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802.16 WiMax Wireless Broadband on the Horizon 169

Posted by timothy
from the certainly-not-over-it dept.
securitas writes "Products using the emerging IEEE 802.16 WiMax wireless broadband standard should be available early in 2005. WiMax's hundreds of megabits per second bandwidth looks promising to many vendors and service providers who met in San Jose at last week's Wireless Communications Association (WCA) International Technical Symposium & Business Expo. The point-to-multipoint 802.16d standard, with a 50-kilometre range, is expected to be complete by February, ratified in March and deployed in the first quarter of 2005." (Read on for more.)

"The IEEE 802.16e spec, which will support mobile applications, is expected to be complete by early 2005. Nextel, Sprint and BellSouth are all interested in the technology to deploy services like streaming video and TV, wireless phones, and high-speed Internet service in unserved, low-density areas near high-density ones. Mobile operators in developing countries like Brazil's NEOTEC group have already successfully tested an 802.16 wireless broadband deployment. Intel communications group executive VP and GM, Sean Maloney, is banking on it. From the article: 'We believe that WiMax can happen, and be widely deployed, and be a big deal in the next three years the same way Wi-Fi has been a big deal the last two years.' Mirrors at Network World Fusion, Techworld and PCWorld. What happens when techies start to build their own 802.16x WiMax VoIP systems?"

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802.16 WiMax Wireless Broadband on the Horizon

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  • 802.16 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:25AM (#8086579)
    0.05 better than 802.11!
  • by The One KEA (707661) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:27AM (#8086585) Journal
    From the sound of it, this new spec appears to deliver far too much bandwidth to really make it cost-effective for the average consumer. IMO this is best for fixed-wireless installations where installing cabling is too cost-prohibitive - especially if the range of the radio tech used in this spec is decent enough.
    • Not to mention I can easily Guess that the transcivers are not for deregulated bands aswell. With a ~50K Range It would be nearly impossible to make it available for home use. Even if the Range was cut down to a mere 3K (Aprox 2 Miles) Spectrum congestion would make it unusable.
    • Consumers would get too much for their money for 802.16 to be cost effective? How does that work against us? Besides, the wide range means the bandwidth per user will be relatively small. In NYC, the rollout bandwidth of 155Mbps in 50Km would offer 8bps average to each of its 20M covered potential users.
    • If you think that there is too much bandwidth read "Dilbert Future". -scott
    • I can easily think of at least one place where these would be very useful -- and that's college campuses. I've got an Airport card for my iBook, and there are about a half-dozen places where I can hook up , but none of them are very convenient to my daily schedule. In addition, the wireless broadband would probably allow campuses to rely less on the ethernet networks, especially in the dorms and on-campus apartments. I know I would like to be able to take my iBook into the other room and still refresh pa
    • My copany is working on one of the chips for 802.16. Cost is their number 1 concern. It will be competitive in price with current 802.11 equipment.
  • great (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    great, even more pain [unbehagen.com] !
  • This is promising. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vidarlo (134906)
    But I can't realy see how this is gonna work? Usually, higher bandwith means higher frequency. Higher frequemcy means less range, since the waves is easilier interupted by obstacles, like trees. and so on. Someone care to explain this to me?
    • The article mentions that a possible frequency range for this new standard might be 2.5 to 2.7 GHz. If you look on Wikipedia, their article for 802.11 [wikipedia.org] states that 802.11b and 802.11g both have a frequency band of 2.4 GHz. That's only a difference of about 4%.
    • by CaptainAlbert (162776) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:46AM (#8086646) Homepage

      Usually, higher bandwith means higher frequency. Higher frequemcy means less range, since the waves is easilier interupted by obstacles, like trees. and so on. Someone care to explain this to me?

      Without getting too technical - you're right, sort of. The article is rather muddled; it mentions the frequencies in question (2.5GHz region, which is microwave), and then has some confused sentence about "point-to-multipoint meaning no line-of-sight is necessary". Well, that's nonsense. Microwave propogation is almost exclusively line-of-sight. Without LOS, signal strength drops off dramatically.

