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Sprint Rolls out WiMAX Access 156

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the to-go-with-their-new-card-toy dept.
Tokin84 writes "Today, Sprint announced that it would pour over $4.5Bn into a 2.5Ghz WiMAX system to be rolled out across the country. From the article: 'Sprint Nextel, the nation's largest holder of radio spectrum in the precious 2.5 GHz band, has reportedly chosen to deploy Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX) as the foundation of its technology platform for the carrier's mobile broadband Next-Generation Network (NGN) build-out.'"
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Sprint Rolls out WiMAX Access

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  • Here's an idea... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:29PM (#15867819)
    How about fibre-to-the-curb or even better, to my demark point instead. Wireless is nice, but I spend 90% of my on-line time connected to a wire.
    • Re:Here's an idea... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Synic (14430) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:34PM (#15867874) Homepage Journal
      If you could use wireless reliably on a desktop machine over a equivalent or higher speed than your current wired connection, why would you say no to it?
      • Some of us are just paranoid.
      • by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:57PM (#15868104) Journal
        Because that would mean that there is something wrong with the wire and it needs fixing.
      • I won't have an opportunity to say no. There isn't even cellular phone service in my town, so I'm not gonna hold my breath waiting for Sprint WiMAX!
      • Here's a reason (Score:3, Informative)

        The current wireless providers cancel accounts when people actually use them; the boards [broadbandreports.com] are littered with EVDO users complaining that, for example, Verizon axed them when their throughput hit 10 gigs a month. Heck, even Consumer Affairs [consumeraffairs.com] got shafted.

        Will there be similar limitations on WiMax? Without a reasonable TOS, I'd turn it down.

      • I have Sprint(Nextel) Wireless and I can't get a reliable Cell signal - 0 bars in a densely populated section of town as if right now.
        And the best DSL I can get is 512Mb down. (Sprint Business)

        This is Vegas for Chrissakes. Not BFE Idaho!

        Sprint can take a flying @&*#.

        Fix the services you have NOW. don't add more.

        • That's very weird considering my Sprint phone worked all over Vegas just last weekend. Also the cellular modems work great with much faster connectivity than all the other providers seem to be offering. I'd be curious about the quality and/or condition of your phone as that plays a very large role. My Samsung A900 for instance get's far better reception than my old phone. Of course that phone was 4 years old so I guess it served its purpose. It was an LG phone which I've so far been horribly unimpressed wit
          • It's a Motorola i860. 3 months old. ditto with my boss's phone - i870 dropped calls all over the place. Drops by Nellis, Drops in Henderson... They've gone to crap since they bought nextel.
            • Wonder if they were having technical difficulties while you were there. Did you experience that at Defcon? I know I didn't. I crossed the country with my Sprint phone and there was exactly 10 minutes on the 2800 mile journey where I did not have signal. Quite ironically it was while I was 10 minutes from home. I have noticed I get a dropped call about once a week lately and that is quite odd. Haven't had a dropped call in 4 years then all of a sudden... Maybe you're right that Spring is going to hell
          • sprint != nextel.

            sprint ~ 1.8ghz
            nextel ~ 800mhz

            sprint > *
        • When did they move BFE to the States? Or has Idaho moved to the Middle East?
      • That depends is Sprint going to control the network? If so, they I will pass up a wireless network at 200Gb/s with dancing girls and a trip into space. I've been burned by Sprint in professional and personal networking over and over again. This time never again means never again.
      • The FCC said no! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bobs666 (146801)
        The FCC said no!

        All you got was a near useless low power set.

        In 1984 Apple Computer petitioned the FCC for what is alot like WiMAX,
        A 10k to 15k network adaptor.
        But AT&T and others sweet talked the FCC out of the deal.
        Since this would by pass the local telco monopoly.
        So now you are going to pay for your access to
        the airwaves, its a lot like paying for your freedom of speech.

        Sounds like its time to start dumping Tea in the harbor boys.

      • Because fiber will always be potentially faster.
        Wireless is great for mobile applications, limited user base, and for broadcast style systems.
        It is ideal for one transmitter and many receivers. WiMAX will be great for mobile and remote users. Even good for point to point links. I would rather have fiber in my home and office :)
    • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:35PM (#15867878) Homepage Journal

      How about fibre-to-the-curb or even better, to my demark point instead. Wireless is nice, but I spend 90% of my on-line time connected to a wire.

