Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Wireless Networking Hardware

What is the Current Status of WiMAX? 239

Posted by Cliff
from the last-mile-broadcast-broadband dept.
PalletBoy asks: "I live in BFE (read 'remote') Pennsylvania where BroadBand is not available in any form save satellite, which is no good for price and latency reasons (curse my MMO addiction!). My big question is: what is the -actual- current status of WiMAX technology? Different sites have me believing different things and I can't find an exact answer to the question 'When will I be able to buy a WiMAX router and cards so I can remotely receive broadband?' When will WiMAX (802.16) be solidly standardized, out, and affordable? Or is it already there?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What is the Current Status of WiMAX?

Comments Filter:
  • I Was In Your Shoes (Score:5, Informative)

    by geomon (78680) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:22PM (#13539592) Homepage Journal
    Until two regional companies started offering radio-link internet. I get 256Kb/sec up/down and am eyeballing another provider who will offer better transfer rates for the same price. The only problem is the price. Both ISPs charge $60/month. I am able to justify the price because I can telecommute a few days a month and save gas in my car. My dial-up was $15/month with a $17/month second telephone line. I looked into Hughes' and Echostar's systems, but their Fair Access Policies looked like bandwidth restrictions on what you were already paying for. I was going to stay with dial-up until radio-links came along.
    • by seanmeister (156224) on Monday September 12, 2005 @02:19PM (#13540076) Homepage
      I use a radio-based ISP in southern NM, and it's great. It's advertised as 256kbps, but in practice I get closer to 400kbps, and it's only $50/month.

      My only complaints have been the price of the hardware (Alvarion BreezeAccess II - $1200 from the ISP, or closer to $400 on eBay), and the fact that they tend to go down whenever lighting clobbers the mountain where their antenna is.
    • There are some cellphone companies that provide high-speed data service (as opposed to relatively low-speed, which has been out for a while.) I don't know if they're in your part of PA, and I don't know if they meet your definition of "affordable" (they're usually ~$80/month for real data service, as opposed to ~$20-30 "unlimited" service that's only unlimited for use on your cellular handset, not your PC.)
  • by mpathetiq (726625) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:22PM (#13539593) Homepage
    It IS wireless after all.
  • Right Now! (Score:3, Informative)

    by USSJoin (896766) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:22PM (#13539594) Homepage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMax [wikipedia.org] Seems to think that it's already out... http://www.towerstream.com/ [towerstream.com] should already be serving it.
    • Re:Right Now! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nos. (179609) <{ac.srrekeht} {ta} {werdna}> on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:48PM (#13539809) Homepage
      There is no equipment *today* that is certified to be WiMax. Everything we're seeing right now is "Pre-WiMax". This is equipment that will probably pass certification, but hasn't yet. The certification lab just started accepting equipment for test a couple months back. The belief is that by the end of the year we'll see some actual certified hardware available. See wimaxforum.org [wimaxforum.org] - the official wimax site.
      • Re:Right Now! (Score:3, Informative)

        by bani (467531)
        wimaxforum is hilarious. out of the 100's of parties registered as a "wimax forum member", only 4 or 5 are even working on actual product.

        what is funny is that the wimax forum was predicting shipping products in _2004_. then they bumped it up to 2005. it's now the latter part of 2005 and they still haven't even finished testing. every wimax vendor I have talked to says 1H 2006, some are even saying 2H 2006.

        as for deploying this stuff yourself right now -- forget it. you need an FCC license to do so. maybe i
      • Re:Right Now! (Score:2, Informative)

        by scbysnx (837275)
        testing starts in october and we will see the first certified wi-max equipment in 06
    • The standards for fixed service are pretty much baked, but there are still compatibility concerns, and not everybody's really running compatible standards-based equipment yet. There's also lots of hype about the various roaming-type WiMax services, but don't hold your breath for another year or two on that stuff.

