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WiMax In 2010 — Too Little, Too Late?

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the that-only-gives-it-two-years dept.

Wireless Networking 128

CWmike writes "By the end of 2010, users in more than 80 US cities may be able to ditch their cable modems, T1 setups and DSL lines — and the Wi-Fi routers that go with them — in favor of WiMax wireless technology. Wait, haven't we heard that before? WiMax has been promised 'any day now' for years, but WiMax vendors such as Clearwire Communications LLC have suffered numerous delays in rolling out services. A recent ramp-up in Clearwire deployments bodes well for WiMax, but it may not have the chance to fully get off the ground before a competing technology called Long-Term Evolution (LTE) does it in. Craig Mathias, principal analyst at Farpoint Group and a Computerworld columnist, sees WiMax taking a minority stake in the wireless broadband future. 'LTE will eventually be a combined broadband voice/data solution that can do everything that WiMax can and more,' he said. Mathias believes that LTE could get up to 80% of the global market share in future cellular installations. 'This leaves WiMax with a potential market share that cannot exceed 20% — but that's still a huge number, assuming 4 billion users around 2020 or so," he said. 'You do the math. The opportunity is nothing to sneeze at.'"

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Wi Max ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475187)

Wi Not?

Re:Wi Max ? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29475891)

Wii want WiMax!

Re:Wi Max ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29476091)

I'd prefer lots of WiMin.

moar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475197)

Can I download music using this without getting sued?

Is it free? Is it anonymous?

Re:moar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475291)

Did you hear they are improving public transportation in Harlem? Yeah, they're planting the trees closer together.

Umm (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475219)

Who would want to ditch a perfectly good DSL line, for a slow, unstable and laggy wireless?

Wimax is probably great for people on the move, but I just don't see it replacing my 10/10mbit line.

Re:Umm (3, Insightful)

Shag (3737) | about 5 years ago | (#29475397)

Living on one of the less-populated islands in Hawaii, I have no reasonable hope of WiMax or LTE any time in the near future.

Oh, sure, ClearWire has been in Honolulu for ages, and in some of the more touristy areas of other islands, but here in the state's 2nd-largest city? Nah. Maybe the rain breaks it, I dunno.

These days, the options are DSL, Cable, 3G GSM from AT&T or maybe T-Mobile (can't imagine that being fast enough to do anything with, given load times on my iPhone) or EV-DO (presumably first-generation). Oh, and some of the off-grid folks in the hinterlands probably have satellite. I've considered the EV-DO option, but I do some work from home that requires dual VNC sessions, so I'm not sure whether it would be practical yet.

The DSL is at least pretty rock-stable - It's only gone out one or two times in ten years.

Re:Umm (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29475493)

Well, in rural Spain WiMax or using your 3G phone (or a 3G dongle for a PC) are all there is - leaving out the excruciatingly expensive and hopelessly slow and capped satellite circuits . Speed's lousy and costs are high (as are all tech. costs in Spain). However when you can't even get the telephone monopoly to run a land-line to your place, the options are few.

Given the choice between Wimax and ADSL I'd go for the hard-wired option any day: faster, more reliable, lower install cost and (maybe) scalable to faster speeds when more than 1 person is using the Wimax node.

Re:Umm (0, Offtopic)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29475509)

I was thinking about buying some property in Puna (Nanawale area) do you happen to know what kind of DSL (or cable modem if its even available) speeds are available down there? There was one wireless place that was selling 350Kbps with a $700 installation charge. I grew up Kona side and we didn't even have cabletv (or home mail delivery) then, but I haven't really been back for 20+ years already.

Re:Umm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475907)

Hawaii = R E A L B A R E N A K E D B I K I N I W O M E N. So, why you need Internet in Hawaii, if real live pr0n is walking and breathing out of your window?

Re:Umm (1)

Shag (3737) | about 5 years ago | (#29476129)

I was thinking about buying some property in Puna (Nanawale area) do you happen to know what kind of DSL (or cable modem if its even available) speeds are available down there?

Not sure. Pahoa (the nearest town) should have a CO, which should be DSL-equipped; if youre within wire length limit distance of that, you could get DSL. Time Warner will run cable basically anywhere, but if it's not already in front of your property, you pay per pole they have to run it to get it to you.

Re:Umm (2, Funny)

squidguy (846256) | about 5 years ago | (#29475677)

Shaka live in paradise brah...ok Hilo maybe ain't Kona, but why the fsck do you care about networks? You must be smoking some good stuff like Neil Abercrombie!

Re:Umm (1)

Shag (3737) | about 5 years ago | (#29476117)

Hilo maybe ain't Kona, but why the fsck do you care about networks?

I think its safe to say that we generate more gigabytes of FITS files per capita than anywhere else on the planet. :)

Re:Umm (3, Informative)

Forge (2456) | about 5 years ago | (#29475777)

Disclaimer: I work for the cellphone company that's currently rolling out WiMax i Jamaica.

We are doing it so we can deliver broadband Internet to those people who simply never had it before in any shape or form. Hard as the concept is for 1st world geeks to grasp, there are places where it's likely, you don't have a phone line running by the house and where if you do it's most likely beyond the effective range of ADSL.

3G can do the same thing too. Except the technology is so expensive (compared to WiMax) that it's only worthwhile s a premium service, bundled with expensive phones and high end call rate packages. I.e. Outside the price range of 2 million of our current customers.

Phone companies don't want WiMax (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477285)

"I have no reasonable hope of WiMax or LTE any time in the near future."

