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Doubts Over Intel's WiMAX Service Pricing Claim

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the gratuity-not-included dept.

Communications 69

Ian Lamont writes "An Intel executive has suggested in a blog post that WiMAX could lead to massive savings on broadband Internet, mobile voice, and mobile data service prices. His post lists a WiMAX-based package of services including home broadband, mobile voice and broadband, home phone service (including international) and even video phone service for $50 to $100 total. It sounds great, but unfortunately for Intel and consumers, it's unlikely to happen any time soon, thanks to factors ranging from costly WiMAX buildouts to the telcos' lucrative business models based on existing wired and 2.5G/3G infrastructures. There are also questions about WiMAX's actual range following a messy Australian rollout, although the vendor there claims the Australian service provider under-provisioned the network."

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69 comments

Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (-1, Troll)

wlllyhill (1311313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881701)

List of Zionist Jews Who Control U.S. Economy

he Zionist stranglehold over U.S. Economy, who's who list of the Zionists that enslave Americans:
World Bank,
Present President: Paul Wolfowitz (a la Jew Watch, November 5, 2005)
Former President: James D. Wolfensohn
Federal Reserve System,
Chairman: Ben Shalom Bernanke
Former Chairman: Alan Greespan
Economic Policy Institute,
President: Larry Mishel (Mishel comes up on a web search as a Jewish surname)
Vice President: Ross Eisenbrey (Jewish?)
International Futures and Options Exchange
CEO: Hugh Freedberg
The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT),
Chairman: Nickolas J. Neubauer
New York Board of Trade,
Acting President, CEO, Chairman, and Chairman of the Board: Charles H. Falk
Vice Chairman of the Board: Frederick W. Schoenhut
American National Standards Institute (ANSI),
President and CEO: Mark W. Hurwitz
American Corn Growers Association,
CEO (in 2000): Gary Goldberg
"In February 2001, Goldberg was sentenced to five years probation for obtaining child pornography by mail. 'When the FBI and police knocked on his door, it was the end of Gary Goldberg, chief executive of the American Corn Growers Association,' The Tulsa World reported. 'Now and forever, itâ(TM)s Gary Goldberg, convicted sex offender.' Goldberg, who once rubbed elbows with senators and even visited President Clinton in the White House, now says: 'Iâ(TM)m a felon. They donâ(TM)t let felons in the Oval Office.' Goldbergâ(TM)s crime led to a very public resignation from his high-profile ACGA role. But the organization did not divorce itself of Goldberg entirely: he now serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the ACGA-linked American Corn Growers Foundation, where he remains in charge of fundraising and glad-handing the big-money foundations that keep ACGA afloat. Goldberg, a Tulsa corn grower, served as CEO of ACGA for three years and National President for five.
Electronic Retailing Association,
Chairman: Linda A. Goldstein
Gemological Institute of America,
President: Lee Berg
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
(Previous) Chairman: Arthur Levitt
Secretary: Jonathan G. Katz
Commissioner: Cynthia A. Glassman
Commissioner: Harvey J. Goldschmid
Direct Marketing Association,
President: H. Robert Weintzen
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments,
Chairman of the Board: Richard Danzig
"Recently [1999], Richard Danzig was appointed Secretary of the U.S. Navy. The appointment marks the very first time a member of the Jewish faith has reached the commander level of one of the American Armed Forces divisions. The office is second in rank only to the Secretary of Defense ... Observing that the prestigious appointment was duly noted within the Jewish community, I asked Danzig if he felt that his Judaism had played a significant role in his line of work. He pointed out that the structure of the military community is, in fact, quite similar to the Jewish community ... . Although his position as Secretary of the Navy is rare for a civilian officer, the military offers many jobs for civilians."
National Economic Council,
Chairman: Stephen Friedman
Turnaround Management Association,
Chairman: Randall S. Eisenberg
Penultimate Chairman: Melanie Rovner Cohen
American Council for Capital Formation,
President: Mark A. Bloomfield
Business Council for Sustainable Energy,
Chairman: Scott A. Wiener
Consumer Energy Council of America,
President: Ellen Berman
Consumers Union,
Director: Gene Kimmelman
Policy Analyst: Adam Goldberg
Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA)
(Trade association for the computer videogames industry)
President: Douglas Loewenstein
Antitrust Institute,
President: Albert ("Bert") A. Foer
(Mr. Foer is apparently a member of the Adas Israel synagogue which implores its members: "Buy Israel. At this time, in particular, we should buy as many Israeli products as possible to support the state of Israel." Foer's wife is Esther and his young son, Jonathan Safran Foer, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars on his first novel, Everything Is Illuiminated. "Jonathan, son of Esther and Bert Foer, grew up in the synagogue." [p. 6]
American Society of Travel Agents,
President & CEO: Richard M.Copland (Jewish surname)
NASDAQ; Stock Market,
President & CEO: Robert Greifeld
Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP),
Executive Director: Bruce P. Mehlman
"Chairman of the coalition" (as described in homepage description): Michael S. Dell
Chairman: Craig R. Barrett (Jewish?), also the CEO of Intel Corp.
[JTR contributor's note: "A coalition consisting of 8 computer company CEO's whose "project" is to help further destroy the hi-tech jobs base in America by replacing their domestic employees with cheap labor overseas. The CEO jobs are apparently exempt from this 'project'."]
Center for Economic and Policy Research,
Co-Director: Mark Weisbrot
National Association of Security Dealers
Chairman & CEO: Robert R. Glauber (Jewish?)
Vice Chairman, President of NASD Regulatory Policy & Oversight: Mary L. Schapiro
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry,
Chairman & CEO: Jason Berman
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA),
Chair: Katherine Gornik
President & CEO: Gary Shapiro
Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC),
Chairman: Gary Shapiro (also Pres.& CEO of CEA)
General Council: Robert S. Schwartz
Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio,
President: Hillel Resner
Financial Accounting Standards Board,
Chairman: Robert H. Herz
International Council of Forest and Paper Associations,
President: Avrim Lazar

