcoming 2.50 GHz to 2.69 GHz spectrum (i.e., 2.6 GHz for short) auctions, often refered to as the UMTS extension band spectrum, are being innitiated in several European countries (United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Sweden, etc..). Thus, we are talking about 190 MHz of bandwidth up for sale to the highest bidder(s). Compared this with the UMTS auction at the 2.1 GHz band which was 140 Mhz. The European Commission has recommended to split up the 190 MHz into 2x70 MHz for FDD operations (basically known as UMTS extension band in some countries) and a (minimum ) 1x50 MHz part for TDD operation.

In general it is expected that incumbent mobile operators (e.g., Vodafone, T-Mobile, KPN, Orange, Telefonica/O2, etc..) will bid for the 2.6 GHz FDD spectrum, supplementing their existing UMTS 2.10 GHz spectrum mitigating possible growth limitation they might foresee in the future. The TDD spectrum is in particular expected to be contended by new companies, greenfield operations as well as fixed-line operators (i.e, BT) with the ambition to launch broadband wireless access BWA (i..e, WiMAX) networks. Thus, new companies which intend to compete with today's mobile operators and their mobile broadband data proporsitions. Furthermore, just as mobile operators with broadband data competes with fixed broadband business (i.e., DSL & cable); so is it expected that the new players would likewise compete with both existing fixed and mobile broadband data proporsitions. Obviously, new business might not limit their business models to broadband data but also provide voice offerings.

Thus, the competive climate would become stronger as more players contend for the same customers and those customer's wallet.

Let's analyse the Greenfields possible business model as the economical value of starting up a broadband data business in mature markets of Western Europe. The analysis will be done on a fairly high level which would give us an indication of the value of the Greenfield Business model as well as what options a new business would have to optimize that value.

FDD vs TDD Spectrum

The 2.6 GHz auction is in its principles assymetric, allocating more bandwidth to FDD based operation than to TDD-based Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) deployment; 2x70 MHz vs 1x50 MHz. It appears fair to assuming that most incumbent operators will target 2x20 MHz FDD which coincide with the minimum bandwidth target for the Next-Generation Mobile Network (NGMN)/Long-Term Evolution (LTE) Network vision (ref: 3GPP LTE).

For the entrant interested in the part of the 1x50 MHz TDD spectrum would in worst case need 3x the FDD spectrum to get an equivalent per sector capacity as an FDD player, i.e., 2x20 MHz FDD equivalent to 1x60 MHz TDD with a frequency re-use of 3 used by the TDD operator. Thus, in a like-for-like a TDD player would have difficulty matching the incumbants spectrum position at 2.6 GHz (ignoring the incumbant having a significantly stronger spectrum position from the beginning).

Of course better antenna systems (moving to re-use 1), improved radio resource management, higher spectral efficiency (i.e., Mbps/MHz) as well as improved overall link budgets might mitigate possible disadvantage in spectral assymmetry benefiting the TDD player. However, those advantages are more a matter of time before competing access technologies bridge an existing performance gab (technology equivalent tit-for-tat).

Comparing actual network performance of FDD-based UMTS/HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) with WiMAX 802.16e-2005 the performance is roughly equivalent in terms of spectral efficiency. However, in general in Europe there has been allocated far more FDD-based spectrum than TDD-based which overall does result in a considerable capacity and growth issues for TDD-based business models. Long-Term Evolution (LTE) path is likely to be developed both for FDD and TDD based access and equivalent performance might be expected in terms of bits-per-second to Hz performance.

Thus, it is likely that a TDD-based network would become capacity limited sooner than a mobile operator having a full portfolio of FDD-based spectrum (i.e., 900 MHz (GSM), 1800 MHz (GSM), 2,100 MHz (FDD UMTS) and 2,500 MHz (FDD - UMTS/LTE) to its disposition. Therefore, a TDD based business model could be expected to look differently than an incumbants mobile operators existing business model.