That's partly because phone companies have tried very hard to hold back and delay WiMax, even going to the authorities to create every block and legal delay on it they can. They have also run an extensive and on going negative PR campaign against WiMax trying to say its not worth having ... all because ultimately they know and fear it competes in an open way with part of their business. Its not a total competitor to phones but it risks them loosing a lot of money in areas you can get WiMax.

I can't wait until we can bypass the phone companies more easily. All service providing companies like phone and ISP's are a bunch of control freaks and they keep showing they want to exploit their controlled minions in ever more ways, all ultimately for their own profit. WiMax is a threat to them as it allows many of these control freaks to be bypassed, so they don't want it and will say anything they can to put people off it. The sooner we all open up wider access the better.

Re:Phone companies don't want WiMax (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 5 years ago | (#29478407)

Which is why if we are ever gonna get nationwide broadband we are gonna HAVE to confiscate the last mile. There is simply no other choice. My mother has been 2 blocks short of cable since the house was built 29 years ago. Guess how far away she is now? Can you say "two blocks" because they and the DSL got together ages ago and decided to only "cherry pick" and refuse to serve anyone else? i think you can.

In the past dozen years I have seen no less than three different startups try to service the area, only to get run out on a rail by the combined might of the teleco/cableco duopoloy. The latest is a WISP, which I predict will be dead by spring. You see the backbone provider, which also happens to be the one that offers the substandard 19k dialup(yes that is no typo, you are lucky if you reach 33k on a good day) squeezes them on the price of backbone access until they simply can't offer their service at a price anyone can afford to pay.

I was told by a friend of mine who ran a startup in the area that they squeezed out that upon consulting a lawyer he was told expect the price of suing them to run close to 1 million dollars, and expect it to take a decade or more to wind through the courts, so he just shut up shop and moved away. The WISP, which started out at unlimited 1Mb for $50 and thanks to being squeezed is now only able to offer download limited 733k for $150, won't survive much longer.

So pretty much the ONLY way we are gonna get nationwide broadband is to kill the duopoly by seizing the last mile. We paid them billions [] in tax breaks to run lines they didn't bother to, so we have the reason to seize right there. We should give them 90 days to pay back every red cent with interest, or take the whole damned thing. if they want a monopoly? Run lines to those houses that have no broadband now and we'll give you x number of years as a monopoly with them. Double if you run fiber. If we don't do this then I have no doubt they will simply continue to "cherry pick" while everybody else gets to deal with oversold lines that continue to degrade as they aren't even spending money on maintaining the lines anymore. They are just too busy shoveling money into their pockets to give a shit.

Re:Umm (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 5 years ago | (#29475563)

LTE won't replace your DSL line - it'll use it. I mean, do you directly plug into your modems ethernet port? That configuration is rare, from what I've seen. Much more common is home wifi. LTE will replace your current wifi router box with a different wireless router box, and you won't know much difference except that if you open up your 4G equipped netbook and start a fast download, then walk outside down to the local park, the only thing that'll happen is your download gets slower. No connection interruptions, no new IP address, no changing in billing providers .... it'll all be consistent.

Re:Umm (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#29475867)

Wrongo. LTE and WiMax currently require expensive hardware on one end. It's still going to be WiFi in the home like always (but now the 5 GHz N instead of 2.4 GHz B/G) and people will get LTE to their house, then use WiFi inside. You still won't notice moving from home to the roaming connection if you use bittorrent :P

Re:Umm (1)

Yusef (1415155) | about 5 years ago | (#29477417)

i was a install guy for wimax in don't use any DSL lines at least outside the house. i mean you can route it through the house like you do with normal internet. but to get in the house it's all wireless. You can either hook it to a router and have it all wireless or you can wire it through the house...........not smart haha

Re:Umm (2, Informative)

crossmr (957846) | about 5 years ago | (#29476525)

I didn't realize Wimax was in such a sorry state in the US. Here in Korea it is absolutely terrific.
The entire city of Seoul is set up and running. Its called Wibro

I pay the equivalent of about $20 a month. I get this fantastic little thing called an Egg. Its basically a battery operated wimax router. It takes in wimax and converts it to wifi.
I get a 50GB/month limit for that $20.

it works anywhere in the city (and a fair distance outside the actual city itself). Seoul has over 250 subway stations that would normally be off limits but every single station has a broadcast station in it.
It runs at 18Mb/second.. I've used it with my touch to make skype calls on the subway. I didn't notice any significant lag in doing that. In fact comparing what I heard in that call and at home on my 100/10 fiber, I couldn't tell any difference in quality.

Battery is good for around 5-6 hours and charges on a standard cell phone charger (they have those in korea)

Re:Umm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29476871)

I didn't realize WiMax was in such a sorry state in Korea.

Here in Atlanta, we are blanketed by Clear and there is no usage cap at all. For my monthly payment, I get the home modem and a portable one I can plug into my laptop that works anywhere I go all over the city.

America is a big place.

Re:Umm (1)

Yusef (1415155) | about 5 years ago | (#29477449)

clear is all over down there! it worked wonderful while I was there...nwo I'm back in NM and clear hasn't even announced plans for this state

Re:Umm (1)

strstr (539330) | about 5 years ago | (#29477879)

WiMAX beats your 10/10mbit line throughput wise, and is capable of more.

Current users are getting 16Mbps/6Mbps. Latency as low as 40ms (portland to Seattle WA).

