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Sprint's Xohm WiMax Network Debuts In Baltimore, Works Well

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the will-it-reach-the-double-t-diner? dept.

Communications 86

bsk_cw writes "Sprint's newly launched Xohm service is now offering America's first WiMax network. Computerworld's Brian Nadel went to Baltimore to try it out, and he reports that Xohm delivered data smoothly to a car moving at highway speeds, played YouTube videos flawlessly, and on average, pushed through more than 3Mbit/sec., compared with 1.3 Mbit/sec. for the AT&T network Brian used as a comparison. But right now, coverage is only planned in a few US cities; if Sprint isn't able to ramp up its coverage quickly, it may lose its advantage."

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86 comments

Woo hoo! (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335791)


Xohm delivered data smoothly to a car moving at highway speeds, played YouTube videos flawlessly

Awesome!

Talking on a cell while driving is illegal, so I may as well watch YouTube!

Re:Woo hoo! (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336113)

Some people are actually trying to minimize their carbon footprint using carpool, passenger mothers entertain their children, teenagers on the back seat explore Second Life (not really sure what to do with their first life yet, but nevermind)....

Re:Woo hoo! (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337919)

Some people are actually trying to minimize their carbon footprint using carpool

And god forbid you have a conversation with your friends or colleagues in the process...

Re:Woo hoo! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343269)

Hey, If you play in the team, you have to communicate. ...Noob! ;)

Re:Woo hoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338025)

Why would anyone want to minimize their carbon footprint? We already know the CO2 hypothesis for the so-called "climate change" was wrong, but the real benefit of increased CO2 in the atmosphere - a larger and more healthy biosphere - is well worth pursuing.

Re:Woo hoo! (2, Interesting)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339419)

"We already know the CO2 hypothesis for the so-called "climate change" was wrong"

Really? Do you have a reputable source to back that up? There are many reputable sources that completely contradict your statement, so I'm understandably curious about your sources.

Re:Woo hoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25339581)

When a prediction is not supported by observation, the hypothesis behind the prediction should be abandoned and a new one should be put in its place. It's called science. That's not what's happening with the "climate change" nonsense though.

World temperatures have been going down for ten years now, while CO2 levels have kept going up:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/08/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-jumps-in-august/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Bonus: The biosphere loves the increase in CO2:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/08/surprise-earths-biosphere-is-booming-co2-the-cause/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Bonus2: Arctic sea ice extent growing rapidly:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/09/sea-ice-extent-recovering-quickly/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Still not worth it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335823)

It'd take quite a bit more bandwidth to get me to visit Baltimore.

Re:Still not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335861)

Pft, I'd rather go to Baltimore than put up with being a Sprint customer. Seems to me they've already at a huge disadvantage compared to AT&T...

Re:Still not worth it (1)

boisepunk (764513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336309)

Most Sprint customers don't know the half of how hypocritical and money-driven Sprint really is as a whole. In a previous life (like most slashdotters I would imagine) I was doing tech support for employment. I was conferenced with a mutual customer and a manager of a Sprint store in the mid-west. After proving that the customer's troubles was NOT caused by our product, cowardly used twisted logic to blame the whole entire issue on us, and then continued to berate the pimply-faced tech on the subject of "standards" and "ethics" that nobody there in the store had. Worst yet, the "manager" tried later to screw everyone involved (both his customer and my company) out of ridiculous shipping charges. Google even back then turned up similar results with Sprint all around the USA.
Being a Sprint customer is rape, but trying to fix something with them is an open invitation to the most unholy and graphic of gang-rapes. The money flows and that is the only reason they stay in business.

Re:Still not worth it (3, Funny)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336537)

Most Sprint customers don't know the half of how hypocritical and money-driven Sprint really is as a whole.

I strongly disagree with this statement. We know.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

boisepunk (764513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336723)

The stuff that goes on in the background is on the same level of corruption and evil as Enron or say a weasel-bad-guy-archetype from your favorite Sci-fi series. Worse than your typical American business. Sprint could very easily deal in oil and nobody who has ever done business with them would bat an eye.

