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Why Clearwire's 4G Network Plan Is No Slam Dunk

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the uphill-battle dept.

Wireless Networking 66

alphadogg sends this NetworkWorld story discussing the obstacles Clearwire will have to overcome to succeed, which begins: "Clearwire recently announced the completion of its Sprint Nextel transaction and the formation of the new Clearwire Corp. In addition, it received $3.2 billion from Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks. As expected, Clearwire's conference call emphasized all the positive aspects of the deal. Namely, it owns lots of spectrum, is building an all-IP network that is 'open,' and will use fourth-generation (4G) mobile WiMAX technology (IEEE 802.16e). I'd love to see a nationwide 4G mobile network, but let's be clear about some of the challenges facing Clearwire, including cost, device and competitive ones."

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Weird technology (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011525)

Why the obsession with hex and what's so special about the number 32434178.08935546875?

1st (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011579)

first post?

Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011611)

Damnit! Viewing threshold was too high.

Re:1st (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011619)

You suck and fail horribly. Sorry but checking to see if there are posts before your usually helps...

Re:1st (0, Offtopic)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012077)

That doesn't help though. Slashdot doesn't have an atomic "check for first post, submit this post if one is not present" feature.

Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011621)

Check it out. I made a discovery of monumental proportions today and since I like you guys, I'm going to share it here first. Ever had a 2 liter carbonated beverage like Coke or Pepsi or something and when you open it, then let it sit in the fridge for a day or two, it loses so much of its fizz that it tastes like crap? Don't you just hate that? Me too.

I know what you are thinking... They got shit for that. Yeah, I saw the little special tops they try to sell on TV but who actually has those at home? And furthermore, even if you had them, who's going to go through the trouble of actually using them?

Wouldn't it be great if you could fix the fizz problem without having to use any special accoutrements at all? Well, you can. And I figured out how. Now, when I tell you this, you're not going to be immediately blown away because it's going to seem so simple. But if you do this, it will change your life. As far as soda is concerned that is. Okay, here it is. After you open the bottle and pour the first glass, before you put it back in the fridge, squeeze the sides of the container until the soda goes all the way up to the neck the bottle and all of the air is forced out, then just tighten the lid on it like that. It's like a vacuum seal and since there isn't hardly any air left in, the soda will sit indefinitely without going flat. and you can just keep flattening the bottle more and more until it is empty.

It'll hit you in a minute then you can proceed to mod this AC up.

Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011631)


Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011731)


I think the correct acronym you're looking for is: W.T.F.

Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011647)

I hope that when you die, slowly, there are other people to watch it happen and jeer at you, tormenting you till the last moments.

Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26012729)

But i like my Pepsi flat as well as fizzy.

Coke, however, really is bad flat.

There is the difference between the drinks, tastiness when flat.

new generation already? (1)

Dgawld (1251898) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011637)

already a 4G, is it such a trendy term now that the G(eneration) gets thrown around everywhere.

Re:new generation already? (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011711)

Yes, going from ~1-3Mbps to 20-40Mbps DOES justify getting labeled as a next generation service! Heck if they have decent enough coverage this will be a huge deal for us. We currently have a few 3G routers that we sendout whenever we open a new field office with no notice or where a sites internet service is down with no ETA for repair, having upload speeds in excess of 1Mbps will mean we could use it even for our large offices.

Re:new generation already? (1)

Dgawld (1251898) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011735)

1-3mbps, im pretty sure my verizon wireless internet has hit up to 7mbps

Re:new generation already? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011737)

which is less than 20-40

Re:new generation already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017721)

From what I have heard, the Clearwire Wimax connection speeds are going to be 2Mbps, 4Mbps, and 6Mbps respectively [When compared side by side with current pricing plans]

Re:new generation already? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011763)

Nope, Verizon is Rev.A currently and it maxes at 3.1/1.8 with real world speeds being in the 1-2Mbit/500kbit upload range. Unless they are field testing Rev.B somewhere and haven't released ANY press about it I think you must have been fooled by the lying download calculator =) The DSL Reports speedtests bear that out too, I just checked and the top speed listed for myvzw.com is 2.3m/796

Re:new generation already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26013755)

>1-3mbps, im pretty sure my verizon wireless internet has hit up to 7mbps

7 millibits per second isn't much to brag about, Sparky.

Re:new generation already? (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26016255)

Yes, going from ~1-3Mbps to 20-40Mbps DOES justify getting labeled as a next generation service!