What others are getting. []

Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about 5 years ago | (#29475221)

Back in the good old days there was hype surrounding WiMax that anyone would be able to buy an access point and use it in unlicensed spectrum but so far all the WiMax equipment I've seen is horrendously expensive and looks more like GSM equipment

What we need is a longer range version of WiFi that ordinary people can deploy and set up a decentralised network and hopefully put these mobile phone companies who charge extortionate amounts for bandwidth out of business.

LTE is just boring, ordinary consumers will never be able to set up their own private LTE base. All LTE will allow me to do is use up my 250MB a month data allowance even faster and requires me to buy a new phone. The good news is that WiMax will be updated to support speeds up to 1Gbit but if they won't make a couple of cheap and cheerful access points that ordinary folk can install in their homes for a few 100 dollars and maybe with an external antenna then there is no point.

Future LTE will also support 1Gbit and all the telco lads will be using that, so unless WiMax is going to allow for small scale single-cell setups nobody will use it.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

Informative (1347701) | about 5 years ago | (#29475295)

We can expect that internet access technologies will be decided by and controlled by the usual corporate suspects to maximize profits.
Grassroots co-op networks are needed but missing the technology.
BTW here is a link to the print version of the article (it's still Mohawk, though).

Re:the link (0)

Informative (1347701) | about 5 years ago | (#29475299)

I tried several times to follow up with the link that I forgot to include, but kept getting the "Slow Down Cowboy!" horseshit, so fuck it.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (2, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | about 5 years ago | (#29475477)

Unfortunately - the physics doesn't let you do 'free wireless broadband for everyone'.

Radio waves travel until they hit something.

To make an analogy.

You're at a sports event in a large stadium.

You can talk to your neighbour just fine, if everyone is also talking to their neighbour, however you can't be heard by someone 5 seats away though they might hear just fine if everyone was quiet for a moment.

But if everyone raises their voice to the level that they can be heard 5 seats away - the background noise level goes way up, and you can only be heard next to you.

Pretty soon everyones screaming, but can still only be heard by those next to you.

All cellphones work well becasue they very carefully schedule who gets to talk at what time.

If you could arrange it so that everyone was silent, you can easily speak to someone 5 seats away without raising your voice.

To back away from the analogy - because there is less background noise as the cellphone networks arrange their connected devices not to interfere with each other, the handset needs much less power to talk to the phone tower, and gets much better battery life and range.

Mesh networks unfortunately don't fix this either.

You can do collision avoidance for the few closest nodes to you, but pretty soon you can't hear the individual signals, and you simply see them as a background murmer - which sharply reduces the range at which you can talk to nearby nodes.

Add to this the problem that if you have a mesh where every connection does 50 hops to talk to someone - each node has only 2% of its bandwidth left for itself.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475689)

Unfortunately - the physics doesn't let you do 'free wireless broadband for everyone'.

So... you throw more spectrum at the problem, plus time-slotted operation. Wifi fails because it has a total of 3 non-overlapping channels and brute force media access. It's entirely possible to make wireless networking equipment that supports way more channels and where neighbors negotiate time division for a single channel.
It's not impossible to congest such a network... but it sure as hell would provide way more room than wifi.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 5 years ago | (#29475743)

And there is only a limited amount of spectrum available.

Sure - you can create ten or a hundred times more bandwidth by expanding the 'wifi' spectrum.

And timeslotted operation relies on one of two things.

An operator to allocate the slots.

A user-proof protocol so that the users cannot screw with the timeslot allocation.

If the users can screw with it - you _will_ get people setting thier and their friends nodes to gain a bit more than their share of bandwidth.
And it all goes rather downhill from here.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

Jared555 (874152) | about 5 years ago | (#29476097)

The issue isn't having enough spectrum to use (10GHZ on up is relatively low use), the issue is feasibility. Extremely High Frequency (around 30-300GHZ) is already used for communications with connections above 1gbit, I just doubt the equipment is affordable.

Now if you could develop the technology where there is a 5GHZ range for consumer wireless requiring the same bandwidth out of that range then you have a massive number of channels available. I am sure this technology is mostly/entirely point to point or requiring an omni directional antenna at one end and a highly directional antenna on the other but if you are trying to get wireless to someones house the later is not an issue.

Re:Wireless issues.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29476961)

I use WiFi (both fixed link and evdo rev A) because I am in an isolated rural area (my rev A dongle has a 3 watt booster).

Radio ip links always suffer from a plethora of ills that hardwired systems don't. Any spectrum available over the air is essentially available on a wire, except everyone shares the air and only you use your DSL link.

Also (as pointed out elsewhere), the noise level on the wire is constant but highly variable and increasing with load over the air.

The propagation characteristics over the air varies with frequency of the transmission: a perfectly good 900 MHz path will not necessarily work at 3.5 GHz.

The solution to all of the above problems is to use a cellular system and increase capacity by increasing sites... but that is problematic as well: costs increase dramatically with load and it is very difficult to deliver any SLA for performance.

Realtime apps like VOIP have difficulty maintaining sufficient QOS even during low usage periods. I get 7 Mbits/sec at 3 am with about 40 msec base latency but VOIP testing shows that even at that my QoS is marginal to maintain a good connection.

Wireless is a niche solution for portability and for delivery to areas where wired connections are too costly. It will always be that way. Consider that any technical improvement to wireless can generally be applied to wired in a cheaper more effective way.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#29477409)

Wired networks used to use a sort of timeslot based system, we called it token ring. Then we discovered that collision detection and backoff could work better and have no central authority. We call it Ethernet.