      However, if you use spread-spectrum techniques (which 802.16 does), you can overcome a lot of these problems. Basically, the characteristics of a wideband SS signal are such that multiple reflections (even weak ones) can be separately received and combined. This is a big gain over narrowband radio, where reflections cause inter-symbol interference which causes the signal to deteriorate.

      Another factor that may be more significant - this standard seems mainly to be for delivering broadband to fixed installations (not mobile stations). Well that's an easier job by orders of magnitude: you only have to site the antennas correctly once, and you never have to worry about them moving around.

      In conclusion: it's quite different from the radio technology we're most used to, and there's a little thing called progress to factor in too! :)

      Hope that helps.

    • True to a limited extent.. Higher Freq usualy has less interference there for you can have much more sensitive reciver... Bandwidth has Little to do with Frequency... Bandwidth has more to do with Signal to noise ratio's (The reason why the further your away from a Telco CO the slower xDSL gets)..

      Think of it a bit like yelling in a room... The higher tone someone yells doesn't mean he is telling you more information than a person yelling in a lower tone... But if there are a bunch of people yelling in the
    • Usually, higher bandwith means higher frequency. Higher frequemcy means less range, since the waves is easilier interupted by obstacles, like trees. and so on.

      Well, not in this case! The standard calls for a 300 mhz-range setup, broadcasting serveral 3.000 db signals.
  • hmmmm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Spytap (143526) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:29AM (#8086596)
    Nextel, Sprint and BellSouth are all interested in the technology
    Great...just what's needed from a phone provider: more wireless technology that they can provide terrible reception with.
  • yikes (Score:3, Funny)

    by sirmalloc (648119) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:30AM (#8086598)
    that's bound to make more than a few people sterile.
    • Not to worry, most geeks who are the target of this new uber-cool technology only ever try to impregnate tissues. I doubt you'll see a dip in the nation's birth rate because of WiMax.
  • by grosa (648390)
    50 _kilometer_ range? wow. that's more than enough to connect 2 people in nearby cities.

    this should be pretty sweet for rural networking. i foresee a flood of long range domestic and roaming wireless plans coming up circa 2005.
  • by moneymaker (702948) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:31AM (#8086603)
    The point-to-multipoint 802.16d standard, with a 50-kilometre range, is expected to be complete by February

    I wonder if it becomes actually viable ... The power consumption might reduce the actual advantages for a laptop/mobile system ?. The battery is thing still dragging mobile computing , it's still 1970's space-age technology. But maybe methanol fuel cells will come up by 2005 end ?

    [http://wiki.dotgnu.org/DotGNUPeople/gopz]

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:34AM (#8086610)
    The point-to-multipoint 802.16d standard, with a 50-kilometre range

    Omnidirectional antenna-equipped routers will double as handy microwave ovens.
    • Re:50 Km range uh? (Score:3, Informative)

      by uslinux.net (152591)
      er, probably not. The 2.4GHz, the FCC has a 4-watt EIRP limit on point-to-multipoint links, and I can't think of a reason that they would allow more power on these devices. Since a 2.4GHz link can go 30+ miles, 4 watts seems reasonably low.

      It takes ~90 seconds for a 1000 watt microware to warm a glass of water, and quite a bit longer to actually boil it. 4-watts is minimal, and since RF power drops off at the inverse square, at 10' it's practically in the mW range. You'd have trouble even *warming* wat
  • Last I heard the first company developing/testing 100mbit wireless was Toshiba. I heard this on The Register, but I can't seem to find the link.