      You obviously don't get out much.

      I predict the logical successor to the 4x4 SUV will be a vehicle with a desk in place of the dashboard, because I swear more business is being done on the road than in boardrooms.

      excuse me officer, do you have an appointment?

    • by Nos. (179609)
      Because its very expensive to do that. WiMax promises higher bandwidth and reliability without the costly infrastructure required for FTTH.
    • by ptbarnett (159784) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:44PM (#15867962)
      How about fibre-to-the-curb or even better, to my demark point instead.

      I already have it [verizon.com]. 15 megabit/sec down, 2 megabit/sec up. Finally, I have true high-definition TV and static-free phones, as well.

      Of course, it depends on where you live. I was fortunate to be in one of the early deployment areas. However, the speed of the service depends on the competition. Where I live, 15/2 is the highest speed for a reasonable price. Elsewhere, people are getting 20/5 (or even higher) for a similar price.

      Once it's installed and configured correctly, it has been reliable. But, there have been administrative problems every step along the way.

      • FTTH is Unnecessary (Score:5, Interesting)

        by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@nOsPAm.keirstead.org> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:45PM (#15868510) Homepage
        Fibre to the home is cool, but totally unneeded for 99% of people. Chances are you already had a coax line into yoru house. Do you have any idea the theoretical bandwidth you can shove down a coax cable? It's in the Gbps. There are already existing ISPs that sell 30Mbps over coax.

        The problem is all the spectrum is being hogged up with the analog cable channels. The cable companies are itching to get rid of these - once the price point is low enough on set top boxes so they can give them for free to anyone who needs them, you're going to see available bandwidth over coax explode.

        The coax pipe is very thick. It is not as thick as a fibre pipe, but it is more than enough to be able to drive all the HD streams and internet porn you could ever want.

        • There are already existing ISPs that sell 30Mbps over coax.

          Where, what's rent like, and do I have to learn a new language or wear funny hats?
          Oh, and can you acutally USE it for more than a couple of days without going over your limit for the month?
        • Well, coax cable may be capable of carrying large amounts of data, but the signal on the line isn't just yours, it's your entire area's signal. You might be sharing that signal with tens of thousands of other households. Even if fiber is normally arranged in the same way (is it?), the throughput potential is still so much greater... But yeah, they should nuke those damn analog channels and give me some real bandwidth :)
          • where i live you have a switching node that sends a powered cable out to a box. then max 4 houses plug into this..

            the switching node is fiber so.. no you don't share it with thousands of other households.. mabey a few but not many
          • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @03:26PM (#15868840) Homepage Journal
            yes, fiber is also shared with a bunch of households. Here are some things you probably didn't know about both fiber and coax; first, the fact that fiber is a loop, and well-shared. Second, that the cable network starts out as either fiber or HFC (hybrid fiber/coax) and only becomes coax on its way to your door. you do not have an unbroken line of coax leading to the cable co unless you're next door, and even that is doubtful.
            • DSL is 100% point-to-point and can run 29+ Mbps. Products based on Broadcom chips [broadcom.com] already do this, and they can do a lot better depending on the distance and wire quality. With each successive chip generation, the distances are increasing, and some are now close to 1 mile (5,000 feet, or about 1.6km). (No, I don't work for them).

              • DSL is 100% point-to-point and can run 29+ Mbps. Products based on Broadcom chips already do this, and they can do a lot better depending on the distance and wire quality. With each successive chip generation, the distances are increasing, and some are now close to 1 mile (5,000 feet, or about 1.6km). (No, I don't work for them).

                5,000 feet is jack diddly shit. Most subscribers live over 10,000 feet. In most of the places where people currently have trouble getting broadband, which is to say more rural l

        • The problem is all the spectrum is being hogged up with the analog cable channels. The cable companies are itching to get rid of these - once the price point is low enough on set top boxes so they can give them for free to anyone who needs them, you're going to see available bandwidth over coax explode.