The Greenfield BWA Business Case

Assume that Greenfield BWA intends to start-up its BWA business in a market with 17 million inhabitants, 7.4 million households, and a surface area of 34,000 km2. The Greenfield's business model is based on house-hold coverage with focus on Urban and Sub-Urban areas covering 80% of the population and 60% of the surface area.

It is worth mentioning that the valuation approach presented here is high-level and should not replace proper financial modelling and due dilligence. This said, the following approach does provide a good guidance to the attractiveness of a business proporsition.

Greenfield BWA - The Technology Part
The first exercise the business modeller is facing is to size the network needed consistent with the business requirements and vision. How many radio nodes would be required to provide coverage and support the projected demand - is the question to ask! Given frequency and radio technology it is relative straightforward to provide a business model estimate of the site numbers needed.

Using standard radio engineering framework (e.g., Cost231 Walfish-Ikegami cell range model (Ref.:Cost321)) a reasonable estimate for a typical maximum cell range which can be expected subject to the radio environment (i.e, dense-city, urban, sub-urban and rural). Greenfield BWA intends to deploy (mobile) WiMAX at 2.6 GHz. Using the standard radio engineering formula a 1.5 km @ 2.6 GHz Uplink limited cell range is estimated. Uplink limited implies that the range between the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) and the Basestation (BS) is shorter than the other direction from BS to CPE. This is a normal situation as the CPE equipment often is the limiting factor in network deployment considerations.

The 1.5-km cell range we have estimated above should be compared with typical cell ranges observed in actual mobile networks (e.g., GSM900, GSM1800 and UMTS2100). Typically in dense-city (i.e., Top-3 cities) areas, the cell range is between 0.5 and 0.7 km depending on load. In urban/metropolitan radio environment we often find an average between 2.0 - 2.5 km cell range depending on deployed frequency, cell load and radio environment. In sub-urban and rural areas one should expect an average cell range between 2.0 - 3.5 km depending on frequency and radio environment. Typically cell load would be more important in city and urban areas (i.e., less frequency dependence) while the frequency will be most important in sub-urban and rural areas (i.e., low-frequency => higher cell range => fewer sites; higher frequency => lower cell range => higher number of sites).

The cell range (i.e., 1.5 km) and effective surface area targeted for network deployment (i.e., 20,000 km2) provides an estimate for the number of coverage driven sites of ca. 3,300 BWA nodes. Whether more sites would be needed due to capacity limitations can be assessed once the market and user models have been defined.

Using typical infrastructure pricing and site-build cost the investment level for Western Europe (i.e., Capital expenses, Capex) should not exceed 350 million Euro for the network deployment all included. Assuming that the related network operational expense can be limited to 10%(excluding personnel cost) of the cumulated Capex, we have a yearly Network related opex of 35 million Euro (after rollout target has been reached). After the the final deployment target has been reached the Greenfield should assume a capital expense level of minimum 10% of their service revenue.

It should not take Greenfield BWA more than 4 years to reach their rollout target. This can further be accelerated if Greenfield BWA can share existing incumbant network infrastructure (i.e., site sharing) or use independent tower companies services. In the following assume that the BWA site rollout can be done within 3 years of launch.

Greenfield BWA the Market & Finance Part
Greenfield BWA will target primarily the house-hold market with broadband wireless access services based on the WiMAX (i.e., 802.16e standard). Voice over IP will be supported and offered with the subscription. Greenfield BWA intends to provide stationary as well as normadic services to the house-hold segment. In addition Greenfield BWA also will provide some mobility in the areas they provide coverage. However, this would not be their primary concern and thus national roaming would not be offered (reducing roaming charges/cost).

Greenfield BWA reaches a steady-state (i.e., after final site rollout) customer market-share of 20% of the Household base; ca. 1.1 million household subscriptions on which they have a blended revenue per household €20 per month can be expected. Thus, a yearly service revenue of ca. 265 million Euro. From year 4 and onwards a maintenance Capex level of 25 million Euro is kept (i.e., ca. 10% of revenue).

Greenfield BWA manage its cost strictly and achieve an EBITDA margin of 40% from year 4 onwards (i.e, total annual operational cost of 160 million Euro).