      Also, of course, you still need to have an ISP within earshot who's running the stuff. Some ISPs are planning to do licensed spectrum only, and some are planning to do unlicensed, and of course

  • Wi-Max (Score:5, Informative)

    by matth (22742) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:23PM (#13539602) Homepage
    The ISP I work for which is in Williamsport will be deploying Wi-Max Alvarion gear shortly. However, I don't know that that's really going to help you in remote PA. The problem being remote is even Wi-Max probably will not hit you here in the hilly areas. We use some 900mhz stuff and it works well through trees... but hit a mountain and you don't have a chance. Plus in most areas like that it just isn't cost effective to build out to hit 1 or 4 people.
    • The ISP I work for which is in Williamsport will be deploying Wi-Max Alvarion gear shortly. However, I don't know that that's really going to help you in remote PA.

      Funny. I thought Williamsport WAS remote PA.

      • Not even close. There are people there. As in "more than 1".

        Try some place like Renovo, or Snow Shoe.
      • Re:Wi-Max (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lowrydr310 (830514)
        I was shocked to learn this past weekend that DSL is availble at my parents' house in BFE Pennsylvania. My father just signed up for Verizon's 768/384 DSL, which is cheaper than the dialup service he had!

        Meanwhile, DSL is NOT available where I live in relatively Suburban NJ (not rural) approximately 20 miles outside New York City. My house was built in 1995 and my parents' house was built sometime before 1895, and I would have expected that I could get it first.

        For now I'm stuck paying out the ears for C

        • My Grandma just got DSL, and she lives pretty far away in Sandy Lake, PA. I'm less then a mile from Allentown, and I can't get DSL or two-way cable.
        • "Meanwhile, DSL is NOT available where I live in relatively Suburban NJ (not rural) approximately 20 miles outside New York City. My house was built in 1995 and my parents' house was built sometime before 1895, and I would have expected that I could get it first."

          There was a brief time in the 1990s when neighborhoods and apartment buildings were served via fibre to the curb - with head-end equipment completely incompatible with DSL. The equipment works just fine with voice, the last mile or inch is nice cle
          • Re:Wi-Max (Score:3, Interesting)

            by walt-sjc (145127)
            Not if his telco is Verizon.

            Verizone has declared DSL dead. It's Fios now... Basically, nobody (or near enough to nobody for the sake of this conversation) is doing "extended reach" DSL or adding new DSLAMS. If you can get DSL now, great. If not, don't hold your breath. You options are Fios sometime in the next 10 - 20 years or WiMAX in the next 5.

            One other option may be to find someone else who CAN get DSL and has line of sight to your house. Do a WiFi bridge. Offer them "free" internet for the use of thei
      • LOL.. Perhaps more remote then say Pittsburgh... but Wellsboro, or Ralston are remote PA :)
    • Re:Wi-Max (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:29PM (#13539652) Journal
      The problem with 900mhz stuff nowadays is the huge amount of noise in adjacent bands, not to mention the crap being spewed from cordless phones and the like. The non-line-of-site benefits of 900mhz band are being undone. I remember some of our equipment having major interference problems because some paging tower's transmitter went on the fritz and started spewing like nuts, and the big guys just don't give a damn. 2.4ghz is getting nearly as bad, and the higher unlicensed bands will doubtless in turn also begin to suffer.
      • That's why you deploy frequency hopping. Come across a bad channel, or channels? Just hop over it... Decreases your available bandwidth by a bit, but you continue to run just fine.
        • the problem is almost everything else in that band frequency hops too. so when something goes on the fritz it kills the whole band.
        • Frequency hopping is only going to be of limited value where the noise floor is too high or someone's transmitter goes nuts. Of course, it all depends on what you're doing and (particularly) where you're doing it.
  • Reminds me of DSL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:24PM (#13539611) Homepage Journal
    Back in the early days of DSL in the Bay Area (SFO/OAK/SJC) there was a guide in the now-defunct MicroTimes outlining about 40 vendors and what they offered. It was a bit exasperating trying to figure out which to buy into. Sounds like WiMAX is going to have a shaking out period, too.
  • by jafo (11982) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:24PM (#13539612) Homepage
    It's not just a matter of getting WiMax cards as the person asking the question seems to think. It's a matter of getting the cards and routers *AND* having a service provider cover your area. If you don't currently have a provider offering terresterial wireless or DSL/cable, WiMax isn't going to change that at all.