Agreed, it does require that people not tweek their hardware to cheat, but that can be managed even with open drivers. You just make the hardware have no knob to defeat collision detection or adjust the backoff. There won't be very many people shaving the carrier off and shooting the silicon with a laser to make adjustments.

Current Ethernet products meet those requirements already in a chip that costs <$10.

Part of the problem is that WiFi is limited to a teensy little sliver of spectrum that nobody else wanted because microwave ovens radiate there and water absorbs it.. WiFi gets to share it with baby monitors and cordless phones. The rest is "owned" by the same people who want to charge you by the bit and sell their services based on "all the things you can do" while whining that their customers keep trying to do too much stuff (that is, they actually use it the way it was advertised). With 3 whole non-overlapping channels to work with, it's not possible to lay out a proper cell structure.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

eggnet (75425) | about 5 years ago | (#29478973)

Wired networks used to use a sort of timeslot based system, we called it token ring. Then we discovered that collision detection and backoff could work better and have no central authority. We call it Ethernet.

No, Ethernet was cheaper not faster. And you're talking about 15 years ago.

Current Ethernet products meet those requirements already in a chip that costs <$10.

Current Ethernet chips that you might find in a NIC handle the original half duplex spec, which offers no protection against people trying to "cheat." They also handle the much more popular full duplex mode of operation that requires either a point to point connection with another host, or a connection to a switch.

Ethernet switches and layer 3 switches are the devices that control traffic flow and isolate one host from another. And they are expensive, and centralized.

Ethernet's modern reputation for speed is based on using switches not hubs.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

puhuri (701880) | about 5 years ago | (#29475505)

Why anyone would like to have LTE base station of their own? There is this technology called WLAN that you have been able to buy for more than then years and have your private wireless network where you need.

WiMAX (or similar like Flash-OFDM) do have some uses, but most likely to serve some niche markets. LTE is just another radio technology mobile phones support: like UMTS and HSDPA was add after GSM, so will LTE be available

For me it has been sufficient to have in laptop both WLAN and bluetooth to connect via mobile phone. In many cases I do not even bother to check for open/public WLAN as they may be limited with allowed protocols or they modify traffic by inserting advertisement. UMTS provides mostly just fine bandwidth I need for my work. And in places with bad UMTS coverage one does not find open WLANs too much either.

There exists WLAN APs that have 3G phone in it. Just SIM card in and you can just use (and share, if you like) connectivity via WLAN. Similar one for Flash-OFDM and most likely for WiMAX and LTE exists soon too.

BTW: UMTS does support using WLAN as radio interface: if your home has bad coverage, but you have ADSL line and WLAN AP, your phone can resort using WLAN access for calls too. Just WLAN is more energy-hungry compared to GSM and UMTS native radio network.

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | about 5 years ago | (#29476803)

In other news, most existing FPS games are set to be trounced by Duke Nukem Forever. With it's feature-rich environment and state of the art rendering existing games can only hope to maintain about a 20% market share!

Re:Lack of WiWax hardware available? (1)

Yusef (1415155) | about 5 years ago | (#29477495)

with clear if you get a 2 year contract (like any cellphone company) you get the equipment for free. the usb drive is smaller than the 3G Laptop cards adn the home modem is smaller than a comcast modem. it's quite nice. it takes 3 seconds to set up

Trouble prone (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29475223)

WiMAX will be great for mobile devices, where a bit of latency or a dropped connection is better than no internet at all. But does anyone seriously think it'll be replacing the hard line? The nice thing about using wires or optical fiber is that the signals don't get crossed and it tends to work much more consistently much more of the time.

Re:Trouble prone (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475379)

In my country recently, a company launched Wimax internet,I tried it.

For the first few days, I was receiving my full bandwidth and was very happy.

Then for the next months, I almost threw the Wimax modem out of the window and was also having some suicidal tendencies...
(I think you must have understood what the gravity of the situation was)

Re:Trouble prone (1)

misnohmer (1636461) | about 5 years ago | (#29475547)

Absolutely agree. WiMax will not replace wired broadband, not just because of reliability but I think mainly because of price/performance ratio. I have ClearWire as an option where I live, but here is how it compares with other broadband options: ClearWire Residential (ClearPremium) - 2Mbps / 256K => $44.99/mo and 2 year commitment (first 3 months 24.99). Comcast cable - 50Mbps / 10Mbps (burst speeds only) => $42.95-$59.95/month depending on neighbourhood, 1 yr commitment (first 6 months $19.99). Verizon FIOS - 15Mbps/ 5 Mbps => $49.99/month 1 year commitment (first month free). Verizon FIOS - 25Mbps/ 15 Mbps => $64.99/month 1 year commitment (first month free). The above pricing is for standalone internet. Both Verizon and Comcast have bundles with TV and phone service to make things cheaper. I never tried ClearWire but few people I spoke to who did mentioned speed issues. Even if there were no reliability or speed issues,why would I choose a slower service for about the same price?

Re:Trouble prone (1)

Yusef (1415155) | about 5 years ago | (#29477555)

Clear is owned by Clearwire. Clear is Wimax, Clearwire isn't. I've sold both. ClearWire is a rip off!!!! Clear is awesome! With clear you can get 6mbps $44/month. or at least in Atlanta and Portland that's what it was. You could, when I was selling it, get the home modem at 6mbps and a usb modem, 4 mbps, for $55/month! it is a great deal! and very reliable

Re:Trouble prone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475551)

The nice thing about using wires or optical fiber is that the signals don't get crossed and it tends to work much more consistently much more of the time.