Sure does, but as a former customer of their service let me remind everyone of 'dead-spots' which might not be a problem for a mobile phone. You can walk down the block, but when you use clearwire for your home pc.. and you just happen to be in a dead spot... or a spot that isn't dead, but cuts your bandwidth in half, or ups your latency 3sec+. You are SOL with that company... Just something to remember.

Re:new generation already? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012681)

The generations are pretty well-defined. Take a look at the bar on the right of this page [wikipedia.org] . 4G has bandwidth and latency requirements and a few other requirements. The big one for most geeks is that a 4G network is all-IP.

The People don't want to foot the bill... (1, Troll)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011645)

My business that i've built from the ground up offers $20 internet, $20 Phone, and $20 TV over a fixed base wireless connection at a customer's place of residence. I've built the entire business from the ground up on open source technologies and at 25MB down/ 5MB up, unlimited phone, low latency links, and dirt cheap television, I really don't feel that i have any competition. So maybe by the time "Clearwire" is actually beginning to do something, I'll take my 802.11/802.16 network and slap a billion dollar price tag on it. I mean if Wal-mart can do it, why can't I? Oh, and the name of my company is FIREWI, and we open to the public Jan 1 for all of SoCal. I have a 300MB full duplex backhaul to set up right now. Late-

Re:The People don't want to foot the bill... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015803)

"So maybe by the time "Clearwire" is actually beginning to do something..."

Clearwire is selling wimax in portland. today. Ive seen the ads and the gear, and took a ride in their SUV at the last CTIA. their onboard computers and gear work just as advertised so far, although as of yet its likely theres not much load on the network since its only just started.

And so you can drive down the road at 60 miles an hour streaming the whole time with your gear? wimax does that right now, along with congestion control, airlink scheduling, and consistent IP addressing across all of the towers.

good luck with scaling that. im not against the idea, (more the merrier) its just unlikely that it works as well as you imply and doesnt scale the way you think it does...

and can i also point out that your "blazing" 300MB pipe can only provision oh, 12 customers at full speeds before you start over-provisioning. In my experience from multiple ISPs, that 300 meg pipe is going to get clobbered pretty fast if you are telling people 25/5 are your SLA levels.

I suspect that all the money its reported that clearwire needs are for things like hardware to go up on the towers, tower climbers, etc, which aint cheap, even with commodity equipment, much less fancy new fresh-off-the-fab Wimax gear.

i might also point out that clearwire doesnt appear to be competing with wireless setups like yours, but against AT&T and Verizon, nationwide setups. there's over a dozen "expedience wireless" outfits all over the country, running the same thing that clearwire's current non-wimax markets are using, and they certainly haven't made any threatening movements to any of them. they're just ditching the gear as fast as possible to get to the mobile wimax standard which is ultimately more useful...

Re:The People don't want to foot the bill... (1)

awarrenfells (1289658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018119)

Aww, how cute. A little fish trying to swim with the big boys. I'm sure you may do well in your little corner of the world... but dont expect 3.2 billion dollar infusions any time soon. ^_^

Re:The People don't want to foot the bill... (1)

SoopahMan (706062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26051293)

Does your company have a website? Link? Sounds fictional... .

Re:The People don't want to foot the bill... (1)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26057991)

http://firewi.com/ [firewi.com] - The site (and the company) is in beta, used mostly for internal stuff right now, and I don't officially launch until April 1st and thats no joke. I already have nearly a thousand customers, and i'm still working out the bugs. Hopefully I can find some CCIE-ish guys that understand Debian based routers like I do before launch because I already sleep 6-8 hours a day and work the other 16 all week long.

WiMax vs. LTE (Long Term Evolution) (2, Informative)

Bjrn (4836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011779)

ComputerWorld has a good article [computerworld.com] comparing the two competing technologies.

The NetworkWorld article mentions that according to ClearWire, LTE will be out in 2011, but according to Telenor they will have in operation by 2010. The claims of both sides should of cause be taken with a grain of salt.

Re:WiMax vs. LTE (Long Term Evolution) (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011805)

WiMax mobile adapters should be out by ~Q2'09 barring everyone deciding not to develop chips due to the economy. LTE first generation chips will be late 2010 even under optimistic predictions. The big problem is there is no credit, and won't be any in the near future, for big risky projects like 4G networks so I'm not holding my breath for either technology.

Re:WiMax vs. LTE (Long Term Evolution) (2, Informative)

Bjrn (4836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012249)

LTE first generation chips will be late 2010 even under optimistic predictions.