    You do have a few options though. Move, of course... Or, if there's demand in your area, start up an ISP or cooperative. If there isn't demand for at least 10 people, you now know why nobody is offering it in your area. ;-/

    Sean
  • Ask Google? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cardoe (563677) <cardoe@gento o . o rg> on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:24PM (#13539613) Homepage
    Now I know I'm going to get smacked down for this... But seriously... some of the Ask Slashdot sounds like Ask Google.
  • BFE MI (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrycar (578010) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .racyrm.> on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:25PM (#13539625) Homepage Journal
    I live in BFE Michigan. I have the same problem, but luckily live near a major interstate highway (I69). WIMAX is being considered along the entire stretch and is seen as one of the few hopes to get reasonable rate broadband access by the communities around me.

    Even so, the earliest estimate for me is around 2 years until it is ready. Until then, it looks like Cingular will have its edge network in place, and it will be a likely alternative. Although it looks like it will be 8 months until the EDGe network is in place here.

    • but luckily live near a major interstate highway (I69)

      ...and therefore you do not live in Butt-Fucking Egypt. You live near a major interstate freeway replete with offramps and everything. Hell, you probably have a gas station!

  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:27PM (#13539638) Journal
    It is solidly standardized in fixed mode in IEEE 802.16-2004. Products are in the pipeline from a number of manufacturers.

    What is at issue is whether service providers will set up in your area. This is a very complex issue where spectrum policy and licensing collide with equipment availability, local permits (for towers etc), the cost of the technology and competition from DSL and cable. I don't pretend to know how it will pan out, but 2006 will be the year that the market gets effectively tested.

    The current work is around mobility which relates more to handsets and laptops. This not only in the unfinished 802.16e spec, but in Wimax and the IETF, since for mobility, the backhaul networks need to be standardized and this is outside the realm of the 802.16 working group. Mobility will take some time.
    • The standards may be fully-baked but it's still possible for different vendors to interpret the language of the standard differently. This happened with Wi-Fi and it may happen with WiMax. One proposed solution is to do a labeling program, like what happened with Wi-Fi. The WiMax Forum [wimaxforum.org] wants vendors to submit their products to it for interoperability testing. If they pass, they get to put the official WiMax Forum label on their product packaging. However, not one single product has completed this interopera
      • The extent to which this matters depends on the type of deployment. For mobile systems it matters a lot, it matters for systems where different parties own each end of the link, it matter when they sell this stuff in comp-usa.

        It matters a lot less when the user or service provider owns both ends of the link and can thus verify interoperability ahead of time.

        Interoperability labelling does matter in certain scenarios, but compare the timeline of Wimax interop testing against what happened in the Bluetooth Si
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:28PM (#13539641)
    Clearwire is rolling out ALOT of new sites in this coming year. They're up to about 15 right now and growing at a rate of something like 2 every 3 weeks. I think Seattle is on the schedule really soon. The tough part is getting the expensive licenses for airwaves.

    But you can't beat the pricing for that kind of mobility in broadband.

    Speakeasy has a WiMax setup on the Space Needle in Seattle, but the range only covers the north side of downtown. They are planning on rolling out more too, but I've seen less proof.
    www.clearwire.com /Not a shill, but soon to be a CW customer when Seattle goes live.
    • Except ClearWire for all the money they got to promote WiMax, is CMDA2000. If you read their stuff, they are using "WiMax like" technology.

      I haven't seen anything WiMax that's real. It's a marketing thing that's gotten out of hand.

      On the other hand, I did get to play with Clearwire's gear, and it does actually work pretty well. Their TOS is evil though, read it carefully.

  • or nearby if you want to get this kind of service - that or next to a major university (or state college/university).

    you're more likely to get high-speed service over your power lines out in farm country, IMHO.
    • you're more likely to get high-speed service over your power lines out in farm country, IMHO.