Not necessarily true. There is lots of interference between lines in DSL.

Re:Trouble prone (2, Insightful)

JohnWhitney (707445) | about 5 years ago | (#29476093)

Is that really a common WiMax experience?

I've had ClearWire for about two years now, and have gotten a reliable 1.5Mbps/256kbps connection with no hiccups. Now they have converted me over to a 5Mbps/500kbps connection for the same price (although I seem to be getting around 2.5Mbps instead of 5). I've never had the problems you are complaining about.

Question (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 5 years ago | (#29475225)

Where is the news in this article? Wimax has been coming soonâ for like 700 years.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477005)

Who cares? WiMax is largely irrelevant anyways. Technology moves on... WiMax is a solution looking for a problem.

Re:Question (1)

Yusef (1415155) | about 5 years ago | (#29477579)

go to and see if YOU can buy it RIGHT NOW!it's only in select areas right now. Most big cites in Texas, LV, ATL, Portland, and It think Baltimore. They are rolling out another 50 cities or so next year. just google clear wimax

easy money (3, Insightful)

Takichi (1053302) | about 5 years ago | (#29475253)

Wow, getting rich is easy! After analysis, I believe my unproven product will get 80% market share. I'll just wait for the cash to start rolling in now. I feel bad for all my competitors wasting their time!

Road Obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475263)

My flying cars will take over the automobile market and make roads obsolete. Coming in 2012.

LTE vs WiMax (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | about 5 years ago | (#29475269)

The featured article says that these competing technologies are essentially the same, but with different "politics" and brand names. Can anyone clarify why LTE would get 80% and WiMax only 20%, or is that speculation bogus?

Re:LTE vs WiMax (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475335)

It's the old "telco" vs. "Internet" battle.

"telco" solutions are generally full featured, "heavy" solutions. "Internet" solutions are lighter weight, easier to implement, "good enough" and often succeed by stealing all the low hanging fruit.

LTE is from the telco camp (it's the successor to 3G mobile phone standards). WiMax is from the Internet camp. My guess is that WiMax is a little too light weight, and so not up to the task of forming a seamless network, hence the reason why it is late to market. By being late to market, WiMax has lost it's "fast mover" "Internet" advantage, has lost the chance to build mind share by getting the low hanging fruit, and is about to get creamed by the fuller featured LTE.

Re:LTE vs WiMax (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | about 5 years ago | (#29475351)

Can anyone clarify why LTE would get 80% and WiMax only 20%, or is that speculation bogus?

It is random speculation. AFAIK, LTE is all IP based, probably IPv6, even the voice is transmitted using a VoIP protocol (SIP?) where as WiMax is more of a data connection w/o voice. Yes, the voice could be VoIP, but WiMax is designed more for computer interment streams and have a [current] working limit of approximately 65Mbit/s total throughput half-duplex per AP.

Re:LTE vs WiMax (1)

cybereal (621599) | about 5 years ago | (#29475545)

Can anyone clarify why LTE would get 80% and WiMax only 20%, or is that speculation bogus?

It is random speculation. AFAIK, LTE is all IP based, probably IPv6, even the voice is transmitted using a VoIP protocol (SIP?) where as WiMax is more of a data connection w/o voice. Yes, the voice could be VoIP, but WiMax is designed more for computer interment streams and have a [current] working limit of approximately 65Mbit/s total throughput half-duplex per AP.

Actually WiMax and LTE use the exact same underlying network layer, with very minor differences to optimizations. Furthermore, LTE will not be IP based initially. The name itself reflects this idea that it will start with conventional wireless network design so that it's easier to do handovers between say, CDMA and LTE towers, and when the whole network segments are moved to LTE, then the next "evolution" will involve a move to IP based communication, and VoIP (though likely not what you're used to thinking of with VoIP on the Internet) for the voice parts of things.

The intermediate concept is very similar to what you get with old style soft phones that run in an ethernet network, except that it'll be sharing wireless bandwidth instead of wired, but the communication is fairly low level initially, and eventually it'll all be moved above "IP."

Re:LTE vs WiMax (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | about 5 years ago | (#29477191)

It's surprising the number of people who already think that their voice service is being broadcast using their 3G .. hence all the recent comments by people about i-phone users surfing the web causing their dropped calls.. I know that isn't the case now, and I know I don't get a vote on it, but I think I prefer the way it is, keeping them separate.

Re:LTE vs WiMax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475357)

> "LTE will eventually be a combined broadband voice/data solution that can do everything that WiMax can and more"

LTE is the designated successor to UMTS, which will handle internet traffic better than UMTS. In all likelyhood, it will be installed by all the major UMTS providers, even some CDMA providers are switching to it. OTOH, WiMax provides mobile internet. With less bandwith.

Depends on when they will roll out wimax (5, Informative)

Xerfas (1625945) | about 5 years ago | (#29475275)

LTE is still far into the future. We are currently testing LTE in some sites here in Sweden and it's quite expensive. Plus we need more terminals with the LTE chip before this will be a breakthrough among the population. My guess is that here in Sweden we will have a bad/ok LTE connection around 2015, and around 2017 ïwe will have about as much as 90ï-95% of Sweden covered with LTE. Where as in USA which is a bit larger I don't think you'll have okish LTE connectivity until 2020. But these are just number I pulled out from a dark place and guesses from when I worked at TeliaSonera (Swedens largest mobile access provider) with different projects like Telia Homerun (wifi in public places) and UMTS. Wimax is a good solution until then, if it's rolled out within 2-3 years.