Re:Still not worth it (3, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336889)

are other U.S. carriers any better?

i'm sick of U.S. ISPs & telecoms' charge more for less business model which is getting the U.S. left in the dust by Europe and Asia. enough is enough. personally, i'd rather see most of the UHF spectrum appropriate for WiMax use being reserved for the deployment of open public wireless networks. there are so many potential applications for ubiquitous public wi-fi once the infrastructure is in place.

the first thing to go will be the cellular networks. with all of the telecoms except for T-mobile, Verizon, and Qwest cooperating with NSA spying, i'd much rather make calls over an encrypted VoIP connection. heck, with open wi-fi access handset makers would finally be free to implement more advanced mobile features like video calls using VVoIP. and with municipal wi-fi, the public would actually have a say in how the network is run. instead of overselling and then throttling user connections and using packet shaping to manipulate usage, the infrastructure would just be upgraded to meet demand.

right now we have an opportunity to break free from the monopolies held by the telecoms and ISPs. if we don't seize this opportunity and simply let the UHF spectrum be bought up by the telecoms & ISPs, then we'll just be stuck in the same situation all over again. communication networks are a natural monopoly; that cannot be changed. but that doesn't mean that consumers have to keep getting shafted by the telecom & ISP companies. we purport to be members of a democratic society, so its our democratic prerogative to make sure the government serves public interest. in this case it means collectively taking control of a limited public resource like the UHF spectrum rather than let it fall into the hands of selfish commercial interests who would exploit it for profit without consideration for public good.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

kickassweb (974862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343153)

Um, you must have missed that huge spectrum auction that took place a few months ago. Too late.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343893)

too late for what? the last auction was for the 700-MHz band. ever used a wireless router? standard Wi-Fi protocols use the 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz range. WiMax has licensed spectrum profiles for 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, and 3.5 GHz, though it can technically be implemented on any frequency below 66 GHz. so what does the 700 MHz auction have to do with anything?

and spectrum licenses can be revoke by the FCC, or just purchased back. ultimately, if the public decides that they don't want private corporations to control a particular block of the radio spectrum the FCC would have to carry out the wishes of the people. we are a democratic nation after all.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25344081)

The government acting like a corporation by "selling" "frequencies of the spectrum" to companies for billions of dollars through auctions leaves me at a loss for words. No, I don't think the FCC would simply just give back the frequencies to the public without a major fight costing lots of tax money. The FCC should be gotten rid of as it's original purpose has long been obsoleted by advancements in technology via new ways of discerning between data sources.

Re:Still not worth it (2, Informative)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336807)

I'd rather pull my car over to the nearest 7-11, and use a pay phone to connect to the Internet through a 300 baud acoustic modem than get 3mbps through a Sprint product.

I made the HUGE mistake of switching to Sprint 18 months ago. I've regretted it ever since. Their customer service is 100% atrocious. Their policies are horrible (and deemed illegal in California*).

Sending photos to another cell phone is ridiculous (via e-mail?!?! WTF? Tons of phones are capable of receiving SMS with media, but not nearly as many can receive e-mail)

The phone selection is crap. The website sucks. (Anyone who has an account there can attest to that...how many times do I need to log in just to view my bill, like 3?)

Generally, every single thing I have to say about Sprint is that the company is bad. I switched from AT&T because I had the impression that they sucked. But on the scale of suck, AT&T is like a peck on the cheek compared to the 24 hour airport bathroom glory hole that is Sprint.

**** The illegal part: My daughter had 3 phone through Sprint, she canceled 2 of them 2 months prior to her contract ending. These phones cost $9.99 each per month. Sprint charged a $400 early termination fee, even though they would have only received $40 in service fees...that is what has been deemed illegal- the fee is punitive. (Fee doesn't just cover costs, it punishes the consumer)

Re:Still not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336905)

If you need three tries to log in every time, you're doing it wrong.

Yes, Sprint is a money-hungry mobile company, but here's news: they all are. The industry is a de-facto cartel and that won't change unless either a competitor with balls comes along or we try to regulate it (personally I don't think nationalizing mobile networks is such a bad idea).