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (-1, Troll)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881777)

Please die. I don't care if it's painless or not. Just die.

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23882731)

preferably in an oven

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883433)

Im guessing you are a nazi/zionist-jew?

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883251)

Heh, dont like free speech now? Dont give him more attention than he already have and let him speek freely, if there is no truth to his allegations then no one has anything to fear.

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884239)

Hey, I said 'please'. I was just excercising my own free speech rights ;)

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (-1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881779)

what the hell ass balls does this have to do with anything? It's not even mildly irritating, aside from the utter lack of humor or any real effort at trolling. Anyone who can't recognize the efforts of a failing retard is either himself retarded or just taking life way too seriously, so anyone that's bothered by this probably is bothered by everything else in life too.

Come back when you graduate Troll First Grade.

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23882159)

Twitter is losing the war. Badly. I see he is downgraded from "M$" troll to "Jew" troll.

Re:Intel is under JEW control heil hitler (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882541)

Dude, I don't know whether your being funny or ironic or anything - just stop.

Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (5, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881731)

.. lucrative business models based on existing wired and 2.5G/3G infrastructures

Now there's an understatement. I would call the business model 'ludicrous' rather than lucrative. 3G is priced way out of reasonable range for any serious use.

Nobody pretends that wireless broadband will be available in mountain crevices, but 3G has been quite disappointing IMO.

As for $50/$100 plans, that will depend on competition, which in Australia, at least, is totally lacking.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (5, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881881)

In North America and many other places (not all, obviously) the network business plan is basically one of build out the basics which are often guided more by equipment functionality or protocol functionality than anything in the marketing brochure. Once basic services are built, then increase bandwidth where required, spread coverage where there are customers to pay for it.

Generally this is done without a proven adoption rate for new services like 3G or WiMax. That's the gamble part. So prices will initially be steep and will stay steep if there is no adoption or bundling plan to offset the costs. DSL had initial problems this way, but stuck it out long enough for adoption to catch up. Deals with Yahoo etc. helped boost DSL adoption. Cable was an incumbent, people already had the service in their house and only needed the modem to use it.

One thing in common of all these is the necessary part of the plan to oversell the service. That is to force time-sharing by sheer volume of users. So they sell every household in Seattle 6Mbit/s service while betting average usage is generally less than would have been seen with DSL service. This lets them charge more, but not have to build out their infrastructure, and more or less none of the Mr or Mrs Seattle's ever notices. Then the Internet really got more useful, so more usage was the result. Congestion was the result because of bad network/infrastructure planning. If all users in Seattle want to use all 6Mbit/s of their paid for service, the ISPs start wondering if they are being DDoS'd. The ISPs are, in a word, fucked.

WiMax will suffer from the same self-defeating strategy. It will be great if you are within 1/2 mile of the tower. Anywhere else will suck bad.

Interesting point about the overselling: It is P2P that gets picked on and Newsgroups now because these protocols are generally being used when the consumer is not around, so are not user driven traffic. They are just eating bandwidth that was not counted in the initial infrastructure planning. With dial-up and DSL there were not many people using unattended downloads etc. so they are being blamed for the bad planning. The real problem is that they have to figure out how to explain to share holders that they just can't provide the triple-play and quadruple-play services they have been promising. At least not while all these GooTube and ESPN and Vonage people are using the network.

Anyway, because of how business works, WiMax is doomed to fail. If it's being touted as a cure for any current ills, I guarantee that it will fail. That marketing speak is the same as the run up to the war with Iraq. All lies and falsely reported intel.