    Does this have anything to do with them? Have they had any input/association with this? Have there been any copyright issues or anything?
  • by eyempack (239017) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:46AM (#8086645) Homepage
    My largest concern regarding this is the frequencies are they going to mess it up again with hair brained auctions (Cell phone's) or make it so restrictive that even my microwave will buzz my connection (802.11). I fear for how the FCC will dream up this freq. distribution.
    • This will be using licensed frequency blocks, and won't interfer with the 2.4GHz unlicensed frequences used by 802.11.

      All this really is, is warmed over MMDS [wcai.com]. MMDS was going to be the next big thing in the 90's - Sprint, in particular, was active in MMDS (you might remember it was called Sprint ION). As with a lot of new technologies, it was rolled out into a few markets, lost a lot of money [wirelessweek.com], and was shut down [nwfusion.com].

      Flash forward a couple of years - 802.11b/g (WiFi) is hot (hence the name - WiMax), broadb
      • MMDS was going to be the next big thing in the 90's - Sprint, in particular, was active in MMDS (you might remember it was called Sprint ION).

        Actually, Sprint's MMDS offering was (is) called Sprint Wireless Broadband Direct. While they are not going after new customers, this service is still available in a few cities to existing customers. Sprint ION was more of a DSL/ATM/Voice combo. As far as I know, it had nothing to do with wireless service.

    • make it so restrictive that even my microwave will buzz my connection (802.11).

      Actually, that was the fault of the standard writers and manufacturers. 2.4 GHz was allocated years ago as unlicensed spectrum for "industrial" use, like microwave heating systems (i.e. ovens). It was some time after that designation that people realized "hey, this is unregulated; we can put our radios up here and not worry about licenses!" So they did. Now everybody's in there, and complaining about interference. If they'

  • by mikewren420 (264173) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:49AM (#8086656) Homepage
    Don't worry, I doubt this technology will ever see the light of day... or if it does, it will remain cost-prohibitive for regular consumers.

    Too many people have way too much to loose if this becomes the standard like 802.11 has. In any urban or suburban areas, image how many Wifi hotspots there are within 50km... or even 25km.

    Cell providers and ISP's are going to fight this every step of the way because of the competition this could pose... with the right hardware. How long before we see 802.14 VoIP handsets sold on thinkgeek? ;)
    • When you take off the tinfoil hat, do you have any evidence that it works like this? What great technologies, exactly, have been killed off because people had too much to loose from abondoning less efficient alternatives?

      Do you mean like how AOL and Compuserv killed the Internet? How Kodak and Fuji killed the digital camera? How Sun and IBM made Linux illegal? How the dial-up ISPs made sure DSL was never invented?

      There is always a comment like this in stories about new technology here, but there is absolu
      • solar power; any fuel source not related to coal/oil/nuclear waste; gas efficient car engines; IBM's OS/2 Warp.
        • IBM killed warp. People have not generally purchased the fuel-efficient engines - There was a CRX HF back in the eighties that got ~50mpg. Just saw one the other day, after not seeing one for years and years. Fuel source not related to coal/oil/nuclear? Biodiesel is great for waste you have lying around but it's not efficient if you have to grow and process plant stocks for example. And solar is still moving alone, although slowly, its problem (besides only working during the day) is its relatively low outp
          • IBM killed Warp because the only people who wanted it, and might have paid for it, live on /. and represent 0.0001% of the computing market.

            Fuel efficient engines indeed have been made and can be made, but the fact is that the only people who care to ask what efficiency rating their soon to be purchased car gets are people who live on /. and represent 0.0001% of the car market.

            I don't know a single non-nerdish/intellectual type that purchased their car based on fuel efficiency. Like it or not, non-nerdis
            • IBM killed Warp because the only people who wanted it, and might have paid for it, live on /. and represent 0.0001% of the computing market.

              A commercial OS cannot survive without corporate contracts. OS/2 was used in several high-profile organizations, like UK Post. In spite of this IBM failed to fuel it (for whatever reason) and people have therefore been transitioning away from it. Of course, with the modern existence of Linux, OS/2 has no chance to survive.