Re:Still not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336955)

That sucks for you, but it really all depends on where you live. I've been with Sprint for six years, four in Chicago and two in Virginia, and would never EVER think about leaving them. Best service i've used, and i've used the other big ones (both ATT and Verizon, at least). Their customer service can suck, but i've only needed to use it a couple of times, so it didn't bother me that my wait time was longer than i'd like.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337113)

You should try T-Mobile. I've been with them for 8 years, and you can pry their service from my cold, dead hands.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336229)

What about the baseball team? Oh, wait.

/isn't bitter

//screw you, Peter Angelos!

Re:Still not worth it (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337065)

Bandwidth is nice, but what about latency?

I have a Verizon data card that I use in my laptop from time to time. I get about 1 Mbit download speed which is pretty nice, but since most of the time, I work by xterm over SSH, the latency is very important.

For a YT video, 100 ms is fine. But for remote sessions, cellular latencies can be maddening. Yet somehow, wifi manages to be imperceptibly slower than a wired network. Honestly: why is cellular so bad? (And what's WiMax like?)

Re:Still not worth it (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337123)

Cellular sucks for latency the same reason satellite sucks. There's a huge path the packets have to take. With satellite, you have to go from your dish, to the satellite, to the ground station, to the net destination, and back through that whole mix back to your dish in your yard. Light only travels so fast. With cellular, the data is sent from the card in your laptop, to the tower, which is then tunneled back to the distribution center for the carrier, out over the net and then back again (hence, the horrible latency). Think about WiFi though. Most access points in public that aren't operated by a carrier are connected right into a routable net connection, so your packets don't take as nearly as long a route as cellular/satellite.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337249)

Most access points in public that aren't operated by a carrier are connected right into a routable net connection, so your packets don't take as nearly as long a route as cellular/satellite.

But even this makes no sense.... When I connect to a server hosted in the same city I live in (Chico, near Sacramento, California) my home DSL line packets go from my house through Portland, OR before turning south through San Fransisco, CA and finally to the destination in Sacramento, California. It's a fairly long route for a short distance, and somehow it all manages to get done in 20 ms. I struggle to see how cellular has to take 5x as long despite the rather similar available bandwidth. (my home DSL line is 1.5 Mb, the cell card is about 1 Mb)

Does it make sense? Not in any real sense...

Re:Still not worth it (2, Informative)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337383)

DSL and Cable work by providing a continuing stream of packets. Cell phone networks can't offer that though so there is times where they may delay delivery for 200MS or so while tower is busy doing something else before delivering all your data to you in on massive chunk. Mbit/s isn't only measure of network connection.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339969)

Add to that the fact that the radio sleeps after a certain amount of idle time, which causes an added delay when the radio wakes back up and does its thing.

Re:Still not worth it (1)

DPBjr (1382917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338949)

Hey, youins aint welcome here anyway and if ya come round Jonny U's on Puh-laski Highway I'm gonna kick ur a**, now get away from my Firebird

I work in the inner harbor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335887)

We were looking at this the other day. It all sounds good, and the price is right. The few people I've heard of using it say it's decent.

What happens when the network loads up with users though? Would the system choke?

A coworker plans to get this, I plan to try out his usb doodad to see if it'll work from my house.

Re:I work in the inner harbor (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336105)

Disclaimer: this is from the point of view of a traditional voice/data network, I don't know some specifics of WiMax..

There should have been simulations run before the network went live. The loads created by the simulations are a prerequisite for the network going into service.

The big test is the day the network actually goes live. Most if not all problems occur on the first day, or at least within the first 36-48 hours. If it's still up now, you don't have much to worry about; to cause a significant problem the client base must increase at a great rate in all areas covered by the network.

Flawless with one user? (3, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335889)

Sure, you can deliver 3Mb/sec wirelessly. But can you deliver 30,000Mb/sec?

See, the problem is that what I (and a good portion of the tech-using community) would like is to be able to access this bandwidth on demand, anywhere. Do you believe there would be 10,000 users in a wingle WiMax coverage area? If so, they are going to need 30,000Mb/sec to keep everyone working at this speed.