Depreciation & Amortisation (D&A) level is kept at a level of $40 million annually (steady-state). Furthermore, Greenfield Inc has an effective tax rate of 30%.

Now we can actually estimate the free cash flow (FCF) Greenfield Inc would generate from the 4th year forward:

(all in million Euro)
Revenue €265
-Opex €158
=EBITDA €106
- D&A €40 (ignoring spectrum amortization)
- Tax €20 (i.e., 30%)
+ D&A €40
=Gross Cash Flow €86
-Capex €25
=FCF €61

assuming zero percent FCF growth rate and operating with a 10% Weighted Average Cost of Capital (i.e., WACC) the perpetuity value from year 4 onwards would be €610 million. In Present Value this is €416 million, net €288 million for the initial 3 years discounted capital investment (for network deployment) and considering the first 3 years cumulated discounted EBITDA 12 million provides

a rather weak business case of ca. 140 million (upper) valuation prior to spectrum investment where-of bulk valuation arises from the continuation value (i.e., 4 year onwards).

Alternative valuation would be to take a multiple of the EBITDA (4th year) as a sales price valuation equivalent; typically one would expect between 6x and 10x the (steady-state) EBITDA and thus €636 mio (6x) to €1,000 mio (10x).

The above valuation assumptions are optimistic and it is worthwhile to note the following;

1. €20 per month per household customer should be seen as optimistic upper value; lower and more realistic might not be much more than €15 per month.
2. 20% market share is ambitious particular after 3 years operation.
3. 40% margin with 15% customer share and 3,300 radio nodes is optimistic but might be possible if Greenfield BWA can make use of Network Sharing and other cost synergies in relation to for example outsourcing.
4. 10% WACC is assumed. This is rather low given start-up scenario. Would not be surprised that this could be estimated to be as high as 15% to 20%.

If point 1 to 4 lower boundaries would be applied to above valuation logic the business case would very quickly turn in red (i.e., negative); leading to the conclusion of a significant business risk given the scope of above business model.

Our hypothetical Greenfield BWA should target paying minimum license fee for the TDD spectrum; upper boundary should not exceed €50 million to mitigate too optimistic business assumptions.

The City-based Operation Model

Greenfield BWA could choose to focus their business model on the top-10 cities and their metropolitan areas. Lets assume that by this 50% of population or house-holds are captured as well as 15% of the surface area. This should be compared with the above assumptions 80% population and 60% surface area coverage.

The key business drivers would look as follows (in paranthesis the previous values have been shown for reference).

Sites 850 (3,300) rollout within 1 to 2 years (3 years).
Capex €100 mio (€350) for initial deployment; afterwhich €18 mio (€25).

Customer 0.74 mio (1.1)
Revenue €178 mio (€264)
EBITDA €72 mio (€106)
Opex €108 mio (€160)
FCF €38 mio (€61)
Value €210 mio (€140)

The city-based network strategy is about 50% more valuable than a more extensive coverage strategy would be.

Alternative valuation would be to take a multiple of the EBITDA (3rd year) as the sales price valuation equivalent; typically one would expect between 6x and 10x the (steady-state) EBITDA and thus €432 mio (6x) to €720 mio (10x).

Interestingly (but not surprising!) Greenfield BWA would be better of focusing on smaller network but in areas of high population density is financially more attractive. Greenfield BWA should avoid coverage based rollout strategy known from the mobile operator business model.

The question is how important is it for the Greenfield BWA to provide coverage everywhere? if their target is primarily households based customers with normadic and static mobility requirements then such a "coverage where the customer is" business model might actually work?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Niagara Networks - a New Mobile Player in the Canadian Market? reports that a mysterious new company, Niagara Networks Inc, has entered the list of prospective bidders for the Advanced Cellular Service (AWS) spectrum license auction scheduled to commence end of May 2008.(CBCNew Canada on AWS and Niagara)

Niagara Networks has indicated that it would seek 6,510 bid points. This amount would be sufficient to launch a new country-wide mobile network in Canada. Niagara's ambition level required the company to make a credit deposit of about 880 million Canadian Dollars to the Industry Canada (i.e., Canadian Ministry of Industry).