If a large ISP were to slowly begin augmenting their network with WiMax where it makes sense, you can bet WiMax would take off slowly, but solidly. That's not what this looks like.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (2, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882013)

Anyway, because of how business works, WiMax is doomed to fail. If it's being touted as a cure for any current ills, I guarantee that it will fail. That marketing speak is the same as the run up to the war with Iraq. All lies and falsely reported intel.
Yeah. Just the other day I saw Colin Powell in an Intel Wi-Max commercial pushing the idea of mobile wi-max labs on trucks that would be almost impossible to find.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (2, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882081)

You do realize that a half mile is pretty far, right?

And what is the comparative cost of putting up a tower that covers every house within a half mile and running wires to every house within a half mile?

WiMax infrastructure could very well be cheaper to provide than wired infrastructure.

The real problem WiMax has is that the wired infrastructure is already there. They're 10 years too late.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (2, Interesting)

BKX (5066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882365)

You must not live in the US. I have to go 1.5 miles just to leave my neighborhood. There's only 100 houses in it.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23891913)

Heh, I'm Australian, I have to go 1.5 miles just to reach the next house on my block...

Actually, WiMax is intended for one kilometer. (4, Informative)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884451)

The Australian ISP that was whining about their deployment said they were expecting to get full strength at two kilometers and that's not even part of the spec for current generation customer premise equipment. Moreover, their VoIP problems were apparently aggravated by a shaky upstream connect at the ISP.

      WiMax is not really a homogenous entity, it's more like a collection of protocols that work at different service levels according to power requirements and distance and are totally different for the sending radios and the base stations. Overall it's a system that works out to seem like a homgenous entity but that's sort of an illusion because the gory details are reserved for the ISPs. But with the power levels that are going into current customer premise equipment there are technical reasons related to amplifier performance that limit the sending power of the field radios to about a kilometer for a full strength signal and the drop-off comes pretty fast as you go beyond that.

    Having said that, it's still completely true that this is no doubt much cheaper than any kind of wired infrastructure. Even if you had to put in a base station for a single user --which actually would not make sense-- you've got to compare that to the cost of a kilometer of wire and the cost of installing that wire.

But, again, it wouldn't make sense to install WiMax for a single user because the base stations have a sort of minimum density of downstream clients to make them cost effective. You basically will only see WiMax in areas where there are at least fifty users in a kilometer sized circle. That will change when the amplifiers in the base stations can be increased in power but that will not happen for several years if it does happen at all.

Still, the costs are minimal for an ISP and it does enable a new generation of small ISPs focused on remote local communities. It may not be a perfect solution for the remotest locations, but consider that you can use directional WiFi line-of-site for literally hundreds of miles as a feed into a small town and then cover the entire town with one or two WiMax base stations. If you allow users to set up their own directional WiFi with line-of-site to more remote locations you can extend that network at better than DSL upstream rates far into remote areas surrounding small towns at very low costs.

Within cities, there's no reason WiMax shouldn't cost far less than DSL or cable. Wholesale bandwidth costs are like nothing compared to what ISPs are charging in the States.

You must work at NASA.... (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23887555)

Actually, WiMax is intended for one kilometer

1 kilometer = 0.62 miles

That's a pretty big half mile.

Here's some helpful graphics to visualize range. (2, Informative)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23888329)

What these two graphics show is first

http://i.cmpnet.com/wirelessnetdesignline/2008/06/sige-fig1.jpg [cmpnet.com]

the range you would expect with currently shipping customer premise equipment

versus a second graphic

http://i.cmpnet.com/wirelessnetdesignline/2008/06/sige-fig3.jpg [cmpnet.com]

showing how the range may be extended to nearly a kilometer and a half with improved amplifiers in the customer radios.

So, with these graphics, it clarifies how there could be some miscommunication about the coverage. You could both say that the furthest user from the base station is at a maximum of one kilometer and at the same time argue that a single base station could serve two customers two kilometers apart. Both of those are true and yet they mean imply slightly different things about the nature of the coverage.

Re:Actually, WiMax is intended for one kilometer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23896367)

Within cities, there's no reason WiMax shouldn't cost far less than DSL or cable.
Except whoever does all the work of getting a license and setting it up isn't going to undercut DSL or cable by much. The price of last mile service is never about the cost of running it. It's much more profitable to service a small number of customers with a large markup.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882103)

I'm curious as to how you can claim that cable was incumbent but DSL had to roll out new stuff. The two technologies are essentially identical as far as required additional infrastructure. In both cases, the wires were already there but new equipment had to be installed at the user end and big expensive new equipment had to be installed at each central office at the provider end.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (4, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882263)

Well, one possible explanation is that DSL required replacement of older telephone wiring from junctions to homes. It required significant overhaul to main backbone lines in a large number of cities. It required new technology at each service office, and it was severely range-limited. Then, even after all of that, line filters were needed to be connected within homes to allow voice telephones to function at the same time.

Cable, on the other hand, required new hardware at central offices, a fraction of the number required for DSL.