Microcells work for cell phones, but the rules are different.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336095)

You're right, I hope it scales.

With my AT&T card though, I got much lower speeds when I was moving than when I stayed in one place.

Re:Flawless with one user? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336233)

the relationship isn't 1:1
I get 6mb down... and my ISP doesn't have a dedicated 6mb on tap for every customer.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336633)

I get 6mb down... and my ISP doesn't have a dedicated 6mb on tap for every customer.

They do, however, have a 6mb pipe to your house.

With wireless, everyone's sharing the same "last mile." A LOT of everyone. Not like with cable where it's just everyone on your block.

-:sigma.SB

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

ElBeano (570883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338065)

This is meaningless analysis without knowing the exact topology of the network in question. A carrier's access points just might be connected with carrier provided ethernet POPs, for all you know. Then too, the antenna site is likely sectorized, with the possibility of supporting huge numbers of users. The size of the pipe to the house, whether wireless, DSL or Cable is a nearly meaningless stat.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338247)

The size of the last mile pipe is meaningless as long as it is not the bottleneck. That is assuming facts not in evidence.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

ElBeano (570883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25342179)

And "assuming facts not in evidence" is exactly what I was pointing out as a fault of the OP.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25344259)

You actually share the bandwidth with everyone on your node, in a standard hybrid fiber/coax network. That's roughly a square mile -- probably a couple thousand units, and more if it includes a lot of apartment buildings. I -think- the standard estimate in the industry is selling 12 times the available bandwidth, as most people barely use their available bandwidth, but I really can't remember. However, compared to wireless technology, coax can hold a LOT of users. I really wouldn't expect more than about .5 mbit connections once they start really selling this.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

Serpent6877 (1021937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336263)

First off you need some math skills. Not every single one of those 10,000 is going to be using 3Mbps at the same time. It just doesn't work like that. A single 10Gb circuit can handle upwards of possibly a couple hundred thousand subscribers.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337933)

Not every single one of those 10,000 is going to be using 3Mbps at the same time.

Not unless they're all watching YouTube videos while driving. Maybe they'll want to merge without looking. Rumsfeld!

Re:Flawless with one user? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338403)

Not every single one of those 10,000 is going to be using 3Mbps at the same time.

Not unless they're all watching YouTube videos while driving.

Youtube videos have a bitrate of 200-900 kbps, so not even then.

Re:Flawless with one user? (2, Insightful)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339117)

Do you happen to work for Comcast?

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

Serpent6877 (1021937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341441)

No. I do not work for Comcast. I do however work for a company involved in this. Most people don't understand that your $60/month for your 12Mbps doesn't pay for that badwidth. That is why it is shared between so many customers. Not every single person on your block is going to be using it at the same time. Unless of course if everyone on your block is using peer-to-peer. (Why Comcast was blocking or slowing down that type of data) Bandwidth isn't cheap. Heck I used to pay $1600/month for a T1 (1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps).

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25344263)

You still overpayed, though. T1's are archaic. You can get 5mbit fiber these days for sub-$1000. ;) (Depends on your location, I suppose, and how long ago you were talking about.)

Re:Flawless with one user? (2, Informative)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336413)

AFAIK WiMax supports a cellular configuration. They can start out with widely spaced towers, and wherever they have too many people connecting they fill in more towers. Just like cell phones. That or they can just buy a wider swath of spectrum, although it's a precious commodity these days.

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338589)

Do you believe there would be 10,000 users in a wingle WiMax coverage area?

10,000? I don't believe you could fit more than 20 people in a wingle. [infomotori.co.uk]

Re:Flawless with one user? (1)

ajay63 (164225) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343779)

Sure, you can deliver 3Mb/sec wirelessly. But can you deliver 30,000Mb/sec?

See, the problem is that what I (and a good portion of the tech-using community) would like is to be able to access this bandwidth on demand, anywhere. Do you believe there would be 10,000 users in a wingle WiMax coverage area? If so, they are going to need 30,000Mb/sec to keep everyone working at this speed.

Microcells work for cell phones, but the rules are different.