The Canadian AWS Framework (Industry Canada AWS guidelines)

The Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) frequency band is primarily intended for UMTS-based (or IMT-2000) services and is similar to the AWS band auctioned two years ago in the USA.

The AWS spectrum being auctioned is in 3 blocks of 2x10 MHz as well as in 3 blocks of 2x5 MHz. The main frequency band is 1,710 - 1,755 MHz (uplink: User Terminal to Base Station) and 2,110 MHz - 2,155 MHz (downlink: Base Station to User Terminal). A total of 2x45 MHz (90 MHz) will be auctioned intended for Frequency Division Duplex operation (i.e., FDD). The Industry Canada has set aside a minium of 2x20 MHz for a Greenfield mobile operator.

The definition of a new entrant is taken to be an entity with less than 10% share of the Canadian mobile market. Thus, in this respect the local Canadian mobile operator MTS would qualify as a new entrant.

The minimum bid price for a country wire AWS license would be C$5 million per MHz or an average (based on minimum bid) C$ per MHz per Pop between 0.11 and 0.15 C$/MHz/Pop depending on the type of service area.

In Europe it is in general accepted that in most major markets (i.e., Germany, UK, France, Italy, etc..) 2x10 MHz would not provide sufficient UMTS radio capacity for the expected huge uptake in data services. As a minimum a mobile operator, in a major market (such as Canada), should target 2x20 MHz. Thereby reducing the risk of becoming growth limited.

In context of acquiring 2x20 MHz, it is worth noting that such bandwidth would be in line with the Next-Generation Mobile Network minimum guidance for bandwidth needed to provide peak-performance (i.e,. 100 Mbps @ 20MHz).

Industry Canada is currently also developing a release plan for the 700 MHz spectrum (i.e., digital dividend) currently being used for analog TV transmission over-the-air. It is not foreseen that significant spectrum will be released prior to mid-2011. The regulator will for the 2.50 GHz - 2.69 GHz frequency band (mainly in the hands of incumbents) demand introduction of mobile services in order for current licence holders to keep their spectrum position. Industry Canada is formulating a policy for un-assigned spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. In addition to the 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz frequency ranges, there are several other bands below the 1,700 MHz which are being studied for possible release.

Canadian Mobile Market

From a spectrum portfolio perspective the Canadian market would not be an easy entrance for a greenfield company. Most of the existing mobile spectrum is concentrated around the the Big 3; Rogers Wireless, Bell Canadian Enterprises (BCE) and Telus. For the fourth player MTS, the existing spectrum position is relative weak. This situation would not change substantially after the AWS auction as the 3 spectrum-fat players still would have a superiour spectrum position.

The Canadian mobile market is different from the European one. Typical Western European Mobile penetration is in the neighborhood of 110%, while in Canada only around 60%. Furthermore, post-paid customer share (ca. 77%) in Canada is much higher than Europe (ca. 45%). In addition the blended ARPU in Canada (ca. $58) is likewise better than in Europe ($40). The amount of mobile minutes of use (MoU) per user per month generated on average in Canada (385 MoU) also significantly higher than what is observed in Western Europe(142 MoU). The Canadian market is timing-wise behind when it comes to non-voice service (incl SMS) revenue share out of the total revenue. In Canada this was in 2006 only 8% compared to the Western European 16% share both including messaging.

Greenfield Canada Inc - The Challenge

Deploying mobile networks are not cheap and in a mature market as Canada possible not the easiest venture. To provide coverage (to European GSM levels) across Canada and for the whole population would be very expensive above 900 MHz. If the regulatory requirements for license compliance only stipulates population coverage, an operator can get very far with covering the top-10 to top-20 cities. This said if competitors have country-wide coverage it could possible be a major customer dissatisfaction if the same would not be available to them. This issue can be solved by National Roaming wholesale deal(s) with a competitor(s) having country-wide coverage. Although it does lead to additional whole-sale operational expenses, it might nevertheless be more attractive than rolling out a network to the same level as existing incumbent.