              Fuel efficient engines indeed have bee

        • And here I thought solar energy failed because it costs too much and is incredibly inefficient. It must have been the man all along. Dang it!
      • When you take off the tinfoil hat, do you have any evidence that it works like this? What great technologies, exactly, have been killed off because people had too much to loose from abondoning less efficient alternatives?

        I think something along the lines of GM buying up tram and light rail operators [wikipedia.org] in the 1930s and 1940s, and systematically shutting them down.
    • We (consumers) are going to sop up ever bit of bandwidth available. ISPs (which phone companies are already into in a big way) will dish it out, and once we start running short, prices will rise and bandwidth intensive applications like voice will be the first to be sacrificed to the economic demons of supply & demand.
    • Cell providers and ISP's are going to fight this every step of the way because of the competition this could pose

      Nextel, Sprint and Bellsouth(cingular) are all cellular service providers.

  • How fast is it? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xfs (473411)


    All I see anywhere is 'hundreds of megabits per second' but i haven't seen any actual numbers... anyone know?
    • Re:How fast is it? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Keitero-sama (744584)
      seeing that its still vaporware (as far as any real performance benchies are concerned) its as fast as my cable now (which is down due to the snow storm that hit NC yesterday, thank you mother nature.)
  • There is no real demand for this kind of technology in countries that are already well-cabled with more fibre-optic cable than they can ever use.

    We did a project once in Nigeria that depended on semi-reliable Internet connections across the country. The only option for our client was to install VSAT stations, at a cost of $50,000 each not counting operating costs.

    With 50km point-to-point range it becomes very possible for operators to build a national IP network with local distribution via WiFi or cable.

    This could do for Internet what the GSM has done for telephony in large parts of Africa (i.e. brought modern communications to millions of people who have never been able to get it before).
    • by pesc (147035) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:53AM (#8086767)
      There is no real demand for this kind of technology in countries that are already well-cabled with more fibre-optic cable than they can ever use.
      Yes there is. The fibre-optic cable is great for the internet backbone, but you don't have fibre to every house in the suburbs and rural areas. This wireless tech would be truly excellent here!

      With 50km point-to-point range it becomes very possible for operators to build a national IP network with local distribution via WiFi or cable.

      Not really. While you could build a wireless backbone using this technology, the bandwidth would suck. And using this tech for the backbone and using cable for local distribution would be insane. This new tech is great for the last mile distribution of internet access. The backbone is better built by using fiber.
      • While you could build a wireless backbone using this technology, the bandwidth would suck

        Have you any idea what sort of bandwidth requirements whole countries in Africa have, compared to the average US neighbourhood of a few thousand?

        • Have you any idea what sort of bandwidth requirements whole countries in Africa have, compared to the average US neighbourhood of a few thousand?

          Have you any idea what kind of money can be saved and used for the developing economy if in 20 or 30 years time the entire Internet structure of a country doesn't need a complete replacement because they did things backwards like build backbones with WiFi?

          If they're planning on developing, someday their bandwidth requirements will increase. They're either prep

          • Have you any idea what sort of bandwidth requirements whole countries in Africa have, compared to the average US neighbourhood of a few thousand?

            Have you any idea what kind of money can be saved and used for the developing economy if in 20 or 30 years time the entire Internet structure of a country doesn't need a complete replacement because they did things backwards like build backbones with WiFi?

            If they're planning on developing, someday their bandwidth requirements will increase. They're either pre

        • Have you any idea what sort of bandwidth requirements whole countries in Africa have, compared to the average US neighbourhood of a few thousand?

          No, not really. But I would guess that a typical African national requirements would be orders of magnitudes higher than a typical US neighbourhood.

          You don't build a internet backbone to match the capacity for internet usage today, but to match what you would want to do in the next couple (10?) of years.

          If you have a multi-million population that you want to gi
          • A lot of countries installed VSATs into a few key towns and then paying massive amounts for hardly any bandwidth at all and no national backbone at all.