Audio Calls are 64k, much less then 3Mb/sec for digital transfer. So.. Your right. I know for WIFI there is no QoS either. I'm not sure 4G / WIMAX has QoS built in. (wants to strangle IEEE, even if I am a full member)

Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (3, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336051)

So why will Sprint "lose its advantage" if it doesn't ramp up quickly? Seriously, is ATT or Comcast on the verge of offering some great new service that's going to make WiMax obsolete? Is there some competitor to Sprint that is going to build out first? I would love it if either of those possibilities were true, but the truth is that these companies are exceedingly conservative and slow to upgrade. Sprint could take the next decade doing a nationwide roll-out and probably not lose too much market share.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336243)

The folks who paid billions for the 700MHz C-block (Verizon) are required to do something "open" with it, and soon.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336639)

They are going to "openly" lobby, sue, and whatever other legal wrangling they can pull to get out of any conditions of sale they don't care to implement.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25348649)

My guess is they'll just do what they want with it, while saying that they're complying with the terms of the license, and the FCC will let them get away with it. Then Google or EFF or somebody will sue over it, and 3-10 years later maybe something will be opened up.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

Serpent6877 (1021937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336411)

If you Google search you will see that Sprint is in the current process of merging with Clearwire and Comcast is providing a billion dollars to the deal. So Comcast no. But ATT and Verizon are working on their 4G buildouts.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336429)

I suspect that that statement is largely the "OMG CONSTANTURGENCY!!!" flavor that people seem disturbingly enamored of; but not entirely.

The likely competition comes, not from some other WiMax buildout; but from other cellular data services. Most are inferior to Sprint's offering in terms of price, longterm contracts, and in many cases speed; but computers and phones with the necessary hardware built in are pretty common, and you can get at least dialup speeds virtually everywhere(yes, I know, there are exceptions and you live in one). Anybody outside of Sprint's coverage area will be buying these, if they care about mobile internet at all. The more non-WiMax cellular modems that end up embedded in laptops and whatnot, the worse for Sprint, since "Plug this dongle into your laptop for mobile broadband" is a much easier sell to somebody who doesn't already have an internal cellular modem. Even within Sprint's coverage area, the other cellular providers can respond by lowering prices, or playing up the roaming abilities of their stuff.

None of this is fatal, but I do think that Sprint will have a harder time if it tries to play simple local ISP with WiMax for too long; it runs the risk of being squeezed between inferior data services with superior mobility on one side(cellular modems) and superior data services with inferior mobility(hardwired ISPs and wifi) on the other, which could be uncomfortable.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338227)

HDSPA [wikipedia.org] upgrade to 3G WCDMA network. Offers down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.4 Mbit/s to quote Wikipedia. In Europe several telecom providers have already upgraded their networks to support HDSPA and offer speeds up to 3.6 Mbit/s and some over it. So Sprint looses the edge when ATT and T-Mobile upgrade their networks to support HDSPA.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

meclamar (668862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343553)

ATT is currently running HSDPA in a few areas, but most are only at 1.8Mbit/s. To my knowledge the phones ATT sells are only 3.6.Mbit/s

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25348273)

To quote Wikipedia, Wimax has a theoretical upload/download spead of 70 Mb/s. LTE will be AT&T/Verizon/etc 4G path (AT&T's HSDPA 3G network has was deployed a few years ago); it has a theoretical maximum of 326.4 Mb/s down, with LTE Advanced pushing that to a full gigabit down.

Except Wimax is here now (I live in Baltimore) and LTE is 2-5 years away, according to AT&T. So Xohm will probably have an advantage until then.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25348677)

So Sprint looses the edge when ATT and T-Mobile upgrade their networks to support HDSPA.

Sounds like an ad slogan. Sprint: Loose the Edge!

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338777)

So why will Sprint "lose its advantage" if it doesn't ramp up quickly?

I think the more appropriate term is perceived technological lead... If Sprint's venture takes too long to gain coverage and market acceptance, they will fall victim to all the WiMAX providers being subsidized by the USDA to bring broadband to rural areas.