      I personally hope for the best in your endeavor to get broadband services that are compatible with existing licensed services. I sincerely hope that BPL or PLC never happens and that the current pilot programs go down in flames. Putting fiber on powerlines is cool, putting broadband RF on power lines is very uncool as it emits wideband RF radiation that can interfer with other communication services.
    • Damn. I didn't think we had annexed Seattle.
  • by geneing (756949) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:33PM (#13539681)
    I have a question which I haven't seen discussed when it comes to WiMAX. Is there enough radio frequency bandwidth to support more than a few dozen high-speed users per access point?

    As I understand, the promises about the speed of WiMax are based on top speed (i.e. 1 user). Multiple users will have to share the same radio frequency and their connection speed will be lower.

    I remember reading that 4G cell phone network will (with much lower connection speeds) will require on the order of 500MHz of radio spectrum. To put this number in prospective FCC actions slices of 10MHz for billions of $.

    I'm not an expert in radio communications, but I don't see how the numbers (promised connection bandwidth and available radio spectrum) would ever add up. Could someone explain?

    • I remember reading that 4G cell phone network will (with much lower connection speeds) will require on the order of 500MHz of radio spectrum. To put this number in prospective FCC actions slices of 10MHz for billions of $.

      Right, but cell phones (and PCS and other phones, even though they distance themselves from `cell' phones) work by using lower power signals that only have to reach a tower a short distance away. Everything is broken up into `cells'.

      So a person over here can be using X amount of b

      • Right, but cell phones (and PCS and other phones, even though they distance themselves from `cell' phones) work by using lower power signals that only have to reach a tower a short distance away. Everything is broken up into `cells'.

        Also, communications are divided into packets, so you could be using the same frequency as somebody right next to you, but not necessarily at the exact same microsecond.

    • ISPs often exploit statistical multiplexing with 10:1 or higher oversubscription ratios.

      See http://www.nextgencommunications.net/wisp/2005/07/ oversubscription-or-how-i-watched.html [nextgencom...ations.net]
      • Great link! I knew someone already though of that question. However, I read the article and the writer questions the assumptions and suggests that a 20MHz channel you can probably support about 1000 users, which proves my point.
    • Dataspeed relates to bandwidth by Shannon's theorem which states that the maximum capacity (C) that can ever be sent over a digital channel is set by: C = bandwidth * log2(1+S/N), where S/N is the signal to noise ratio. That is, double the bandwidth, double the maximum theoretical speed. So, to steal an example from Wikipedia: if the signal to noise ratio is 20 dB and we have 500 Mhz of bandwidth we can transmit at 3 Gbit/s (theoretically at least).

      Also important to understand is that the lower the transmit
      • Also important to understand is that the lower the transmitting frequency, the further the signal will go (given the same transmitter strength). Going from 1 Ghz to 500 Mhz and you double the transmission range without increasing the transmitter strength.

        You actually want exactly the opposite. You want to reuse the same frequency as much as possible, so you want relatively short range.

        By the way, don't you find it mindboggling that a tiny cell phone with the maximum output of 2W and omnidirectional ante

      • Also important to understand is that the lower the transmitting frequency, the further the signal will go (given the same transmitter strength). Going from 1 Ghz to 500 Mhz and you double the transmission range without increasing the transmitter strength.

        That is grossly oversimplified.

        If you reduce the frequency and keep the power (and gain of the antenna) constant, the amplitude of the signal will go up, but it's not really the amplitude that matters when picking up a signal. Really, it's the back

    • by WolfWithoutAClause (162946) on Monday September 12, 2005 @02:33PM (#13540189) Homepage
      I have a question which I haven't seen discussed when it comes to WiMAX. Is there enough radio frequency bandwidth to support more than a few dozen high-speed users per access point?

      The bottom line with any wireless system is how well engineered it is.