Cable companies were able to provide broadband service to more customers while simultaneously spending less money (both per-subscriber and overall) and offering greater peak bandwidth. Cable was far more successful in suburbia, and it was cheaper to deploy in urban locales. Unfortunately, they squandered their infrastructure head start, and are now losing the scalability race. Comcast in the Bay Area just recently (finally!) launched a handful of sorely-missed HD channels, but they still don't have anywhere near the satellite offerings, and they're now triple-packing most of them, so the picture quality has decreased significantly, which previously was their advantage over satellite. The DSL providers and Verizon are both pumping out fiber and providing packet-based, rather than broadcast-based, television technology, and the cable companies are screwed--except that fiber deployment is slow and expensive.

If the cable companies had any sense, they'd move their entire distribution method to On Demand, instead of pumping out all the channels, all the time, freeing up bandwidth for other services while they start replacing their infrastructure as well. The digital transition was a good opportunity for them to do just that, but they watched that pitch sail by, too.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884413)

> If the cable companies had any sense, they'd move their entire distribution method to On Demand, instead

Oh please no! With my old Scientific Atlanta analog box you could flip through the channels as quickly as you could press the up and down buttons. It was great when looking for something to watch. My new Motorola box with Comcast takes about five to twenty seconds(higher-frequency, encrypted ones like HBO take longer to show) to change channels. It takes an hour to look through all of the channels. It's horrible. With On Demand movies, it takes nearly a full minute to start a movie. Screw that. DirectTV is a joke when it comes to attempting to watch TV, but I'll pay for it long before I'll pay for cable that you can't look for something to watch without it taking hours.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23885361)

That's more a function of the s-l-o-w processor in the box, not the technology. Motorola has a DCT that is able to switch almost as fast as an analog tuner, but it is more expensive. I've also seen cable card equipped TVs that switch very quickly.

And the future plans are to migrate to a switched digital platform, but since the box will no longer tune to different QAM channels, it should be as fast as analog.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (2, Informative)

grumling (94709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23885521)

Cable companies had a lot of upgrading to do before they could add high speed internet service. First, they had to upgrade the system to handle 2-way services. Then, they had to reduce the amount of coax between the headend and customer, otherwise troubleshooting would be next to impossible. Third, they had to increase their maintenance standards to keep ahead of problems. The system I worked in when @Home was new started out with 3 "line techs" and very quickly increased that number to 7 to keep up with the demand. And as the customer base increased, the system had to add more fiber optic lines and reduce the node footprint to help manage bandwidth.

The difference is, for the most part, the average person wouldn't have noticed the changes. A CATV node looks like any other active device, maybe a little larger. Compare that to a remote DSLAM, which can be as large as a toolshed.

The newest trend is to recover analog spectrum by moving everyone to a digital platform. Digital cable penetration is well over 50%, so it is a good time to do it. Once that happens, operators will be able to move to a switched digital distribution system. The hardware is being tested by all the usual players now, and it seems to work just fine. Personally, I think we should move everything to video on demand, but that will require the programmers (cable channels) to get onboard, and there is a lot of resistance from them.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883453)

The ISPs are, in a word, fucked.
If by "fucked" you mean "getting paid despite not delivering the product", yes, the ISPs are fucked.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (3, Interesting)

nchip (28683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883357)

The posts like your make the mistake of assuming that 3G pricing has anything to do with the price of 3G basestation. Wimax basestation might be cheaper than a 3G basestation, but the backbone infrastructure costs are still similar.

Now some wimax fanboy is going to jump in and claim that wimax infrastructure will be cheaper because you need less basestation. Which is, exactly what that Australian rollout tried to do, with disappointing results. For microwave based communications, if you want blanket coverage, you need dense network of basestations regardless of technology.

High 3G pricing is purely due to lack of competition (or cartelling...), not technology. In some markets entrance of wimax competitors will bring competition and thus prices down.

In .fi all operators offer unmetered 3G plans beginning from 9.9eur. Undercutting that with a wimax network will be hard.. Roaming abroad OTOH still remains ludicrously priced. I don't see wimax fixing that thou.

Re:Hard for WiMAX NOT to be cheaper. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884401)

Depends on the country. In Britain, 3G internet plans are comparable in price to ADSL at around £15/month. It works out cheaper than ADSL if going 3G enables you to ditch your landline, and internet is the only reason many people have landlines these days.

16e versus 16d (5, Informative)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881815)

There are also questions about WiMAX's actual range following a messy Australian rollout, although the vendor there claims the Australian service provider under-provisioned the network."

To provide some context here -- since they used Airspan's equipment, the Australian operator probably deployed the older variant of WiMAX, based on the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard (called 16d or Fixed WiMAX). The majority of the industry on the other hand has shifted to the newer 802.16e-2005 standard (mobile WiMAX). Fixed WiMAX is essentially a near line of sight technology, not intended for non line of sight or mobile applications.