Re:Ugh, more Slashdot commentary in the post (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25344093)

By whom, exactly, due to a severe lack in competition in the U.S..

3 mb/s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336219)

That's DOUBLE what I get on my "AT&T U-verse" plan. They, along with Comcast, have a duopoly on my area. And there's no way in hell I'm signing up with Comcast. I'd switch to this WiMax any day.

how much of this is shared bandwidth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336359)

My impression is that there are 11 channels in WiMax-spectrum, each with 100Mbps half-duplex total throughput. So, the total bandwidth out of a tower is 1.1Gbps shared by everyone using that tower. The article says the user was able to get 3Mbps on the average.. So, there could be approximately 350 users simultaneously off of one tower. While this may be great for TV/audio broadcast, it is unlikely if it will replace landlines for data at home or at work.

Re:how much of this is shared bandwidth? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336693)

It's not quite so bad as all that. With directional antennas, you can increase the number of users almost arbitrarily, depending mostly on how close you expect them to be and how fast you expect them to move.

Re:how much of this is shared bandwidth? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338391)

"Almost arbitrarily" is not my experience with wireless data, you hit a limit based on number of available frequencies (how many independent/non-interfering channels there are) and how close you can place sectors that use the same frequency band.

For mobile wireless, there is also the issue of seamless handoff between sectors/stations.

WiMAX is a lot better than old 802.11 (the .11 MAC layer was really only designed to handle home wireless networks), but I'd need some hard numbers if you want to convince me that 802.16 can scale "almost arbitrarily".

TrollkOre (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336407)

We'll see ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336487)

but if Sprint handles this the way they handle their cell phone business, they'll "monetize" it into near-uselessness.

Clearwire: am I missing something? (2, Insightful)

ahow628 (1290052) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336557)

Clearwire is WiMax, right? How is it not America's first WiMax network? I'm so confused...

Re:Clearwire: am I missing something? (3, Informative)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336681)

Clearwire deployed a proprietary broadband wireless access network based on Nextnet's technology [cnn.com] . Nextnet was later bought by Motorola, who is a major infrastructure vendor for WiMAX, and Clearwire, as part of their merger with Sprint Xohm, will be switching to WiMAX.

WiMAX has two major variants: those based on the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard (called 16d or fixed WiMAX) and those based on the newer IEEE 802.16e-2005 (called 16e or mobile WiMAX) standard. There have been some small, limited build-outs of 16d, but 16e is destined to be much bigger, and that's why this is a big deal.

Sprint has been the primary backer of 16e because they acquired a lot of 2.5 GHz unpaired spectrum from their Nextel acquisition. With the launch of Sprint's Baltimore network, they've proven that a large, citywide network can deliver on the promises of WiMAX. This is a huge step forward for mobile broadband wireless access.

Shoutcast greater than FM Radio (1)

compubomb (612155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336595)

So i guess this means i get to listen to shoutcast radio stations in the car now without interruption. woot!

It's not loaded yet (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336621)

Wireless networks with all the infrastructure running and no users have really great bandwidth. What's it going to be like under load?

Horrible, horrible technology (3, Insightful)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336659)

I've browsed through the WiMax standards, and they almost make ATM look elegant. A connection-base technology with no less than three incompatible encapsulations. Disconnected operation is simulated by establishing connections to a back-end server and running bridging software there.

I'm looking forward to the day when multiple implementations of WiMax are available and the interoperability issues start showing up...

Re:Horrible, horrible technology (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338187)

I'm looking forward to the day when multiple implementations of WiMax are available and the interoperability issues start showing up...

I wouldn't count on that, as most operators are going with LTE [wikipedia.org] , not WiMax.

Sprint/Clearwire is not the first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336677)

I use this service and it has been available for over a year here.

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:i6a9eafrWOYJ:www.rexburg.org/Government/mayor/pdf/Press%2520Release_DBC.pdf+digital+bridge+communications&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us

first in... America? (1)

gwolf (26339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336735)

in Mexico City we have had Wimax since 2002, with a smallish ISP now called E-go. I used it in 2003-2004 at work, and this year it was my main access for several months. Quite comparable to broadband, if you are in well covered areas.