            Using a decent wireless solution is the only IP backbone most places I have been have had. Microwave mostly, some spread spectrum stuff. 100mbit backbone would be amazing in a lot of poorer places. Sure, cable would be better, but significantly more expensive. A lot of governments don't care about mid to long term, because nobody plans that way when they t

      • The backbone is better built by using fiber.

        For many reasons this is not true in large parts of Africa. Heavy rain washes away entire roads, not to mention cables. Theft is an issue. Loose local authority means your cables are likely to be cut by arbitrary digging. Unclear land rights mean it's sometimes impossible to know who to contact for access rights. Crony competition (i.e. your competitors having friends in government) mean that it can take months or years for permits. Geography means there a
        • I'll admit right away that I know quite little about Africa in general, but hey! This is Slashdot! ;-)

          For many reasons this is not true in large parts of Africa. Heavy rain washes away entire roads, not to mention cables. Theft is an issue. ... ...These are the reasons Africa is not already cabled

          True, there are some unique problems with using cable in Africa. You can't use it everywhere. But Nigeria is already using cable [cia.gov]. Just think about if they used fiber instead of coax! And you don't usually lay f
          • Well, despite posting on Slashdot, I've spent many months in Nigeria and while 1200 Km of expressways sounds a lot, it's not for a country that is almost a million square Km. As soon as you leave the main cities you are on secondary roads made of a thin layer of tarmac over hard earth. Cables? Where?

            Microwave links are used, yes, but mainly as we might use leased lines - expensive point-to-point links between two business locations, between an ISP and a company, that kind of thing.

            Microwave links do no
    • There is no real demand for this kind of technology in countries that are already well-cabled with more fibre-optic cable than they can ever use.

      Technically, this may be true (ignoring the issue of rural areas). But economically, this could finally break the monopoly of last-mile providers. Think of how great it will be to get a fast connection from a company without an interest in stifling change, cordoning off the free Internet, and keeping prices artificially high. I bet this development is what

    • I think what WiMax will do is finally make broadband Internet available to most of the USA.

      You see, one of the biggest problems with trying to set up broadband in the USA is the sheer size of the country and the fact USA metropolitan areas are so widely spread out, which drastically increases the cost of setting up DSL and cable modem broadband access. With WiMax, you essentially have solved the Last Mile problem of getting broadband access into the home, especially in rural areas. Also, because WiMax work
    • They already have 802.16 in Maui. Maui Sky Fiber: Maui Sky Fiber Deploys Aperto PacketWave [80216news.com]
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:36AM (#8086732)
    The original article alludes to using WiMax in licensed bands such as 2.5 to 2.7 GHz and, while another article [ofdmnews.com] suggests the potential for operation in a wide range of bands from 2 to 11 GHz (and early testing in unlicensed frequencies at 5.8 GHz). This suggests that these devices will initially be available in mutually incompatible consumer versions (unlicensed spectrum) and service provider versions (licensed spectrum).

    I wonder what this will do for adoption because the volume on the RF components will be fragmented across multiple bands. I also wonder if people will create WiMax variants that interfere with WiFi by operating in the same frequency space.
    • Is it reasonable to assume that there will be consumer versions of this? If there are, I would guess that the transmit power would be severly capped.

      I dont know much about this spec but I would guess that ISPs using it to create 1 or 2 or 5 networks around a city would be a handy thing. This seems to be what its for. AFAIK (im not an expert) tens of thousands of consumers setting up their own 802.16 networks with a 50km range would cause a major traffic jam in that spectrum.

      But then, when they say that

  • by Leon Yendor (216067) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:55AM (#8086773)
    Given that, so far, only 802.11b is truly Open Source capable, can we hope that this one will be ?

    As so many (supposedly) Open Source coders have been ready to wave their legs in the air and sign NDAs to do drivers for various supposedly OS-Oses I won't hold my breath.