Let's look at new entrant Greenfield Inc business model and challenges such a company may face;

Inspecting the framework for the AWS auction it can be estimated that the minimum population coverage condition would be between ca. 47%. This is roughly equivalent to covering the top-20 Cities in Canada (with some extension to metropolitan areas). The needed service areas would not amount to much more than one thousands of the whole Canadian surface area or 12,000 square kilometers.

Our Greenfield Inc would at 1.7 GHz require between 2,000 and 3,500 radio nodes to cover the above service areas. Thus covering ca. 47% of population. The final number of nodes would depend on the targeted quality of coverage, of which 5 years deployment time is provided in order to fulfill the regulatory minimum population coverage criteria.

The capital investment level needed to rollout to the regulatory requirements would be between $400 to $600 million cumulated (5 yr period); after which the Greenfield Inc most likely would capital invest a maximum of 5% annually of their service revenue.

WARNING - The following analysis might offend the Financially inclined due to shockingly simple estimates and intentionally overlooking complexities of which consultants can earn lots of money on making appear even more complicated.

Assuming that Greenfield Inc becomes successful in the Canadian market and after the first 5 years have achieved a stable market position of 20% customer market share, i.e., 2.7 million subscribers. With an ARPU of $50 per month (2007 level was $58) one would expect annual revenues of $1.9 billion; which results in an annual Capital expense (Capex) level of ca. $100 million (i.e., 5% of revenue). This Capex level would be sufficient to support customer demand, traffic increases (depending on acquired spectrum bandwidth) and infra-structure obsolescence management (note this is only valid if city/metropolitan based coverage strategy is followed).

Our Greenfield Inc takes care of its operational expenses (Opex) and after the initial 5 years of network deployment can keep the EBITDA margin stable at 30% (i.e., EBITDA $570 million). Thus, Opex should not be higher than $1.1 billion.

Depreciation & Amortisation (D&A) level is kept at a level of $100 million annually (steady-state). Furthermore, Greenfield Inc has an effective tax rate of 35% (i.e., among the developed economies Canada has one of the highest corporate tax rates).

Now we can actually estimate the free cash flow (FCF) Greenfield Inc would generate from the 6th year forward:

Revenue $1.90
-Opex $1.33
=EBITDA $0.57
- D&A $0.10 (ignoring spectrum amortization)
- Tax $0.18
+ D&A $0.10
=Gross Cash Flow $0.41
-Capex $0.10
=FCF $0.31 billions

assuming zero percent FCF growth rate and operating with a 10% Weighted Average Cost of Capital (i.e., WACC) the perpetuity value from year 6 onwards would be $3.1 billion. In Present Value this is $1.9 billion, net $0.4 billion for the initial 5 years discounted capital investment (for network deployment) and considering the first 5 years cumulated discounted EBITDA ($0.3 to $0.5) billion provides

a relative strong case of $1.8 to $2.0 billion valuation prior to spectrum investment where-of bulk valuation arises from the continuation value (i.e., 6 year onwards).

If our hypothetical Greenfield Inc was careful they would most likely not like to pay much more than $1.0 billion for AWS spectrum. In particular as the valuation is dominated by the perpetuity.

As is often the case (in finance) the value can be made more impressive by choosing lower WACC, assuming a non-zero FCF growth rate, higher margin, improved operational efficiencies, higher ARPU, more customers, etc...

Greenfield Inc would have a good positive business outlook as a new entrant to the Canadian market.

Niagara Networks Inc - Positive Outlook

Niagara has been reported to provide a credit deposit in the order of $880 million with Industry Canada (i.e., Ministry of Industry). This might be seen as an indication of the value Niagara has assessed for a Greenfield operation in Canada (note: one may hope that the value is significantly higher than what they intend to spend on spectrum).

That Niagara appears to aggressively pursue the AWS spectrum is not really surprising. It is in line with the above estimated positive outlook for Greenfield Inc which ended with a valuation estimate of ca. $1.8 billion.