Really? There is supposed exists pre-production versions of Ericsson's M700 platform for LTE during 2008. Ericsson mobile platforms are of cause used by phones from SonyEricsson. The M700 will be in full production during 2009, and products based on it should be out during 2010. At least that is what have read.

Not just the Norwegian Telenor, but the Swedish & Finnish telco Teliasonera are rolling out LTE in 2010. One of the driving factors is that LTE is more cost-efficient that turbo-3G.

It will be hard work, but I believe we will suceed (4, Informative)

Neorith (1425191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011837)

I am a proud Clearwire partner, and I am lucky to be able to observe the team we have on site working on our WiMAX testing and technical support. They are a very dedicated group of individuals who work tirelessly, and directly with our test market customers. The progress they have made in such a short time has been very encouraging. The last paragraph of the article stated that "Clearwire has completed an important first step and has partnered with blue chip investors. But the company is embarking on a long journey with very significant challenges. It is going to be fun to see what happens". Well, for me personally, it has been pretty fun to watch this team take on these significant challenges head on and come up with creative solutions for them. We are already getting great speeds on this new system, and I believe we will be able to roll out this network more efficiently then the article would have you believe. It will be a long journey, but it will be worth it. I believe this company will be very successful because they care about their employees enough to let them go out of their way to satisfy the customer with almost any issue they have, even if its not supported by us personally. This makes us a great company that customers can trust and rely on. I know I could never get that level of support from my ISP, who outsource, and therefore I can barely understand. (I don't live in a Clearwire market...yet). Clearwire lets me have the freedom to try and resolve most of our customer's network problems, and because of that, we have customers who can trust us and count on us. This new WiMAX deployment will be a great challenge, but with the level of dedication that these people have put into this idea, I believe we will succeed. You may think I am biased because I work for them, but you would be mistaken. I have my own concerns and issues about Clearwire. This job burns me out a lot, but I still love working for them. The article says that "Clearwire's 4G network plan is no slam dunk". Well, most new technologies are never slam dunks immediately, but with the dedication of our teams, I don't see why a three point shot would be out of the question. Hey, I'm just a fly on the wall watching this team work. With the level of dedication I have personally observed, I believe we will succeed.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (4, Funny)

drspliff (652992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011849)

I think you forgot to sign your post with:

- Clearwire Marketing Droid

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0, Flamebait)

Neorith (1425191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011961)

No, I am not a fucking drone, nor do I have any thing to do with marketing. I just happen to sit next to the WiMax team, and I am proud of how willing they are to make this project succeed. I admire them because they are willing to go out of their way to make this work. Since I am practically a Marxist, I couldn't give two shits about marketing anything. I am so cynical about most things, that to see people actually care about and work for something they believe in, it makes me want to do better myself. You may think I'm a drone, so as far as I'm concerned, you can go fuck yourself, but you can't demean the fact that these people actually care about what they are doing. They make me want to do better at my job, so that's all I care about. I don't give a shit that Harry Roberts thinks I'm a drone, because the people I work with actually make me want to be a better worker. So fuck you Harry if you think I'm some marketing drone (although Dr. Spliff is a cool name).

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0)

drspliff (652992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011991)

and I am proud of how willing they are to make this project succeed. I admire them because they are willing to go out of their way to make this work.

sorry, I've worked too long in the industry and instantly presume comments filled with praise about anything IT related to have spewed from the foul orifice of a marketing drone.

Thankfully you're not a marketing drone, and it seems I've just been jaded by too many marketing types polluting the internet.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0)

Neorith (1425191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012009)

Sorry I got so angry. I've been pretty disillusioned myself about how we were going, but the dedication of this WiMax team has actually restored much of my faith in this company. I feel better about us than I have for a while, so I took too much offense from your comment. I would of felt the same way for such comments praising a company, so I understand your skepticism, and I hope there are no hard feelings. I understand your jadedness, so I shouldn't have been so quick to anger. I feel the same way myself a lot of times. So, sorry about that, and I wish you well :) .

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0)

drspliff (652992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012035)

Oh, and not to mention the last company I dealt with that implements WiMax (who will remain nameless) was managed by a bunch of asshats who had engineers and tech staff trying to jump ship and generally avoid them at any cost.