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (3, Insightful)

tagno25 (1518033) | about 5 years ago | (#29475367)

Where as in USA which is a bit larger I don't think you'll have okish LTE connectivity until 2020.

More like 2050. We do not even have decent 3G outside the highly populated areas by 4-5 miles. There are even areas that do not even have edge or gprs near me (and plenty that have no cellular coverage to even make a call).

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 years ago | (#29475741)

What's worse is that the carriers can't claim income. In a very expensive neighborhood you can get limited edge connections only. when I say expensive, the average 2,000 square foot home is $700,000 and living next to billionaries isn't uncommon.

A fairly easy to do project and the carriers refuse to put upgraded wireless, and even wired connections there. Odd enough decent connections are less than 10 miles away too.

Int he USA the only way to force the carriers to upgrade their infrastructure will be to tax them on outdated technologies.

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 5 years ago | (#29475567)

I don't know if LTE will ever be 100% deployed. LTE chips are backwards compatible with 3G and 2G, right? And they can roam freely between them. LTE makes most sense to deploy in the home first, as a WiFi replacement, and then by upgrading macrocells in urban areas where smartphone traffic is stressing the local infrastructure. Whether LTE gets deployed to suburban or rural areas I can't say - the bandwidth/latency upgrades probably aren't important there for people outside.

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (2, Informative)

Xerfas (1625945) | about 5 years ago | (#29475669)

Yes, LTE is backward compatible

The LTE specification provides downlink peak rates of at least 100 Mbps, an uplink of at least 50 Mbit/s and RAN round-trip times of less than 10 ms. LTE supports scalable carrier bandwidths, from 20 MHz down to 1.4 MHz and supports both Frequency Division Duplexing and Time Division Duplexing. Part of the LTE standard is the System Architecture Evolution, a flat IP-based network architecture designed to replace the GPRS Core Network and ensure support for, and mobility between, some legacy or non-3GPP systems, for example GPRS and WiMax respectively.[5] The main advantages with LTE are high throughput, low latency, plug and play, FDD and TDD in the same platform, improved end-user experience and simple architecture resulting in low operating expenditures. LTE will also support seamless passing to cell towers with older network technology such as GSM, cdmaOne, W-CDMA (UMTS), and CDMA2000.

As seen here []

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475823)

Let's not forget where LTE comes from. The standardization was initiated by Ericsson more or less as a response to customer complaints about UMTS. Operators hate UMTS because the networks need a lot of laying on hands for setup and operation. While speed is what will be used to market LTE to consumers, easy configuration and self-organizing networks is what will be used to market LTE/SAE to operators. Expect LTE to replace UMTS just about everywhere within a decade. GSM is another story. It does what it does very well, and the operators are not in the same kind of hurry to get away from it.

And by the way, big previously non-3GPP operators such as Verizon have also formed the opinion that the CDMA track has come to its natural conclusion, and are migrating to LTE. Verizon's press releases indicate that they will have "full nationwide coverage" in the US by 2013. That usually means something like 90% population coverage.

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29476745)

Whether LTE gets deployed to suburban or rural areas I can't say - the bandwidth/latency upgrades probably aren't important there for people outside.

Actually, they're probably more important. In rural areas, LTE providers don't have much competition from wired Internet providers. My mother lives in rural England and the fastest connection she can get at home is the same speed as the UMTS connection I get from my phone when I visit her house. It's a lot cheaper to upgrade the tower providing UMTS coverage to support LTE than it is to upgrade the wiring running to her 200-year-old house to be able to carry a stronger signal. LTE in cities is also competing with WiFi in cafes and homes that have more bandwidth and a low (or zero) cost.

Re:Depends on when they will roll out wimax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478545)

"I don't think you'll have okish LTE connectivity until 2020".

Sorry, but you're wrong. You apparently didn't work with tht big Swedish company Ericsson, or with Alcatel-Lucent.

Ericsson already has test systems functional for Verizon in Boston (just completed testing for LTE Rel 8 standard) and Alcatel-Lucent has the same thing that passed in Seattle for Verizon. Verizon will be going live with LTE in January and has begun execution for brining LTE up in 30 markets for launch in 2010 covering 100 million potential customers. Nationwide coverage is expected to be completed in 2013. One of the key pieces is Ericsson's RBS 6000 basestation - its how they will get from CDMA to the new LTE stuff on the 700MHz bands. Ericsson has managed over-the-air speeds of up to 170 Mbit/s for LTE at its test sites, and I think I recall they are expecting 20-45Mbit for initial deployment. The big improvement is the low latency (~5ms).

AT&T has already selected E and A-L as the primary vendor and plans to roll out network wide in 2011, and MetroPCS just announced last week that they have selected Ericsson LTE for deployment starting in the latter half of 2010.

As for the terminals, the various chipsets have already been tested at over 100M-bit (mobile) in Germany, and are going through the handset makers Sony-Ericcson, Motorola and Qualcomm. LG and Samsung are already in pre-production run for the handsets with their chips.

How do I know this? I know some R&D people that work for Ericsson in North American Market Unit (Plano TX and Montreal CA) who have been setting up and performing the integration and verification tests.

Wimax is dead on arrival.

Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475285)

Just in time for a Duke Nukem Forever tournament!

LTE vs. LTID (1)

Informative (1347701) | about 5 years ago | (#29475313)

Now there's a debate.

Re:LTE vs. LTID (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 years ago | (#29475725)

What is LTID ?