Niagara should target a spectrum acquisition of at least 2x20 MHz as it would ensure them both sufficient growth possibilities (compared to competitors) as well future proofness moving to a Next-Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) infrastructure somewhere in the next 5 to 10 years.

The expected release of the 700 MHz frequency band (expected full scale after 2011) could reduce the value of the Niagara business / spectrum acquisition. The network economics for network deployed at 700 MHz is significantly better than at 1.7 GHz as the operational cost for the 1.7 GHz network will be much higher than 700 MHz (comparable coverage). Furthermore, the 700 MHz network would highly cost-efficient be able to reach a much larger proportion of the population and surface area than would be financially viable with 1.7 GHz.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

WiMAX Buzz - The "Joke" of the Month

Australian WiMAX pioneer, Garth Freeman CEO of Australia’s Buzz Broadband, trashes WiMAX as “a miserable failure” and closed the WiMAX network.

Sounds prettty dramatic coming from a former true WiMAX Evangelist and believer in WiMAX wonders?

What happened to (past) Buzz claims that “The upgraded network will deliver high-speed, “ADSL-like” broadband and VoIP connectivity at distances exceeding 30 kilometers from the base station sites.”?

Is Buzz a naive "headless kankaroo" believing in supplier buzz of 30km cell ranges and 50+ Mbps at cell edge? (all sounds wonderfully similar to past, present and future promises of UMTS, HSPA-14Mbps and NGMN/LTE); Did Buzz make the effort to estimate the real system performance based upon link budget? Buzz might not have spend much money on engineering skills and more on market buzz? ..... Question Questions and Questions......

What went wrong with the Buzz?

Buzz Broadband (Australia) operates (actually operated) WiMAX at 3.4 GHz (based on 802.16e-2005) operating Wireless internet and VoIP. Having a little more than 22 base stations and using Airspan WiMAX system supporting roughly 150,000 customers/house-holds. In the service area Buzz is the only alternative to Telstra.

These claim is rather silly when inspecting the link budget which would make such ranges possible.

Using COST321 Walfish-Ikegami Model (Erceg path loss model gives pretty much similar results) targeting for 30 km cell range at 3.4 GHz being very (almost criminaly so) optimistic and assuming that Uplink and Downlink has the same performance;

With a Base Station (BS) Tx Power 100Watt (i.e., 50 dBm), MiMo 4x4 adaptive antenna system with 8 dBi per segment (too high! and @ minimum loss), Rx input sensitivity of -81 dBm (reasonable!), fade margin of 10 dB (reasonable but low), BS Antenna height 100 m (rather heigh) one would get in a Sub-urban environment a Downlink cell range of ca. 35 km and Uplink cell range of ca 20 km. While Downlink parameters theoretically could be met the Uplink assumptions to balance the link-budgets would be laughable. To be fair to the Buzz if the intention is to only support voice (over IP) the cell ranges do become less challenged.

Ignoring the buzz, inspecting real link budget data shows that even for voice the range would be maximum 0.7 to 1.0 km uplink limited, alas downlink the cell range can be extended to ca. 2 km (using latest antenna technology; i.e., MiMO 4x4 and adaptive antenna technology such as beam forming and limited mobility requirements).

One might argue that for covering Australia, the choice of 3.4GHz does not appear to be the best one. Moving to a lower frequency such as 2.4 GHz would improve the cell ranges with about 50% (i.e., from 0.7 km to 1.0 km).

Returning to the disappointed WiMAX buzz evangelist Mr. Freeman - What is really surprising is that he is surprised! - even more fun (or sad?) to see that religion has shifted to believing in 64QAM and wireless DOCSIS :-)

There are a lot of wonderfull books that cuts through the Buzz out there - even readable to non-technical CEOs; Mr. Freeman! do take a look at for example R. Olexa's book "Implementing 802.11, 802.16 and 802.20 Wireless Networks - Planning, Troubleshooting and Operations" or F. Ohrtman's "WiMAX Handbook - Building Wireless Networks" or hire some engineers with practical RF and real network deployment experience.