Mobile WiMAX uses a different physical layer than 16d, and it supports radio features to improve link robustness (such as convolutional turbo coding) and smart antenna technologies (2x2 MIMO to increase capacity and beam forming to increase cell range). In short, you can't gauge the performance of a mobile WiMAX network based on the results from a 16d network. The results I've seen in trials have matched radio propagation estimates fairly well, with the range being roughly what you see you traditional 2G/3G cellular -- 0.5 to 2 miles for non line of sight conditions. I've heard anecdotally of longer ranges of up to 30 miles for line of sight.

The rest of the industry has been fairly pleased with the performance of WiMAX during trials and early market deployments. Consider the number of service providers spending capital dollars to deploy. The WiMAX Forum recently announced there are more than 300 service providers deploying WiMAX in 118 countries worldwide [wimaxforum.org] . With Sprint's XOHM network going commercial later this year, we should have a better understanding of the benefits of WiMAX in a few months. The biggest concern I've heard of is the lack of devices today, but hopefully that will be alleviated late this year or early 2009.

Re:16e versus 16d (2, Insightful)

brinko99 (140880) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882267)

Yes, Mobile WiMAX (802.16e) will have a very difficult time competing with 3G. LTE is being rolled out on upgrades of the existing GSM-WCDMA infrastructure. The momentum of LTE is unstoppable.

Now Fixed WiMAX (802.16d) is interesting. We're always complaining of the lack of competition at the last mile. Sure it's line of site but that only means a minimum of one tower in each 30 mile radius. The question is how many subscribers can each tower handle (sharing 75Mbps per channel). I know what you're thinking... one tower per subscriber sounds about right!

See also: The New Last Mile Broadband: WiMAX [wi-fiplanet.com]

Re:16e versus 16d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23913297)

As one of the linked-to articles said, Buzz were cheapskates. The other ISP mentioned, Internode, has a WiMAX network rolled out to cover the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia - a large rural area with a few small towns along it.

A couple of months ago I bought a small farm near the bottom-end of the Peninsula (only a few hundred hectares, mostly for my family to use as a holiday house) and the homestead came with a WiMAX link to Internode's network. Apparently the base station is some 15-20km's away.

It's fast and works like a charm. My mum loves that she can use her laptop there and be on the net like just at home in the city and I've rigged up a few webcams to a mini-itx system that jabbers me when motion is detected... I think it's magical that I can see what's going on down there when I'm living 2000 miles away.

WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radio. (4, Interesting)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881875)

Due to massive hype -- much of which is false -- by the WiMAX Consortium, much of the public doesn't understand one simple thing: WiMAX is just another kinda radio. One that's only slightly better than some of the other kinds. There's nothing particularly wonderful about it. But it does have one real drawback that doesn't really have to do with the nature of the standard itself. That is that it's intended and manufactured for use on licensed spectrum, which -- due to poor spectrum management policy -- is expensive and scarce. So scarce that even many of the big telecommunications providers failed to win it in recent auctions. And so expensive, due to speculation and pre-emptive bidding, that once you've bought the spectrum you're unlikely ever to break even on that investment no matter what kind of radio you use. So, WiMAX is at best slightly better than other kinds of radios and is tied to an impossible business model. WISPs that ignore WiMAX and use other technologies will do better.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (4, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881927)

much of the public doesn't understand one simple thing: WiMAX is just another kinda radio.
Every kind of wireless is just another kind of radio.

But it does have one real drawback that doesn't really have to do with the nature of the standard itself. That is that it's intended and manufactured for use on licensed spectrum
No long-range service can rely purely on unlicensed spectrum in most developed areas. All portions of the spectrum are expensive and scarce these days, and unlicensed spectrum is increasingly cluttered.

WISPs that ignore WiMAX and use other technologies will do better.
Such as? UMTS? How is that cheaper? "4G"? It doesn't exist yet. HiperMAN/WiBro? Those are just rebranded WiMAX variants.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883345)

What are you on about? LTE outperforms Wimax and is just as "ready" as it is - and in the meantime HSPA is doing results Wimax hasn't been able to replicate in real life scenarious yet.

No one needs Wimax - except for companies that haven't been doing telecom for many years already.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23891971)

LTE is UMTS.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23900247)

No, LTE is not UMTS. LTE required entirely new hardware at both the cell and within the phone, and a new backend, compared to UMTS.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23901679)

That doesn't make it not UMTS. Gigabit Ethernet requires new hardware at both ends over 10BaseT. It's still Ethernet.

LTE is not itself a standard. It is a series of improvements on UMTS. Just like EDGE is still just GPRS, LTE is just UMTS with some upgrades. In any case, it has no impact on the current discussion, because just like WiMAX, it's a radio-based, licensed-spectrum, long-range broadband application. You might prefer the 3GPP work in progress to WiMAX, but they're essentially two parallel paths with respect to OP's post.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882123)

So, I suppose the question of the day is- do you happen to know of a technology that operates in unlicensed spectra that provides nearly the same range, throughput, or scalability that WiMAX does?