Re:LTE vs. LTID (1)

paul248 (536459) | about 5 years ago | (#29478277)

I, for one, hope that LTE was intelligently designed.

clear sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475315)

all i gotta say is i use clear (clearwire) and it kinda sux... and they have you locked into a 2 year commitment, i want my cable back...

astroturf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475343)

this is the most retardedly transparent advertisement I've ever seen as a slashdot front page story

Re:astroturf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29475579)

You must be new here.

This is a non issue (5, Informative)

cybereal (621599) | about 5 years ago | (#29475519)

Research the technologies, it takes about 20 minutes, and you'll see that LTE and WiMax are nearly identical. Basically WiMax and LTE have different optimization strategies, but they operate on the same band ranges, the same equipment, etc. In nearly all cases, a firmware update could make a WiMax radio into an LTE radio.

As it is, WiMax is best suited for non-moving targets, or, alternatively, short range cells that would best suit a city with skyscrapers. It's not a big difference but it's there.

Anyway, clearwire has already made it ... clear... that they could switch to LTE if needed with minimal impact financially or technically, and minor research supports that claim.

Re:This is a non issue (2, Interesting)

Darth Cider (320236) | about 5 years ago | (#29475555)

I think this is astroturf too. I've seen it in other venues, as well. Business news, speculating about a Sprint bankruptcy. Sprint, propounding that they will back Clearwire if liquidity is a concern. It's all a lot of bullshit market manipulation, and not a Slashdot-worthy tech issue.

Re:This is a non issue (4, Insightful)

dantino (1640631) | about 5 years ago | (#29476237)

It's true that the underlying technologies behind LTE and WiMax are nearly identical. However, the telecommunications sector has shown over and over that politics/regulation play a more important role than technology. The main advantage brought forward by WiMax is that it is designed as a full IP solutions. Providers only sell the bandwidth (much like DSL), which is of interest to the final consumer since he make use of any internet application (voip, video conference, gaming, ..). This goes much against the traditional business model of mobile operator in the US. So, even if LTE, make it by 2010 (which I hugely doubt). It will likely be tied to an overpriced features business model (sms, voicemail, called id, etc)

broadband voice/data (1)

agrif (960591) | about 5 years ago | (#29475537)

LTE will eventually be a combined broadband voice/data solution that can do everything that WiMax can and more

I thought that, as a species, we had evolved beyond separating voice and data.

Come on, guys, everything's a number.

Re:broadband voice/data (1)

MrZilla (682337) | about 5 years ago | (#29475889)

I thought that, as a species, we had evolved beyond separating voice and data.

Come on, guys, everything's a number.

Yes, you are correct.

However, vendors will keep separating voice and data for the same reason that sending 255 bytes as an SMS is many many orders of magnitude more expensive than sending 255 bytes as raw data.

In the end, it all comes down to extracting as much money from the end user as is at all possible.

Re:broadband voice/data (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29476753)

Everything may be a number, but the requirements of packets can be very different. For bidirectional voice or video communication, you need relatively low bandwidth, low latency, and low jitter. For downloading a large file, you need high bandwidth and don't care about latency or jitter. For streaming video, you need quite high bandwidth, quite low jitter, and don't care about latency.

In 80 Cities (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 5 years ago | (#29475553)

In 80 cities? I mean CITIES? Hey, F the cities, pal, there's all kindza options in the cities. Don't ask me to cry the crocadile tears for those poor schmucks in the cities, get all this crap working out here in the middle of f'n nowhere - then you've got some progress. But having to wait for a connection when traveling between DC and Richmond, or Columbus and Toledo or Findlay? Fergeddaboudit. Cities are easy. Do something significant, and blanket the countryside... then you know you've done something...

Wimax is... (2, Insightful)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | about 5 years ago | (#29475573)

Wimax is what ISDN happen to be in 90's

In other news... (1)

Stratoukos (1446161) | about 5 years ago | (#29475599)

In other news, PowerBook G5 next Tuesday.

old adage ... (3, Funny)

nadaou (535365) | about 5 years ago | (#29475601)

The old adage applies: if someone claims they can predict the future, chances are they are trying to sell you something.

lol what? (3, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#29475629)

assuming 4 billion users

Can I have some of what that guy's smoking? There is hardly even 4 billion electricity users, let alone 4 billion literate people.

four billion GSM users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29476259)

assuming 4 billion users

Can I have some of what that guy's smoking? There is hardly even 4 billion electricity users, let alone 4 billion literate people.

It's an estimate, but the numbers are probably pretty close. 3.5B are supposedly on 2G technology.

And the only electricity you need access to is enough to charge your phone, which a small solar panel can probably handle. A mobile phone is essential to life in many parts of African (which isn't know for its robust grid):

Re:four billion GSM users (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29476787)

Note that not all GSM users are distinct people. In places like Japan there are more mobile phones than people, in lots of first-world countries it's common for people to have a work phone and a home phone. A lot of embedded devices, like irrigation systems, are now coming with GSM support for sending data home, rather than requiring being cabled in. Lots of laptops are now coming with HSPA hardware, which uses a separate SIM (and, therefore, counts as a different user) to the owner's mobile phone. 4 billion GSM users may only be 1.5 billion people.

Re:lol what? (3, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29476269)

I think you may have slept through a few decades. The ITU says 4.1 billion cellphone subscriptions by the end of 2008.

link []

Well over 4 billion have electricity. []

The world literacy rate is about 82%: about 5 billion. link []

everyone has cable anyways (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 years ago | (#29475635)

Anyone that counts (i.e. not a flyover state) has either cable or some kind of fiber like FiOS. Since that won't go away, why not just use the same connection for Internet?