    Don't know which ones? If they aren't 802.11b just try to see the hardware specs they used to write the driver. The code is NOT open if you can't publish the specs.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:10AM (#8086799)
    I do hope that WiMax features more robust encryption than does WiFi with WEP. Something tells me that service providers are not going to be too concerned with interception of their customer's packets (only theft of bandwidth). And even if WiMax is "secure," I'm sure that it will include a nice backdoor for government counter-freedom operations.
    • Encryption should not be a part of the protocol, it should be separate so it can be updated as technology improves
    • There's one simple solution to this whole problem... Get rid of built-in encryption entirely. There's no reason to have encryption on the card, it merely ensures that it can't be upgraded when it's cracked, and that it was put together at break-neck speeds, before all the problems could be solved. It's not as if hardware encryption gives you more bandwidth or anything like that, so why use it?

      It's simple really... Either use IPv6 (prefered) or IPSec. Everyone can access it. It's got great encryption
  • by weave (48069) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:21AM (#8086824) Journal
    Imagine the benefits of allowing wifi card makers to boost the power of their transmiters. It would make the microwave oven obsolete too. An entire dinner could be cooked while it sits on the dinner table, oe for that matter, before it even leaves the grocery store. Cows could be cooked while they stand in the fields. Also, no need for water purification plants, since all rivers and lakes would be under a constant boil. And, best yet, no need for artificial heat in your house during those cold winter months, since you'd be warmed from within!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The eye is the only part of the human body which does not have a natural cooling mechanism.

      During WWII, radar techs in Britain would frequently step outside in front of their radars to take the chill off the foggy, rainy british weather.

      Oddly enough, many are today suffering from a form of blindness much akin to hard-boiling an egg. The proteins change from clear to white... (similar to cataracts, except the whole viscous substance in the eye) Also, cataracts too is much more common.

      Strange coincidence,
  • oh my!

    This sounds expensive.

    This sounds only like a service provider tool from a big building to a lot of locations with the downstread demarc connecting to service provider equipment with ethernet out or long haul out to remote locations. I can see this probably will be a tool for telcos or big companies/governments in the 3rd world or other locations in the US. I can see this used to feed bandwidth into more rural areas where high capacity fiber won't be pushed and then the big boys can push DSL while w

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:42AM (#8086872) Homepage Journal
    I work with the NYC City Council, and we're studying wireless "broadband" deployment. NYC has 20M people inside a 50Km radius - that's 8bps per person on a 155Mbps 802.16a segment. And the multipath reflections through our concrete canyons would destroy much of that bandwidth. Cranking down the power reduces the multipath, and allows our dense city to scope a segment to a smaller footprint, shared by a manageable number of people. How about attenuating the shape of the field, a la Pringles can, to merely fill the grid of Manhattan streets? External building antennae can hook the WAN signal to LANs, without wasting its power soaking through the concrete. Anyone have a field demo of this topology running? Want to talk to my committee in sunny Manhattan?

    • You can use spatial diversity (which is similar to cranking down the power, really), frequency diversity, and polarization diversity to prevent interference. If you choose frequency-agile user equipment, you could deploy many hotspots covering a particular area and use signal strength to choose which to use (a la cell phones). Similarly, using polarized antennas can lead to significantly less interference (rhcp vs lhcp, not just horiz vs vertical).

      For instance: Using fairly directional antennas, aim RHCP si

      • Thanks - that's really a good guide, especially as a filter on our BS detector when being pitched by vendors. However, our biggest source of bandwidth sucking "interference" is the teeming nodes of mobile users within the radius of a full-power 802.16a base station. It seems like we'd be better off with overlapping cones (redundant) just filling the streets for a few blocks, with a much smaller volume than the single 50Km radius sphere of the basic setup. With WiMAX canals filling the streets, we might carv