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882167)

Why not open an unlicensed WiMax spectrum?

Do what we did with WiFi and let the people operate the hotspots

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882273)

Shhhh... WiMAX can operate in the unlicensed 5.8 Ghz band.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23885183)

Yes, WiMAX can operate in the 5.8 GHz band. But there's no point, because it's never going to be less expensive than existing 802.11a equipment for that band.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (3, Interesting)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23885387)

WiMAX can operate at several miles in point to multipoint configuration, rather than just point to point. It also has better mechanisms for handling the scalability issues associated with using it as a last-mile technology in conjunction with a WLAN technology. That's the point- it is designed for WISP rollout, not consumer deployment.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (2, Funny)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882539)

Believe it or not, properly engineered 802.11a has the same or better range, throughput, and scalability.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882809)

I suppose I'd need to see that to believe it. WiMAX hits 4-5 miles with obstructions and 10 in a NLOS configuration. I've yet to see 802.11A hit 1000 yards. Do you have anything indicating the means by which that might be accomplished?

Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (2)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884521)

but here's the kicker. . . using nothing but an 18" satellite TV dish from a thrift store for six bucks and a Linksys router with an external antennae taped onto the feedhorn.

Works just fine and I have hit base stations thirty miles away with full strength signals while I was getting it set up.

So, you're misinformed about 802.11a. It's a microwave signal and it's as good as the gain of your antennae in line-of-site configuration.

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884643)

30 miles... I trust you'll forgive me if I say that that's hard to believe. Source, pictures, anything?

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23886781)

Line of sight --look it up. If you are elevated on a mountainside on the coast with a nice view and you look way up the coast at another mountainside at the end of a long bay then, in my case, you are looking at a major military installation about thirty miles away. It's line-of-sight. If you can see it, you can connect to it with a microwave and an antennae. Basic concept, nothing fancy or newsworthy. Nice view, but not really newsworthy. As for how I know I'm hitting the base, well you can tell when you hit them because their base stations because they politely inform you that you are accessing military radios and are being logged and then they ask you to point your radio elsewhere.

The records for WiFi are in the hundreds of miles out in the desert across long flat plains between peaks. But you could probably do a lot more than that from a lot of sites in Tibet. It's not magic. It's just line-of-sight and a question of how big of an antennae you want to go with.

Anyway think about it for just a second. How far out do you think your satellite TV signal is coming from? Oh yeah. Forgot about that huh? Line-of-sight. If you can draw a line to it, you can hit it and an 18" parabolic satellite dish is like an eighty decibel antennae. In fact, if you use a larger dish, you start to violate some FCC regulations. Look up decibel over at Wikipedia and consider that an 18" parabolic dish is giving 80 decibel gain and consider what that implies for a line-of-site signal.

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23888315)

I hear you- but you still have to contend with being in unlicensed spectrum, which limits your peak gain. Those fancy shootout rigs get dispensations or sublease spectrum, as do the satellite rigs, and all are point to point. WiMAX is point to multipoint, and operates more efficiently inside of its spectrum allocation, thus allowing more total throughput and more total users. The range on WiMAX scales better than does 802.11a, requiring less power and lower gain for the same throughput, and in the real world, working inside of the legal and logistical hurdles is much more important than the theoretical capabilities of the radio technology. It is also worth pointing out that none of the wifi shootout records are set with A, preferring B and G for the lower frequency, which behaves better in NLOS scenarios. Again, please demonstrate your point.

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893959)

I don't know what point you're looking for. I think you're looking for someone to debate a point that isn't being made. My point was simply to explain what I'm using for an antennae and how far it goes and you doubted it worked but I'm using it and it works. That's the only point being made here.

You seem to be fishing for debate on the superior performance of 802.11a to WiMax. You'll have to go down the hall for that but keep trying and you might get lucky and find someone willing to give it a shot.

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23895203)

Believe it or not, properly engineered 802.11a has the same or better range, throughput, and scalability.
That was the original post, to which I replied. I understand that any radio technology can, with unlimited gain and/or power, be delivered at any range. I still haven't seen anything indicating that 802.11a can match the range of WiMAX in their common application- point to multipoint- without breaking FCC regulations. Throughput is undisputedly WiFi's, but scalability goes to WiMAX without question. If that's what we're arguing, let's argue it out, if not, don't be a jackass.

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23897297)

Well Dood, check it out: That's not my post you're quoting.

So why am I even replying?

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23898691)

No idea; force of habit, perhaps? You pretty much jumped in on a point somebody else was making.

Re:Posting this 12 miles over 802.11a (1)

rootooftheworld (1284968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893101)

if you use specialised antennas it could be improved even more, BTW why is everyone thinkin' Wi-Fi phones, I think this was supposed to be a cheaper last-mile infrastucture. that geek-run ISP is getinnng closer i think.My $0.02.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23885213)

There are dozens of commercial, FCC approved (not homebrew) 802.11a-based radios which work well at distances up to 40 miles.