          Adelphia already got rid of them. They programed the boxes over thier wires. So far, my internet connection has yet to see a speed boost, and the box now frequently 'drops' frames and sound. Its very frust
    • Re:Here's an idea... (Score:5, Informative)

      by filmotheklown (740735) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:46PM (#15867989)
      Cheaper to cover an area with radio signal than to trench cable any day of the week.
      • Re:Here's an idea... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by parlyboy (603457)
        Absolutely. To put some real numbers to on this, according to Sprint, the total capital expenditure for WiMax infrastructure is about 10 percent the cost of a comparable fiber or cable build-out.
    • Re:Here's an idea... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oldave (160729)
      Sprint/Nextel isn't an ILEC (mostly, and not at all if the spinoff of the local phone business is complete - I didn't check), nor even a CLEC.

      In other words, Sprint doesn't have cable facilities already in place passing by subdivisions with thousands of potential subscribers. Verizon, AT&T and (for this week) Bellsouth do. Those are the guys you should be asking for fiber.

      I expect wireless connectivity to take off in a big way over the next 2 or 3 years, and Sprint's taking this step to try to be at t
      • Re:Here's an idea... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BigCheese (47608)
        They spun off the local phone stuff as Embarq http://embarq.com/ [embarq.com].

        Here in Overland Park you can't work in IT without having a few ex Sprint people around as well as coworkers with spouses who work there. We hear a lot of stuff.

        Word is that Nextel people are taking over Sprint management from the inside. They may be able to pull this WiMax thing off if they can get the internal politics and bureaucracy under control.
    • Re:Here's an idea... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by andrewman327 (635952) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:15PM (#15868268) Homepage Journal
      Fiber to the home may sound like a wonderful thing, and I must confess that I used to think that way. I had that sentiment until I practically found myself in a Douglas Adam's book arguing with Verizon contractors who were intent on trenching my property for fiber optic lines. They were offering this wonderful new service to our neighborhood. I actually sat in front of my house to make sure that they did not dig up any more than the 10 feet from the street that they are allowed by city code. They then offered me a pittence of a discount to adopt the new technology without even bothering to patch the holes in my lawn. After writing a (mostly friendly) letter to corporate HQ, Verizon finally seeded part of the damaged area. Never will I use the their FTTH Internet connection. Don't so sure that Fiber is the solution.


      If Sprint WiMax can save another city the troubles that faced my city, I am in favor of it. I would also like to have full coverage no matter where I go within my area.

      • by mattkime (8466) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:20PM (#15869304)
        You value your lawn more than fibre to you home? ....who told you about this website?
        • If I had mod points, you would have got some.

          I'm not going to really get on a bandwagon here, but its that type of thought process that can really hold things (companies, technology, individuals) back. You are too busy spending your time either assesing the short-term "cost" to even realize the future benefits. Granted it a good thing to have people look at the drawbacks/impacts, but you didn't give a single good reason why they shouldn't have run the line...your lawn will grow back.

          Your probably some
        • It wasn't just the lawn, it was the overall being treated like crap and not being informed ahead of time of the digging. They also damaged the street and did a bad job of fixing it. On the technical side of things, they told me that they did not know if I could run a VOIP connection through their Fiber link and that it was "unsupported" and not recomended.
      • It can be worse then that. When SBC, Everest and Time Warner were trenching here in Overland Park they kept hitting gas and water mains. The city finally had to halt all trenching until a survey of mains was done.

        We also had the problem that there was no coordination in laying the fiber. SBC might dig up a street one week and lay some fiber and then Everest would come in the next month and dig it up again. It made a mess of the streets and traffic. You could hardly go anywhere without it being one lane and
      • I've got bad news for you - that piece of "your" lawn most likely belongs to you about as much as the center of the road. That's why you should never plant anything you intend to keep in the public right of way. And they're generally not required to patch anything when they're done. That's just the way public utilities work. Would you have been happier if they'd strung that line, along with the phone, cable, and power, 30' overhead down every road in the development?

        They just boosted the value of your pro
    • How about fibre-to-the-curb or even better, to my demark point instead. Wireless is nice, but I spend 90% of my on-line time connected to a wire.

      1) Demarc. As in demarcation.

      2) It costs a fuck of a lot more to maintain a bunch of fiber than it does to maintain an antenna.

      Wires are the Old Way(tm). The future is a huge sloppy mesh-networked topology that will allow the network to extend itself to anyplace there's sufficient numbers of people. Actually, if you got really froggy, you could use some h

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:32PM (#15867856) Homepage Journal

    "4G" "NGN" "WiMAX" "UMTS-based technology dubbed TD-CDMA" "Flash-OFDM" Nice load of acronyms, that's $4.5Bn invested.