        • You're welcome. I hate to bring it up, but have you thought about a "leaky coax" system? the antennas consist of a semi-shielded coax that is designed to 'leak' signal out along the cable, but not too far from the cable. (Like the travel info stations along a highway, for instance. The cable might span 2 miles, but the signal is undetectable a few hundred feet from the road.) You might think about stringing some leaky coax along major thoroughfares to serve customers near the antenna. Having the antenna nea
          • Problem in NYC is that leakage is a 2way street. I pity the aliens visiting who see in the RF: Times Square without the refined good taste, in a vast array of "colors" from the city that invented it (cf. Nikola Tesla). All that buzz is why coax shielding is smart enough (:-) to keep RF *out* as well as *in*. Meanwhile, I'm exploring the spatial segregation by attenuation, more than the frequency segregation. Fitting a custom antenna on low-power standard 802.16a bases seems cheaper and more interoperable th

            • I understand the bidirectionality of leaky coax - if the interfering 'buzz' extends into the GHz, you'll have problems regardless of whether you use leaky coax or over the air reception. I had assumed that you'd use a DRO filter and preamp on the coax to feed the receiver. Only RF interference in-band would matter. Just a thought. Good luck with your awesome technical challenge!

  • by flat235 (724288)
    Bullshit. "802.anything" is a joke. I'm no great networking hero, but I know that every single wireless setup I've ever seen runs at less than half its rated capacity - even when the WAP and client are in LOS, less than 10m away from each other.

    A guy I know recently forked over a lot of $$$ for a "54mbit" setup (wireless cable router and a 54mbit PCI card) - the kit is spaced about 15 metres apart, with only 2 non-load-bearing walls (read partitions) in the way - it runs at about 10mbps.

    My own kit is
    • with all due respect to you. i think you'll find that wired ethernet is an 802.xx standard. and well, that seems to work quite well with my network cards.
    • I went down and bought a cheap system, set it up in about 10 minutes, and it works great! Easiest network I ever setup. The bandwidth I get is higher than my cable bandwidth, so no problems in that area, and it works in every room in my house.

      Being a standard makes it easy for me to buy components for my handheld, laptop, and desktops while still being cheap. And bonus! My cards are compatible with my company and also most of the coffee shops in the area.

      Can you describe a system that works better? That
    • I have two 22Mbps access points about 300 metres apart running at full speed. It's used so that my sister can connect to the internet using my internet connection. I also run my laptop off the thing and I get a solid connection no-matter where I am in the house.
      • >> It's used so that my sister can connect to the internet using my internet connection.

        OK - it *says* its running at 22mbps - but it it actually able to transfer data at ~22mbps? If it's only used for internet access, its either impossible to tell, or you have very, very fast internet access ;)
    • yes, i get rated speed from my powerline connection.. streaming video across pc's is why I GOT RID OF my 802.11b wifi and went powerline..
    • My 802.11b kit runs at cca. 5MBit/sec when I'm sitting some 8 metres from it, separated by a single (altough bearing, 30cm thick) wall.
    • The 11 Mbit and 54 Mbit ratings are theoretical maximums, not something you are going to observe in the field. You have transmission and protocol overhead, interference (even with a few partitions in the way) and your crappy consumer-grade access point and card standing in the way of that kind of performance.

      • Yes, and I would be extremely happy if the overheads (including interference from my crappy consumer grade WAP - which indeed, it is) were 10% .. or 20% ... or hell, even 33% .. but no. Surely you can't seek to justify my supposed 11mbps running at under 2mbps as overhead / intereference?
  • Someone predicts that a new standard will be available in 2005, with equipment presumeably following a year after, and it makes headlines on slashdot. In the meantime, hardcore 3G makes it to the United States and nary a peep out of the slashdot editors.

    The most exciting telecomm development that I have seen in the last year is Verizon's announcement that they are going to roll out EV-DO in the US. This has already had serious consequences in the cellular industry, with AT&T/Cingular being forced to ac
  • Intel [businessweek.com] also is making graphics chips for handheld computers, pushing into digital-imaging chips, and planning to roll out WiMax, a Wi-Fi standard that may help bring the Internet to rural areas and developing countries at a fraction of today's cost (see BW, 1/19/04, "The Next Big Thing For Wireless?" [businessweek.com]). With the chips rolling out in a steady stream, few are betting against Intel this year.

