Broadband wireless gained a bad name in the US in the late 1990s when companies such as Teligent failed spectacularly. But WiMAX is ushering in a brand new economic picture for such operators. Not only will standardization push down prices by fostering competition and volume, but spectrum suited to the technology is being auctioned cheaply in many countries in a bid to stimulate broadband – plus there is an unlicensed option. Another key factor is the falling cost of fiber backhaul, with dark fiber now within reach of midrange service providers as well as some enterprises. All this combines to put huge pressure on the financial assumptions of the 3G community, especially in Europe.