      The following techniques help a lot:

      a) broadband suppliers give a 'contention ratio' somewhere between 20 and 50. In other words they assume you are only using it 1/20 to 1/50 of the time. So a single 2M radio link can handle 20-50 customers each with 2M and a 100M radio link can handle 1000-2500 people (in principle.)

      b) directional antennas help a lot. So, if they stick up a mast with antennas pointing in different directions (adjacent antennas on different frequencies) then they'll get very little contention.

      c) nodes that don't 'shout'; in other words if the nodes don't transmit at any more power than they absolutely need to; this minimises the distance that any interference is likely to occur at; permitting channel reuse.

      d) add base stations, (particularly in conjunction with c) ) this mean that each base station can transmit and receive at lower power- this reduces the size of the coverage area, and you gain multiple times the users (since each node only uses up the bandwidth for a smaller distance).

      e) use different channels (each channel has its own customers on)

      f) node routing (in other words, instead of a customer sending a signal all the way to the base station, route it through another customer that is closer).

      If you use all these techniques appropriately, the amount of bandwidth per user is constant, independent of the number of users, surprisingly.

  • BFE fo' life (Score:5, Informative)

    by brandor (714744) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:33PM (#13539683)
    Our small town has been a testbed for WiMax for the past year or so. So far everything seems to be working well and the price hasn't been bad either. 29.99 for standard bandwidth. So far the only limitation I've seen is ling of sight. But, that should be remedied soon, as the operator is moving his towers to the mountain tops. (Why they didn't do this to begin with, I'll never know.) Verizon is the one providing the testing and everything. www.verizonavenue.com is the webpage (I *think*)
  • by Doug Dante (22218) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:37PM (#13539716)

    Look at the nationwide map. It looks like most, if not all, of PA is covered with Verizon wireless high speed intnernet ($59/month+regular cell - unlimited - 400Kbps-800Kbps with 2Mbps bursting).

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobileoptions/b roadband/mappage.jsp?city=Pittsburgh&state=PA&i_na me=pa_pitts [verizonwireless.com]

    It may not be WiMax, but it gets the job done.

    Also, if you can find someone within line of sight who has DSL or Cable modem, you can roll your own point to point wireless network pretty easilly, even with plain old 802.11a/b/g.

    • Re-read that. Pennsylvania is hardly covered. The BroadbandAccess and V CAST is only available in large cities. The NationalAccess is available in a much larger area, but only offers 60-80 kbps with 144kbps burst. 60-80kbps for $60/month on top of a cell charge is not worth it.
    • ...if I am reading the map correctly, the lighter orange area is broadband whereas the dark orange is where you'll get service if you are lucky. Read their disclaimer:

      This map shows approximately where rates and coverage apply based on our internal data. Wireless service is subject to network and transmission limitations, including cell site unavailability, particularly near boundaries and remote areas. Customer equipment, weather, topography, and other environmental considerations associated with radio

  • by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland@NoSpaM.gmail.com> on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:41PM (#13539751)
    My office in NYC uses WiMax. We upgraded earlier this year and we've had great uptime, and good speed. The cool thing is that the transmitter we connect to is on the Empire State Building. When I connect to the VPN from home, I can look out the window at the ESB and see my data flying through the air...
  • BFE, MS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ridge (37884) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:44PM (#13539771)
    I live in BFE, MS and like the poster have no choice for broadband. Today, I had a couple guys come out and install a WildBlue satellite, they just finished about a half hour ago. It seems pretty nice, I get about 1.5Mbps downstream and 256Kbps upstream says some random bandwidth tester. The latency is pretty painful, I got ~650ms pinging google. The 'Pro' version of this provider is 1.5Mbps/256Kbps for $79 a month, 22GB/6GB fair access policy. My initial opinion is that it rocks when your only choice is nothing or dialup, *if* you can live with the latency. I went a month or two without a connection after moving from Memphis with a cable connection, it's kind of tough. So this is a pretty sizable improvement over nothing. I hope by this time next year to start seeing some WiMax deployments, but I don't expect to see any before then. :(
    • by Tx (96709)
      Today, I had a couple guys come out and install a WildBlue satellite, they just finished about a half hour ago.