    From the article in the link

    The Next Big Thing For Wireless? [businessweek.com]

    The Next Big Thing For Wireless? WiMax is a lot fast

  • Once again we are confronted with the hype for a new all singing all dancing wireless broadband standard which operates in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The data rates are theoretically possible with no interference from Microwave Ovens, cordless phones 802.11x.

    With commercially available equipment from Cisco you can already build a reliable 25Km link which requires that the antennas be mounted at the 150' level due to the curvature of the earth.

    So the advertised range figures are possible but only in environme
  • Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fjord (99230) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:17AM (#8087823) Homepage Journal
    People can stop trying to hack 802.11[abg] into a long range protocol. I've have potential clients ask me for long range wireless solutions and basically had to tell them that it can be done with 802.11[abg] but it's hacky, unsupported, and I can't do it (being a software guy and neither an infrastructure nor soldering guy).
    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

      by djh101010 (656795)
      People can stop trying to hack 802.11[abg] into a long range protocol.

      Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but I have a couple of questions:
      1. How do you define "long range"? With a couple of directional antennas, a 1 mile 802.11b link is very solid.
      2. Have you looked at the previous articles on slashdot on last-mile 802.11* solutions? One of them pointed to fab-corp.com who I have dealt with, and whose products, service, and information are top notch.

      If with FAB's information you're still overwhelmed, there
  • by puzzled (12525) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:25AM (#8087902) Journal
    I've got five moderator points this morning and there is exactly one post in here I'd mod up - the guy who suggested that people not post if they don't know anything, but he already has a +5.

    There is a link in my sig to my journal and there you'll find a brief description of how 802.11 (wireless lan) and 802.16 (wireless access) differ.

    50km == 30 miles. I've installed 2400MHz and 5800MHz links on the same 22 mile path and I've done a bunch of other 20 +/- 2 mile shots using 5800MHz.

    At 22 miles with 19dB dishes on each end we saw analog modem speeds with 2400MHz (802.11b) equipment. Using 29dB 2' Andrew dishes and 100mw 5800MHz radios we saw a solid 5+ mbits on a radio that maxed out at 8 mbits.

    I've planned a 40km 45 mbit shot for a project that didn't go through - I think we had a 4' dish on the remote tower and a 6' dish on the skyscraper end of the link.

    Whatever band and modulation method they're using in these breathy 802.16 announcements the physics aren't going to be much different than what I describe above - long shots are point to point, cells are small (3km - 4km) if you want to go fast, and I mentally say "snake oil" when I hear the letters O-F-D-M. It works, but it ain't "all that", as they say.

    So, mod me wise, or mod me troll, but know this: The slashdot collective has as much business talking about wireless networking as any room full of male gynecologists and cross dressers has talking about childbirth.

  • 50 K range? (Score:2, Funny)

    by crawdad62 (308893)
    Wow you won't even need a "sniffer." You'll be able to smell that from the next city.
  • There is an effort to setup one of these networks in my county this year (2004). They expect to need two antennas to cover the entire county. Intel and IBM met with the public and municipal officials last week. So far, no company has offered to be the ISP, but BellSouth, Cox, and Alltel are obvious choices. Initially, service will be offered to businesses, later to residential customers. If the project goes through, Intel says this will be the first site in the United States to be covered.

    Official Home Pa [wirelessho...county.org]
  • I wonder how such a thing will interfere with existing 802.11 installations; I can't imagine all the traffic generated by Windows machines and their lovely network-abusing protocols (NetBIOS and the like). What happens when the signals from this network overlap with the 802.ll networks (which i'm sure would happen)? is .05Ghz enough signal variance to not cause problems?

    (I'm asking because I honestly don't know.)

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