If the engineers seem to be going well then it bodes quite well for the company.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0)

Neorith (1425191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012067)

I've dealt with my share of ass hats like that, so I definitely feel you there. I personally am not on the Wimax team, but I work very close to them. They are definitely working overtime to deliver the service we have been hyping for years now. Their enthusiasm is really rubbing of on the rest of us. The next few years are going to be very hard, but hopefully worth it. Like I said, I'm no marketing guy, and I have my own issues with the company. But like the article said, it is going to be fun to see what happens. Anyways, peace, and long life. Take care.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26012555)

What's going to hapen next in this twisty tale of geek camaraderie?


Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (2, Funny)

orasio (188021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012419)

Since I am practically a Marxist, I couldn't give two shits about marketing anything. I am so cynical about most things, that to see people actually care about and work for something they believe in, it makes me want to do better myself.

Probably you should stop saying you are practically a marxist, and say something more fashionable, like anarcho-capitalist or something like that.
Marxists are everything but cynical. They accuse _other_ people of being cynical. You can't be cynical and keep hoping for the construction of a new world, a new man, or something like that.

And being motivated at work for a corporation is not very compatible with marxism, either. You might go to work, because you need to put food on your table, or something like that. Being motivated to benefit your exploiter is not a very marxist thing.

IANAM, BTW, but I play one on TV.

  a Marxist asset, either. If it was some kind of cooperative thing, maybe.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (1)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011955)

It seems Clearwire might be a tentative venture just from the quick read I gave the article. If I invested in tech stocks in my portfolio, it might be worth buying a few shares and letting them sit for awhile to see what happens, never know.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (1)

Neorith (1425191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26011981)

Well, from what I have been observing, our teams and managers have been working overtime to get this project rolling and I have very high expectations for next year. I have been at this company for a while and I believe we are building something great here.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013591)

Call me cynical, but get back to us on "great service" when you're no longer an early adopter test-case but just another of thousands of customers. Sure Clearwire is working hard to make it work for you--that's what always happens a first. They want to use you to get the bug out of their system, so of course they're on top of things and "working hard for you"

In about three years when Clearwire has thousands of customers, try to get customer service . Given past experience, I'm pretty confident their service will be on par what's offered by their partners Comcast and TimeWarner--two of the worst customer service departments I've ever had the misfortune to deal with.

Note that I'm not saying you aren't getting good service now; I'm making a prediction about the future--past experience does not guarantee future performance.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015197)

Hey, you might want to fix your personal website: There's no such thing as a "386 DX-2 running at 66Mz".

Intel 80386 [wikipedia.org] , for reference.

You probably had a 80486 DX2 [wikipedia.org] .


From A Current ClearWire Customer (1)

hax4bux (209237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26038559)

I wish you well. I live in rural Northern California (Shasta County, near Redding) and we were delighted to get ClearWire and off dial up. I hope you bring us 4G as well.

No kidding. I sincerely mean each and every word of the first paragraph.

However, CLWR is far from a "great company that customers can trust and rely on".

Your help desk people... they are pleasant enough and obviously native english speakers. However, they apparently don't know squat about networking (apart from windoze configurations) and they apparently have no mechanism at all to find a grown up.

I have had serious problems w/DNS and signal quality from time to time, and even when I provide dedicated concrete examples of system failure and a cell phone number, nothing gets solved. I do network management for a living and I would be delighted when someone actually steps forward w/a well defined and repeatable problem.

Seriously, I hope you make it but don't front that CLWR executes perfectly. It's not true. And as much as I like your product, you guys look good simply because all the alternatives suck so much more.

Re:It will be hard work, but I believe we will suc (1)

NateTech (50881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26057925)

Here, let me summarize that giant run-on paragraph for you into Marketing-speak:

Clearwire: Because hard work is its own reward. Our investors and partners are only impressed with our hard work. (Not accomplishing things that make money.)

Learn to hit return/enter once in a while, try out that cute little "Preview" button if you're unsure, and slow down a bit. The speed at which you posted that obviously affected the QUALITY of your work. Hope you're not doing the same thing at the office. Lay off the Red Bull or something.

Burnout man cometh! Been there, done that -- "Customer focused" company doing "great new things" in the late 90's just prior to the tech capital market's self-destruction. Company's still around, owners made 4 million, none of us who worked 60 hour weeks got to stay long enough to make anything other than 3 year's salary. Company had printed their Red Herring and was attempting to IPO when the IPO market fell out. Wouldn't have mattered if they'd created the next Apple or HP, the IPO market was done for a month after they tried. Stock options were as worthless as toilet paper, since they weren't even printed on paper -- just electronic confirmations and a list in HR and Legal of who would own what.