Re:first in... America? (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336963)

802.16e-2005, the standard that Sprint is using, was ratified in 2005. So you certainly weren't using it in 2003-2004.

How many simultaneous users? (1, Informative)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336863)

While wireless broadband is cool, I'm not convinced yet... With wireless everyone in connected to the same base station shares the available spectrum and bandwith. There's no way around that, ever.

I like 3G (live in Helsinki). I can open up Google Maps or check when the next bus leaves on my mobile. But for anything more serious I prefer a short range wireless tech (WiFi) or good old RJ45.

So will these technologies work well with hundreds of simultaneous users? Personally I still think there's a long way to go for radio tech to completely replace wires on the last mile.

Re:How many simultaneous users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336967)

Well here's one optimistic factoid: Sprint is offering this for less per month than their 3G for laptops. This would seem to imply that WiMax, at leaast in this case, is cheaper to deploy and maintain than existing 3G services, which would also mean it should scale more efficiently. So a WiMax station is overloaded with users, it would ostensibly be cheaper to set up an additional station (maybe operating on a different channel) nearby to take care of the overflow.

VOIP is allowed. (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337417)

To me, the critical difference between Sprint/Clearwire's WiMax and competing cellular data is that they don't care about VOIP. It's A-OK. How long until Verizon allows VOIP (or unlimited voice time) on their plans? Plus, latency is reasonable in WiMax so VOIP will actually work. This hasn't been mentioned much -- in TFA, it's covered towards the end.

Re:VOIP is allowed. (1)

Serpent6877 (1021937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341489)

Actually VOIP is very much a big part. It's just that there currently isn't any devices on the market as of yet. And not to mention the Sprint/Clearwire merger has yet to fully happen. Ever think that once the merger happens that maybe some devices will "appear" on the market?

Not the first WiMax network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338801)

This is not the first WiMAX network in America. There are a number of Wisps who have WiMAX equipment in the air and have had for months. Head over to www.wispa.org, www.part-15.org, www.part-90.org for more information about wisp's and what they have been up to.

Given their desire to become like Australian ISP's (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338821)

...I'm going to wait for a flat-rate option for data that isn't meant for carriers.

Only 3Mbit/sec??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341535)

3Mbit/sec would have been pretty good compared to the networks of five years ago, but I thought this was meant to be a competitor to LTE. At those speeds, on what is presumably an almost completely empty network, they're only reaching the sorts of speeds you can already get on the first gen HSDPA networks.

When commercial LTE networks start getting rolled out they're talking about getting speeds of about 100Mbit/sec http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution [wikipedia.org] , they were even getting speeds of about 170 Mbit/s in some trails not too long ago http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSLI66110920080918 [reuters.com] .

Great for non-mobile users too (1)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343151)

A lot of posts here are listing why Xohm is good/bad compared to other cell networks but that's not even half of it. Xohm is also trying to enter the home user market, and I think they're going to do well.

I've used Xohm (briefly, at a demo last weekend) and will likely switch to them because although their service is slower than cable (the only option for us Baltimore residents is Comcast), it still plays Youtube videos faster than they play, which is pretty much all I ask for. The best thing about Xohm is it's $25/mo. to start, and then $35/mo. after six months. If you want home + roaming usage it's $55/month. Compare to Comcast's $60 for just home usage (obviously no roaming options available) and you see why I think they'll do well.

There are technical fallbacks to cell networks, but Xohm's coverage is *excellent*, the service is cheap, and although it has yet to be seen, I'll be dollars to doughnuts that Xohm's customer service is better than Comcast. And with Hulu and Netflix, losing TV won't kill me (I should read more anyway...)

What happens when it gets popular? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25350471)

One thing I've wondered about the idea of wireless internet access for the masses is, what happens when you have 2000+ people in a single city block (think of places like NYC, LA, Chicago, etc) trying to use a wireless Internet service? Does the system get completely bogged down with lag?

Re:Great for non-mobile users too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25364739)

Can you have multiple simultaenous connections on Xohm? Like for family members at home, a home server, or a VOIP answering machine at home?

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