      Wait, you get a satellite to yourself? And shouldn't they be launching it, not installing it at your house?
  • by RradRegor (913123) <[ten.aihpleda] [ta] [1rradr]> on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:49PM (#13539818) Journal
    One thing to keep in mind when considering this is the huge difference between a fixed high-gain antenna and a mobile device. I did some work for a company that deployed MANs via 30Ghz point-to-multipoint systems using a proprietary QPSK physical layer. It had very similar performance to what WiMax seems to be talking about, but when you think wireless these days, you think of toting your laptop around anywhere and getting connected. Although our system was a very different protocol and modulation method, the laws of physics dictate that your reliable speed is going to depend on the energy per bit transmitted and the combined gain of the two antenna systems. In other words, a mobile device isn't going to have the kind of range and speed people are hearing about WRT WiMax.
  • There is Hope... BPL (Score:2, Informative)

    by mitchdbx (914356)
    The FCC recently approved the use of BPL, Broadband over Power Line.... This will allow the most remote users to get High Speed internet! There are a few kinks to work out still, but the technology is there, and ready to roll. We have to make the HAM ops happy first ;) Check it out here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_over_power_ line [wikipedia.org]
    • by finkployd (12902)
      Really, because everything I have seen indicates that it will cost more to deploy BPL to remote locations than Cable or DSL. I guess I just don't see the point in promoting something that is more expensive than the existing alternatives, and seems to have serious fundamental technical issues to boot.

      Finkployd
  • by NaruVonWilkins (844204) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:53PM (#13539858)
    and the availability of competing services in closer, have you considered moving into an area with better services?
  • State of the WiMax (Score:5, Informative)

    by Erich (151) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:59PM (#13539914) Homepage Journal
    I think you'll start to see slow adoption Real Soon Now (next few years). However, there's a big question about spectrum. WiMax vendor folks can buy up spectrum like wireless carriers, but that is expensive. They can use bands that don't require licensing (like your 802.11 devices), but (potentially) you'll get lots of interference.

    Also, there is really no unity on spectrum for WiMax stuff yet. For 802.11b, for instance, most devices today work in that 2.4Ghz band, so devices are all compatible. Not so much for 802.16, last I saw there were lots of frequencies that could be used, in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum spaces. And it's unlikely that a device you'll get will have antenna systems designed for every possible allowed 802.16 frequency... which I'd wager means that you will likely need to buy hardware that matches your vendor.

    I think for the near term, you should see if you have either WCDMA or CDMA 1xEV-DO rev A data coverage in your area. EV-DO has decent bandwith, and DO rev A really reduces latency and increases reverse link bandwith. As a bonus, you should be able to use the service in most major populated areas... You might have to shell out bucks though. For DO rev A, Sprint and Verizon already own the spectrum, and are starting to roll out these services. The GSM folks are switching to WCDMA, but I don't know the state of their data services. My experience is that GPRS/EDGE doesn't have very good data rates in real life... youll want to stick with the 3G data standards.

    Or, if you are lucky, you might find a smaller service provider that uses directional 802.11 in your area.. that might work reasonably well.

  • by lpoulsen (148228) on Monday September 12, 2005 @02:09PM (#13539983) Homepage
    WiMax is pretty well standardized from the perspective of protocols and modulations, but unlike WiFi which is developed for use in unlicensed bands, WiMax is primarily intended for use by network operators who will have licensed bands. (There will be some gear available for use in the 5.8GHz unlicensed band, but that is a small fraction of the market.

    In North America, the main deployments are expected to be in the 2.5GHz "wireless cable" bands, which are mostly licensed to Sprint, the IFTS (educational TV bands) mostly licensed to Catholic Archdioceses but now authorized for subleasing) and a band around 3.5GHz. Various bands around 3.2, 3.5 and 3.6GHz is also where other parts of the world are expected to deploy these services.

    If you are a large provider, like Sprint, you had better get field trials underway by now, or your licenses may be in danger of expiring. And you will be negotiating with a handful of equipment manufacturers for a wholesale deal on equipment working on your licensed frequencies.

    If you are a small ISP, you will probably have to look to the unlicensed 5.8GHz, and talk to Alvarion. I have not looked much at who else has equipment for that band. Be aware that the higher frequencies do not travel as far as 2.4GHz, so you may in fact be better off with high-end WiFi kit built from the ground up for outdoor use.