You know what "partnering with blue chip investors" means? They are even more keen on making a high percentage return on investment than cheap investors who are dabbling in high-risk small companies. Money now, means pay up later.

Here's a tip of the hat to Clearwire - let's hope they can do what they've hyped.

Wonder if this has the low latency to compete... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26011957)

I wonder if this technology, once widely deployed and used by lots of people at the same time, will have the latency to compete with cable and DSL. Not bandwidth, latency. Cable used to be pretty bad in the latency department, but has improved over time. DSL historically is pretty good in the latency department.

If WiMax's latency is too high for people to play their networked, this would be a major strike against it.

Apples and Oranges (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012033)

No doubt the latency would be higher than DSL. But it is not designed or (i hope) marketed as a DSL replacement/competitor. Its for mobile internet access.

Re:Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26012059)

I can see it used as a primary means of Internet access for some. Some ISPs out there are pushing the boundaries of how much they can do to customers with NebuAd/Phorm, arbitrary bandwidth charges, and other things, so having the ability to just give them the finger and use WiMax would be tempting for many.

Comcast/Time warner !='open' or consumer friendly (2, Interesting)

Rytr23 (704409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012577)

Clearwire has lots of problems..

a. they are teaming with Sprint. Sprint?! Sprint is a sinking ship

b. Comcast & Time Warner? blood sucking shithole companies whose employees I hope choke on their own vomit. Nothing good can come from their involvement. Roberts can go fuck himself in particular.

Furthermore, what is the supposed advantage of WiMax over LTE in the mobile comunications space? It sucks without LOS. When moving the performance is dismal. It's not the long term plan for the vast majority of mobile operators, including VZW. If the goal is fixed last mile access, maybe it's viable. But for cell phones, it's just weak.

Re:Comcast/Time warner !='open' or consumer friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018091)

I suppose its a good thing that it is not being established as a "mobile" service, but more along the lines of a highspeed wireless "internet" service.

Clearwire is not setting foot into the cellular market... at least, not in the near future.

"murky"-water (2, Informative)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012725)

Although this sounds good, it will still have the same drawbacks as the current 3g network. Currently, every ISP of the 3g networks throttles your connection after 5gb (a month). A faster speed just means I use up my limit even faster.

Monopoly (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26012873)

This new network will be a monopoly, even more than the current mobile telco monopolies (lockin). At least on the current mobile networks you can roam on a different network, even though each network can use its monopoly of access to it to set prices and policies arbitrarily expensive and restrictive. For comparison, see the Internet backbones, which are comparatively cheap and open (even though the telcos/cablecos are increasingly coordinated in a cartel, abusing openness and fixing prices).

Of course the first of anything gets to be a monopoly, especially when there's no "photo finish" race among competitors to be first. And the early adopters will pay whatever cost is required. That monopoly might even be necessary and acceptable for a while. But the incumbent mobile telcos have shown that the monopoly lasts forever, even if there are competing corporations (each with their own monopoly).

These networks are all courtesy of the public, especially the mobile ones that lease the public airwaves. Those leases should include a public/private benefit formula that accounts for investment and risk by the spectrum developer, allowing monopoly control long enough to protect profit enough that investors are encouraged to go for the gold. But once some range of motivating profit is achieved, equal access and price anti-gouging rules should protect the public from the monopoly, protect the market from the monopoly crushing any competition entering. Perhaps the lease price should include a refundable deposit that reverts to the spectrum developer once competition is achieved, and is used to fund competitive entrants (under equal access and price protections) if the way the developer runs it doesn't allow competition soon enough.

Make the incentives and protections for competition match the environment, and the market will run properly. Otherwise, we're just going to pay retail for a fourth generation of the telco monopoly that interferes with all our other development, exploiting public property for a very narrow private gain.

Re:Monopoly (1)

zaq1xsw2cde9 (608119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013525)

Whereas I don't disagree with your ideas about a monopoly, I don't see a monopoly here. This service competes with any manner of Internet service, so it competes with Cable Modem, DSL from phone lines, Satellite Internet, and Cellular phone data services. Not to mention, there is more spectrum for another company to make another wireless variant. Clearwire is not free to price gouge, as the bulk of people will just get DSL or Cable modem instead.

Re:Monopoly (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26026527)

If you want a 4G network, there is no competition. That is a monopoly. It's like if the only broadband were AT&T, but somehow 56Kbps dialup meant AT&T's broadband weren't a monopoly. If some other competitor rolled out a 4G network, that might represent a different kind of monopoly, a duopoly. And if those two 4G competitors locked out the other network from their subscribed equipment, that would be a lockin monopoly just as the current Sprint/Verizon/T-Mobile/etc each are.