Re:WiMAX isn't magic. It's just another kinda radi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883281)

Huge problem here - total troll.

You need to look at ping paths - this is actually furious to me. It is actually in an option here. You can custom firm a Linux phone with this intent, and you can custom throttle the whole system - all in one phone.

Troll

- The Demetrius -

Real life experience with WiMAX (5, Informative)

xt (225814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882173)

I am typing this through a WiMAX connection in Greece, so let me clarify a couple of things...

The technology itself is proven and works, both for data and VoIP. You do need to have a proper backbone though; it just doesn't scale to use WiMAX everywhere. A better idea is to use Ethernet microwave links for the backbone and WiMAX stations locally. If you couple this with a multiservice access node (MSAN) you can service remote areas that have local copper lines installed, but lack a proper backbone (eg fiber is too expensive to install and maintain in a mountain side). Right now, this is the killer application for this technology, as this is how it sells itself with most countrys' incumbent telecommunications providers.

The range is just fine, we have tested successfully with distances up to 30Km. Mind you, this is line of sight, the first generation (called fixed WiMAX) is not very good in urban conditions, but for semi-urban and rural areas it performs as advertised. The second generation (called mobile WiMAX) is supposed to give as 2G penetration and coverage, but I have not played around with it yet. This is also supposed to be the killer application for the second generation; broadband everywhere, even on the go.

The available spectrum is limited, but proper planning goes a long way. I can't get too specific, but in our trials we have been quite limited with spectrum with no real problems.

I don't see prices to be dirt cheap though; licensed spectrum costs money. On the other hand, stations and terminals are getting cheaper all the time. I think that WiMAX services' cost will follow the same general trend; slightly more expensive that the equivalent fixed line broadband at first, getting cheaper as it catches on.

More profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23882193)

Let's be realistic. Cheaper technology won't mean lower costs to the consumer. It'll mean more profits for the guys who roll it out.

Re:More profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883273)

Let's be realistic. Cheaper technology won't mean lower costs to the consumer. It'll mean more profits for the guys who roll it out.

Why do people always feel they need to point this out? It's completely fucking irrelevant.

If you think WiMAX is worth the $xx a month the companies charge, buy it. If you don't think so, don't buy it. If enough people say "$xx is too much money, I guess I'll go without the luxury of WiMAX", the companies will either lower their prices or go out of business.

Whether the company has a 99% profit margin or a 0.001% profit margin isn't a concern for normal people. Nobody gives a shit about your pet peeve against companies that make "too much" money.

If you really think the companies providing WiMAX are ripping you off, you're completely free to buy your own portion of the spectrum, roll out your own infrastructure and start offering your own WiMAX service for cheaper than them. I'm absolutely sure investors will be throwing money at you once you explain to them how you can offer WiMAX at a fraction of the price of everybody else.

HypeMAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23882327)

Oh yay another pointless HypeMAX thread where nerds get so excited over the idea of checking email from the PortaJohn at the park, they just can't contain themselves.

Face it, it's a shared medium with half-duplex radios. If it ever becomes slightly popular, it will suck FAR MORE than cable-modems do now.

WiMax has one big advantage (for public use) (4, Informative)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882737)

I work for a wireless company, developing WiMax and WiFi. It's pretty hard to beat the raw speed we can get out of 802.11 (WiFi), and we can stretch WiFi to fairly long distances as we can with WiMax.

However, WiMax has one huge advantage for system design - because transfers are a mix of scheduled and free-for-all instead of only free-for-all like WiFi, you can actually guarantee service. You can lock clients down to a fixed bandwidth _without_ letting them flood the channel, or you can guarantee minimum throughput, and you can classify packets into multiple service flows at the protocol level (prioritizing ACKs as an example). WiFi has 4 levels of service with WME, but the client gets to decide and can lie for advantage.

With WiFi you can throttle flows at the gateway, but you can't stop some greedy dick from completely swamping the channel. With WiMax you can throttle at the client. Some of you are obviously going to think that's a bad thing, but if we want to set up a public deployment we really need to be able to make sure that someone torrenting with 512 connections open isn't going to knock everyone else off the air and make it unusable for everyone. WiMax does a far superior job to WiFi of sharing the bandwidth so more total clients get at least a reasonable amount of throughput even if one greedy S.O.B. _really_ wants to eat up the entire channel and then more. And this is the assurance provisioners need when deciding they're going to offer the service.

I don't know about Intel's claims, but you are certainly able to guarantee a better experience with WiMax than you are with WiFi as long as your product doesn't suck.

To be fair, a major WiMax disadvantage is that there's really no equivalent of mesh networks. It's all server/client, no useful ad-hoc like WiFi has. You can simulate it with each node having a server and a client, but they're very asymmetrical, so it's currently pretty wasteful to do so.