    If you are a user, you need to shop around for a service provider, and let them worry about the right equipment.

    (I work for a small wireless equipment house that makes low-bandwidth wireless systems for very long range, especially targeted to underdeveloped areas of the world. http://www.afar.net/ [afar.net])
  • Catch 22 (Score:2, Informative)

    by HomerJayS (721692)
    Don't hold your breath for WiMax or broadband over powerline coming to a BFE near you.

    Deploying a broadband infrastructure takes lots of $$$. And where are the best places to recover your capitol expenses? The high population density areas (which by the way already have other forms of broadband already available (cable, DSL)).

    The bottom line is that you have to already have access to broadband in order to get other forms of broadband.

    I live in BFE Ohio and am resigned to the fact that I will need to

  • In Greenville SC ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by adzoox (615327) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @02:22PM (#13540099) Journal
    We have a startup called Main Street Wimax ...

    They have the wireless service spread over a 10 mile radius at $26.95 a month for 4Mb service.

    They have this same service "morphed" into a free downtown Wifi network. (Basically taking the wimax modem and running it into a wireless router then installing repeaters every 300 ft downtown.)

    It's building slowly but surely - it's not going to be for big cities - it will be rural broadband.
    • As a resident of Greenville can you give me any more details on this? Right now I have the Charter price rape package. I can be downtown in less than 10 min (I think I am less than 5 miles). I would definitely be interested in finding out more. Thanks, James
  • Wireless ISP locater (Score:2, Informative)

    by dme2k (914361)
    A wireless ISP locater as well as other good broadband wireless info is available at http://bbwexchange.com/ [bbwexchange.com]. I was amazed at how many wireless ISPs are in operation in rural areas already. (most are line-of-sight point-to-point wireless)
  • at the Idaho National Laboratory this last summer. They currently have a fully operational 802.16 network supporting their staff. I tell ya, there is nothing more cool than being miles and miles away from the tower and getting a full 54Mb signal in the middle of the desert!
  • availability in selected areas of the country. I've seen their ad on TV a number of times now. No idea if it actually works though...
  • ...but on further questioning said she faked it.

    Why is it that this wireless stuff gets fawning slavish attention from the /. crowd which is otherwise very given to tinfoil hat paranoia? I mean, did Johnny Mnemonic not come to mind yet with the concept of electronic everything affecting the human nervous system? Did all the scares over power and cell towers and cancer clusters and cell phone brain cancer stories not sink in?

    I'm not saying it is necessarily all bad, but to give adoring praise constantly
  • Consider satellite (if it is your last option), such as DirecWay [direcway.com]. Yes, latency is a problem for gaming, but for web surfing the speeds are getting much better.
  • I'm continually amazed at the amount of Hype this technology seems to foster. Why the vendors don't just explain it in plain english is beyond me.

    WiMax is a FIXED, POINT TO POINT multiple access protocol for backhaul, NOT end users. It's intended for linking 300 foot towers with line of sight to each other over a Metropolitan Area.

    It's NOT something you're going to use for your laptop, or cellphone, or even at home. You're not going to buy a Linksys WiMax router any time soon.

    Ugh!

    --Mike--

  • Just ran a snap test at www.bandwithplace.com in another window and got these results:

    Communications 536.6 kilobits per second
    Storage 65.5 kilobytes per second
    1MB file download 15.6 seconds
    Subjective rating Not bad

    I get service on par with DSL and have zero problems with latency. I have a few problems with Halo2 on Xbox live, but that is more due to Old Gamers Syndrome than it is connectivity.

    I believe that I am running 2.4Ghz, because the owner of the ISP suggested that I run down to a 900Mhz phone, and n
  • by drwho (4190)
    Expensive, equipment-wise. Not available in many places. With the unlicensed bands, there's not a lot of space left at 900 or 2.4 ghz.

    It might be better to get some people together and do some wifi link out to a location where you can get service. But that's a lot of work. But $500 can get you a power link.

Innovation is hard to schedule. -- Dan Fylstra

Working...