    I for one welcome our new Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX) technology platform foundation mobile broadband Next-Generation Network (NGN) build-out 4G overlords.

  • by zymano (581466) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:33PM (#15867867)
    Buying up our spectrum like this installs a natural monopoly that is inefficient.

    A better system would be for public/gov to create a network of towers for wimax/wifi.

    I BETYA SPRINT WILL MAKE WIMAX REALLY AFFORDABLE FOR EVERYONE !!!!
    http://www.acmqueue.org/modules.php?name=Content&p a=showpage&pid=37 [acmqueue.org]
    http://www.greaterdemocracy.org/OpenSpectrumFAQ.ht ml [greaterdemocracy.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_spectrum [wikipedia.org]
    • by ThisNukes4u (752508) * <tcoppi.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:45PM (#15867976) Homepage
      Buying up our spectrum like this installs a natural monopoly that is inefficient. A better system would be for public/gov to create a network of towers for wimax/wifi.
      I'm all for the public, free use of the radio spectrum, but what makes you think that the government would do a better job? They're the ones who split up the spectrum in the first place.
      • Without RF being split and regulated, we would be at the mercy of "the kid next door" broadcasting his own video blog on whatever frequency he chooses, including, yes, your local TV stations. Technically, he doesn't even have to broadcast over the TV frequencies in use. If the frequency is close enough and he puts out enough power, ingress will occur and you still won't be able to watch your TV. Hell, enough power and he could turn your cable line into an antenna and then you'd really be crying.

        I haven't
      • Correct. The sensible approach would be to limit signal strength by statute in much the same way that building height is regulated, for example. Then let the market figure out how to best use the spectrum available.
    • A better system would be for public/gov to create a network of towers for wimax/wifi.

      You mean you don't see this as a salvo in the public/private WiFi battle?

      "Senator Claghorn here, and I most strenuously, I say strenuosly protest the people's tax dollars bein' spent competing with this fine company. I say we shut down the government funded public service and give the money back to the other porkbarrel projects it was so wrongly taken from. Now excuse me, I have a golf outting this afternoon with some

    • Yes, plus it would make it easier for the government to filter content and eavesdrop on its citizens. Sounds wonderful.

      State-sponsored monopolies have been used successfully in the past. I would prefer my communications not to be owned by the government.
      • Would there have been an internet without gov help ?

        Do you believe the phone companies loved cannibalizing their own product ?

        I love getting nickel and dimed by the jackal phone co's for web access.
        • The answer is "who knows" but government help isn't the same as government ownership.

          I think government involvement is essential to the buildout of infrastructure. Otherwise a large portion of the population won't be served. I don't believe government ownership of the infrastructure is in our best interests, and that's something that's consistently believed in the US but not always in other countries. The US accomplished these things through granted monopolies, regulation, subsidies and mandates.
        • "Would there have been an internet without gov help ?"
          I would bet that an infinite number of universities with an infinite number of researchers doing an infinite number of networking experiments (with an infinite number of generous alumni) could create something similar to the modern Internet.
        • This is probably not what you meant, since it is more of a government controlled monopoly, but things might get interesting in Portland with wifi.

          For years a group of private citizens have been setting up free wifi all over the city. This is what I like to think of as a good example of anarchy in action, or libertarian-socialism.

          Problem is, now the city has given a contract to a company to provide free wifi all over the city.

          Well, in and ove itself that isn't a problem, but some have speculated that this co
    • I agree completely. I also think things like cable/power lines/water pipes/roadways, basically any network system that requires use of eminent domain should belong to the people (ie the government).
      The end points and suppliers should all be non-government (with the possible exception of water as thats is a natural resource). To bad there isn't a common-sense party that is largely libertarian but uses common sense and acknowledges where the government is useful (or should be useful).
         
    • I understand your concerns, but sorry, I don't see "the public" investing a $4.5B network and have a shot at making it effective, not in the US. Maybe the Fed or many of the states might spend $45B combined and still make it a worthless piece of trash. At least with WiMax, there can be competitors using other spectrum.