One wimax subscription cant replace all of these (1)

crunzh (1082841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883327)

>Home Broadband (WiMAX)â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦.Included >Cell Phone Service (WiMAX Mobile VoIP) â¦â¦Included >Home phone service (WiMAX VoIP) â¦â¦â¦â¦..Included >Mobile Broadband (Mobile WiMAX)â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦Included This might work for singles but for people with families or just girlfriends all that cant be in one device (subscription). What happens when you want to use mobilebroadband or cellphone service, then there arn't a device back home so how is the rest of the family supposed to get online? If you split the connection up on several devices there arn't any differences to current tripleplay solution. There are no way wimax is going to be magically cheaper than the other connection types.

GNAA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23883503)

All 8ajor marketing Fuck The Baby

WiMAX at work (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883513)

We already use WiMAX at work (and have been for over a year). WiMAX is only available here because the monopoly telco charges so much for leased lines (five times the going rate elsewhere. Yes, five times) that it was economical for a firm to start up and offer WiMAX business class internet service.

It's been every bit as reliable as the equivalent wired service. However, we aren't using cheap 'consumer grade' kit to connect, we have a fairly expensive and solid transceiver mounted very solidly to the wall of the building.

This is great except... (2, Insightful)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883715)

I have to think that Big Telco is going to charge a premium rather then discount you. Don't even think for a second the FCC is going to let small telco pop towers down. Unless then have 10 billion to whip out their wallets. This means you still have to rely on the old providers like Sprint with their WiMax project to get the data to you. If you think they are going to price this service CHEAPER then their line service, you may want to think about quitting the pipe.

I see base WiMax starting at 69.99 (for like 3/768 unlimited data). Then again this is all just complete guess work until someone rolls it out and say this will cost $xx.x

No, WiMax is symmetrical. Think ethernet not DSL. (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884601)

You can guess all you like, but there is plenty of information out there that you can also use to inform yourself. Your guess misses the point that WiMax is inherently symmetrical service. The reason for this is that the limit on the service is not in the ISPs sending radio but in the customer premise equipment (CPE) and the amplifiers in these little customer owned boxes are the limiting factor. However, within a kilometer they're rated at least 10mpbs upstream. That's a completely different game than DSL or cable. So, your guess is wrong.

Re:No, WiMax is symmetrical. Think ethernet not DS (1)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23886161)

Just because it's symmetrical doesn't mean you will get 1:1 Bandwidth. If a Pipe can handle lets say 10 mbit. It can be divided up 5/5 or 9/1. Now if I am ISP that means I can have 5 1/1customers or 9 1/128 kbit customers. Which do you think will make me as an ISP more money?

Sprint (and Clearwire) don't have line service... (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 6 years ago | (#23889405)

AFAIK, Sprint and Clearwire and other WiMax wannabees are providing an alternative to cable and DSL and also cellphones. Sprint doesn't care about undercutting DSL prices, because they don't really do that anyway, (at least in most markets)?

Shannon limit? (1)

Erich (151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884583)

Maximum information rate is bandwidth times the log2 of (1+signal/noise).

Signal/noise ratio is mainly determined by things like the type and number of antennas and how you use them (to do beamforming, etc).

Bandwidth is a fixed quantity, you can only get so much from the government.

So given that with modern 3G protocols, we get pretty close to the Shannon limit for a given antenna technology, how are huge gains available by switching to WiMAX? They can get big bandwidths for a single user by eating up lots of spectrum (and they do, like 20Mhz at a time), but overall throughput for all users... is it really better than provisioning that 20Mhz into several HSUPA+ channels?

WiMAX Consortium.... (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23885863)

The problem with WiMAX IMO is nothing really to do with the technology on a technical level, as it actually uses the same modulation scheme as LTE, but rather with the WiMAX Consortium. The WiMAX Consortium has set things up so that only a couple large companies make the money. This goes all the way down to the device testing side. Here, you have AT4 wireless in Spain whom the manufactures like R&S must GIVE equipment to "validate". We are talking more than 1 million for a WiMAX RF test system. Lots of cash. Then you have WiMAX Consortium price fixing on how much a test house can charge for something, as well as the equipment costs. Also, if you want to get into that business you need to pay the WiMAX Consortium 1 million buck....you heard me right...1 million buck for the rights to do it. Then the test spec it self. They cant figure it out. They decided that the GSM guys where just too stupid and WiMAX better start from nothing...that's not working out too well for them. So, to make a long post longer..WiMAX will fail, but it wont be the fault of the tech, which is actually really good, it will be the fault of the money machine WiMAX Consortium whom is interested in a money and power grab, rather the open membership.

Pushing other providers to open their networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23887197)

WiMax will be a success even if it never gets widely deployed or meets the price points in the article. it is forcing the other carriers to open their service to "any device, any protocol" ... i.e. just being a provider of network bandwidth to be used for any purpose the customer wants.

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