To see the difference, look at the Internet connections available in a "telecom hotel", where many interoperable networks actually do terminate for customers to choose from, that are all in the same class of service. A customer can connect to one of them, or multiple, depending on the differences between them. That kind of free choice is completely different from a customer for this first 4G network. And the different 3G or 2G mobile networks are themselves a lot closer to the monopoly than to the free choice.

I am in a Clearwire network area and... (1)

cresswell (778016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013281)

I was visited by 2 representatives of the company, encouraging me to switch to their service. They offered a demo of its speed. They hooked it up and I got 5 bars. I am on a second floor with a clear line of sight to a cell tower about 300 yards away, so no surprise. However, they were gobsmacked at this 'linux' thing I ran on my computer. They didn't know what it was or if Clearwire would work with my system. I did a few pings and direct ip addresses, hoping to see if it would work. No go. All in all, I was not impressed. They were nice guys and all, but didn't know much beyond plugging things in. I won't be switching.

Re:I am in a Clearwire network area and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034887)

I had 2 reps in my office on Friday. Very knowledgeable people. They answered the questions of my CEO as well as myself the IT manager.

They did however say their software currently only works on windows machines, and had no ETA on any other platforms...

Is WiMax Overrated? (2, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013773)

I remember when the first WiMax technical specifications were published back in like, 2006. I read them as part of a research project associated with a securities firm to help compile research on the companies involved. Even back then, the prospect of having a broadband network operational at least two to three years in the future with deployments probably (at least, hopefully for the wimax people) continuing for at least five, that could only pump 10MB at a 10kM range seemed absurd. This is a system that at its unrealistic ideal pushes sub-ethernet levels of connectivity.

I know it's a mobile network, and at that, it's very very impressive compared to a lot of what's out there. But honestly the only reason to build a network this large is the hope that you will capture at home users and compete with traditional broadband services (which they fully hope to do in metro areas). How can WiMax possibly hope to compete in those settings against GPON and DOCSIS 3.0/4? Does anyone else think that this has already been cornered by the competition into a niche before it even gets off of the drawing board?

Re:Is WiMax Overrated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26137739)

I hope you were not getting paid for that research. First of all, work on the WiMax standard started in 2003 with IEEE adoption in 2005. Second, speeds for fixed locations were up in the 300mbps by late 2005. I would put WiMax up against any other technology out there, fixed or mobile and if implemented properly it would win hands down every time for its speed and flexibility. It is not meant for LAN networking or extremely high bandwidth ptp connections. Ss, maybe you should educate yourself a little before posting ? -Kyle

Oh, and one other problem... (1)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014093)

This comment:

I'd love to see a nationwide 4G mobile network, but let's be clear about some of the challenges facing Clearwire, including cost, device and competitive ones.

portrays some of my thinking, but the bigger problem I have with Clearwire is its terrible service. They have (or, at least a year ago, had) silent bandwidth caps and usage policies so draconian that they make cable companies look friendly by comparison. I wrote about my experience here [wordpress.com] .

Part of the impetus for buying Clearwire's service was helping to create more competition for the cable and telephone companies while simultaneously saving money. Little did I realize that what money I saved was quickly gobbled up in the form of time spent dealing with the company.

power consumption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26016135)

I was under the impression wimax was very power hungry and hence not suitable for mobile handsets. is this wrong? surely the technology chosen for 4G networks should actually be usable on handsets

Our aim is off? (1)

awarrenfells (1289658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018157)

Everyone seems to be talking about WiMax and Clearwire supposedly sucking as a mobile wireless carrier/connection. I can't say I disagree with that assessment, except the problem here is... it is not being established [at least for the time being] as a mobile wireless company, at least in the same manner in one regards his cell phone.

Yes, you can take the modem with you to various locations, but it is not intended to be used while mobile. Yes, it has PC cards, but trying to use it while driving down the road creates inherent issues with IP address when you continually change towers and base stations. I mean, can you roam from router to router.... no. I know the technical specs are different, but the concept is the same.

Yes, as far as wireless internet is concerned, it will be faster than what is out there, but we are almost comparing apples to oranges when we compare it to modern "mobile wireless" networks. It is not being set up as a wireless internet service, it will be some time before they step foot into the cellular market.

Also, don't forget that Intel plans to start including WiMax in their chipsets... so when WiMax finally rolls out, it will make WiMax more viable.
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