      WiFi is not good for connectivity, it is way too short-range, especially if one county needs 60,000 radios (like in the county Ann Arbor, MI is in) to make such a sufficient mesh to cover a
      • I understand your concerns, but sorry, I don't see "the public" investing a $4.5B network and have a shot at making it effective, not in the US.
        The Interstate Freeway system is effective. In fact I'm pretty darn grateful for it, and glad that it's not privately owned. And I have my choice among thousands of private companies to carry me or my stuff down the road.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:44PM (#15867969)
    "This is very positive for the space as a whole," said Daniel Meron, analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

    I have never felt more confident after that statement.
  • So many standards (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dsmey (193342) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:46PM (#15867996)
    Great. So now we'll have Sprint/Nextel using WiMax on 2.5ghz, Verizon using CDMA on 850/1900mhz, Cingular using UMTS/HSPDA on 850/1900/2100mhz, and TMobile using GSM 1900mhz. Why can't we be like Europeans and just settle on one wireless technology?
    • Re:So many standards (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrZaius (321037)
      WiMAX, even the proposed mobile standard, has nothing to do with cell phones. This is a WISP [wikipedia.org] thing. WiMAX will also be used extensively in Australia and Europe, although more likely over 3.5ghz than 2.5ghz.
    • Why can't we be like Europeans and just settle on one wireless technology?

      Have you seen what the europeans are paying for text messages?

    • I think you're exaggerating (probably unintentionally) the situation in the US and underexaggerating the situation in Europe.

      Cingular runs GSM, with UMTS rolled out in a few areas. It'll be supporting GSM for many years, probably decades to come. Cingular customers roam on T-Mobile's network, and in some places T-Mobile users can roam on Cingular's. It's nice.

      UMTS is essentially the next version of GSM. It's undergone a name change largely because the telcos were running out of bandwidth and wanted to

  • by eno2001 (527078) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @01:47PM (#15867999) Homepage Journal
    This is very likely going to cause even more problems for the environment. Anyone care to comment on the recent heatwave that has swept the planet within the past month? Record temperatures on every part of the globe. With the worldwide deployment of WiMax, we'll be dumping even more energies into the environment that don't belong there. This isn't just AM or FM radio we're talking here. We're talking microwaves. The VERY SAME energy that's used to cook your food in a microwave oven! All we're doing is turning the planet into one big Amana Radar Range and global temps will skyrocket to new extremes of both hi and lo temps.

    We've already done tremendous and very ironic damage with air conditioning. In our interest of keeping our working and living spaces comfortably climate controlled we forgot one thing: thermal energy is like water. If you take heat from one space and pump it out, it has to go somewhere. We've been using ACs in our houses, our cars, and businesses, and god knows where else to pump the heat out. Well, where does all that heat go? Into the outside air. And what happens when you pump water into the outdoors? You make ponds, lakes and oceans. Same thing with heat, only worse. All that heat is now coming back to get us. But, even more irony... because it's getting hotter out there, we're using our ACs more than ever before and pumping MORE heat out! I predict that by 2015, the typical summer temps on the equator will be 180F. They're already averaging about 140F and that's up from the relatively cool 95F they used to be back in the 70s. We've got a huge problem folks and WiMax is only going to make it worse. Stop them before it's too late.

    Oh... and the internet is a series of tubes.
    • Re:The Environment (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TimeTrav (460837)
      > I predict that by 2015, the typical summer temps on the equator will be 180F. They're already averaging about 140F and that's up from the relatively cool 95F they used to be back in the 70s. We've got a huge problem folks and WiMax is only going to make it worse. Stop them before it's too late.

      I rate this troll 9/10. Bravo.
    • Rockin'. I can't wait to cook HotPockets (tm) with my cell phone. Now...where do I get my Philip K. Dick codpiece?

      -Todd

    • We're talking microwaves. The VERY SAME energy that's used to cook your food in a microwave oven! All we're doing is turning the planet into one big Amana Radar Range and global temps will skyrocket to new extremes of both hi and lo temps

      Mein Gott... you do realize they've been using Microwaves for years now without fried Bird falling from the sky, right?

      Troll.

      • Mein Gott... you do realize they've been using Microwaves for years now without fried Bird falling from the sky, right?

        you do realize that birds are somewhat frequently cooked by military radar - sometimes on purpose - and thus you are completely wrong, right?

    • Re:The Environment (Score:3, Informative)

      by molarmass192 (608071)
      It's not thermal energy displacement per se that's the cause of the problem, it's the CO2 used to create the energy needed to displace that thermal energy. Make one place hotter to make another cooler and you still have the same amount of thermal energy. Mix in the CO2 discharge, and then there's the start of a problem. Add a fresh daily batch of solar heat, have CO2 prevent thermal radiation into space thanks to the green house effect, and you get rising avergage temps. There's also the problem of higher t
      • Make one place hotter to make another cooler and you still have the same amount of thermal energy.

        The distribution of temperature is also highly important. If you disagree, I suggest you spend your next summer vacation in an active volcano.

        think about this little item: the "conveyor" (global current) is powered by ice. When the heat moves toward the poles the ice melts. When the ice melts, the conveyor stops.

        Won't that be exciting? So much for anything like stability of weather.

    • But, even more irony... because it's getting hotter out there, we're using our ACs more than ever before and pumping MORE heat out! I predict that by 2015, the typical summer temps on the equator will be 180F. They're already averaging about 140F and that's up from the relatively cool 95F they used to be back in the 70s.
      On the plus side, it will be a relatively cool and dry 8 degrees Kelvin inside my house.
  • by InfinityWpi (175421) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:08PM (#15868207)
    Nothing has been 'rolled out' yet! It's been announced that they've decided to roll it out in the future. But is it not currently rolled out, nor is it in the process of rolling out. This is like going back in time a year and saying Vista has been rolled out...
  • I don't like the mere SOUND of Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX). Maybe THIS is what's causing global warming. Better keep those microwave meals in the freezer!
    • don't like the mere SOUND of Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access (WiMAX). Maybe THIS is what's causing global warming. Better keep those microwave meals in the freezer!
      Screw that, what about all the people on pacemakers? They are all going to have simultaneous heart attacks when the network goes live!
  • Gee, how nice that they're going to offer WiMax. Meanwhile, my window-facing cube in an office building downtown gets 1 bar, if I'm lucky. Sprint's ability to manage the calls it already has is horrific - how does this help? New frequency, same crappy coverage?
  • Great, now I'll be able to check myspace from anywhere at blazing fast 4G speeds!

    On a more serious note, a unified Wimax and the ubiquitous and mobile high speed data it will provide will revolutionize society as we know it. I'm just sayin is all..
  • Stupid headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by devjj (956776) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:16PM (#15868276)
    Sprint didn't "roll out" anything. They announced their intent to spend money to do so.
  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @02:23PM (#15868327) Homepage
    Huh.. reading this made me realize that wireless isn't going to change anything..

    One of the major complaints about the telecom industry is how it is controlled by a natural monopoly -- that is, there are only so many physical fibers that can be distributed around the country. It means you can't have competition: A competing telecom company can't just tear up the streets and install their own lines to compete with big business.

    So we've always been told that wireless will change all that.. as soon as WiMAX is available, suddenly we won't be restricted to physical lines! We'll be able to run community networks and municipal public internet access.

    But then.. this article reminds me that of course the people who will be installing all the wireless access points are going to be the big telecom companies. They'll still be the ones charging for access. And there is only so much bandwidth to go around... much less, in fact, than what is available on the wires. So as long as companies like Sprint jump in and take it first, no one will be able to compete.

    Sad to see that wireless won't be "the answer" to cheap and available telecom.
    • There is a point to that, but not as restricting of a problem as you might think.

      WiMax is intended to be offered in given spectrum allocations, but the standard. Let's say WiMax can get 20Mbps per TV channel's worth of bandwidth, but I'm just using the ATSC standard, WiMax might allow for more. With the common 50:1 oversell rate for typical broadband service, that provides 1000 households with 1Mbps per TV channel space. Take a tower with six 60 degree sector antennas, and that one channel, for one tower
      • One thing I forgot to mention is the footprint. I was assuming that one tower can serve a five mile radius, granted, that's about 75 square miles but I think this service might be viable if it is sold as home broadband.
  • We got wireless wimax a la motorola canopy service and it's quite good-as long as it isn't heavy storming out, then it drops to dismal, so I have kept my landline and dialup connection as a backup. But seeing as how it has taken me since the mid 90s to now to get ANY broadband, I love it! It's a cinch that in areas not currently served by conventional broadband,(roughly still half or more the geographical area of the US) you are going to be waiting between a LONG time until never to have any of the big comp

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