Re:everyone has cable anyways (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29475831)

this is probably the most ignorant statement I'll read all month

what a dumbass (2, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#29475681)

hey i want a column writing stupid shit and getting paid for it.

he's clearly never heard of latency or the reliability issues of wireless. then again, he has managed to whore his crap on /. so he can't be all stupid...

Re:what a dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29476277)

Been on a wireless setup for the last year. My pings are 20ms and I've lost connection twice. Both times were due to lightning strikes. I had the connection back up within a day both times. In my book I call that pretty good considering the whole operation is run by one guy and his wife, and she doesn't climb towers. I'd love to see a higher speed and I'm subject to a pretty draconian bandwidth policy, but I really can't complain too much since it's either this or satellite.

So vaporware challenges vaporware? (0)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 years ago | (#29475683)

WiMax hasn't quite made it out the door yet and now this new wireless tech is "coming out" threatening to take 80% of ... the nothing that is already not being dominated.

Unquestionably there are problems with wireless technologies, but the most significant are those associated with deployment and adoption.

WiMax ..umm right (2, Insightful)

Rytr23 (704409) | about 5 years ago | (#29475797)

They(Sprint/Clearwire) have been trying to push Wimax for 4g mobile networks forever now and a lot of dummies have bought into it. LTE is going to be the 4g wireless standard. About the only thing Wimax is good for is last mile fixed position connectivity. Which is probably not a bad niche to service. But even Clearwire just said recently that they could easily flip to LTE with just a software push, so even they are hedging their bets.

Re:WiMax ..umm right (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | about 5 years ago | (#29476895)

...a lot of dummies have bought into it.

The only reason I use Xohm is because I refuse to give any of my money to Comcast or Verizon; I think that's a pretty reasonable decision and does not make me a dummy. That being said, I do get minimum 120ms latencies to anywhere, and that does suck sometimes.

WiMax isn't what they've promised (5, Interesting)

Shaman (1148) | about 5 years ago | (#29476343)

I own an ISP ( which does rural broadband, and we've been very successful at that. Sometimes performance isn't what people expect, but that's to be expected... just not by those people who want unlimited fibre to their cottage. ;)

WiMax has been shouted from mountaintop to mountaintop for the past six years. And it isn't really being deployed much. Why?

Let me tell you.

First of all, WiMax has a range of 10 miles. That's not so bad but in rural installations, it's just barely enough.

Secondly in many places, WiMax has a max emitted power of 43dbm. In others it has up to 58dbm. Either way, it's not that much power. Further, the wattage is about 15 watts for the CPE equipment and about 200 watts for the base station - but the base station cannot emit 200 watts to a single transmitter by law, so that's just a red herring unless you plan to build out a base station with multiple antennas (good idea for the first build). Many (Redline, Alvarion, Aperto) use 2.3 watts.

Third, line of sight is a major requirement for WiMax. 802.16d or 802.16e. It is possible to get some non line of sight connections at close range (2 miles) if the conditions are right, but in the end it's a high speed wave (2.3Ghz for the Clearwire + Inukshuk early adopters, 3.4-3.7Ghz for the later adopters like my company). High speed waves have a much higher chance of hitting a particle and stopping than lower speed waves. 400Mhz used for voice and cell data has a much better NLoS capability and 900Mhz radios we use for rural broadband are also quite good, especially at low power levels they are allowed. WiMax does, however, have pretty good NEAR line of sight capabilities, we're finding.

Fourth, WiMax standards aren't. Rarely will one device interoperate with another vendor's equipment. So those WiMax chips in your Intel laptop? Junk.

Fifth, performance of WiMax isn't as good as 5.8Ghz access points. That's right. WiMax uses a 5, 7 or 10Mhz channel and while 10Mhz has slightly better throughput, you're not going to see much of that because of antenna spacing and distance characteristics. It's "54Mbps" rating per base antenna ($5,000 U.S. per + antenna) works out to 23Mbps aggregate at a 50% RX/TX spacing, which means 10.5Mbps in either direction.... although some companies are talking about a 75TX/25RX percentage split in upcoming firmware. In any case, it's not a panacea, and yes that bandwidth is shared between up to 200 people per base station.

Sixth, WiMax gear is really expensive. Everything about it is expensive, from base stations to subscriber modules, to tower placement, to purchasing licenses for transmitting.

Seventh, because it's licensed and it is a high-speed wave, it's mostly useless except to rural customers. Not to mention that nobody wants 15 watts of emitted power on their crotch.

Eigth, you will need to register your transmitter with Industry Canada or the FCC in the States. Maybe both. Not only is this fairly complex to do unless you're a service provider, you may find yourself having to bid on spectrum or with the 3.65Ghz band, you may be told that another transmitter is too near to you and you'll have to coordinate with that operator.

So. That's WiMax. It's not much good to most people, it has limited abilities to provide rural service (only better than 2.4Ghz WiFi because it's got more output power and has a licensed clean channel), it's really expensive, it's not fast enough and it's got complex licensing.

Why are we using it? We are desperately in need of another frequency, since we have filled many of our 900Mhz radios and the 5.8Ghz radios are not good for rural use at all (no near or non line of sight ability). 2.4Ghz is a dirty frequency with a lot of operators and power-company "smart meters" in it (that's a stupidity of a whole other level that needs a whole other discussion). So, it's WiMax.

BTW, those thinking city-wide WiFi is cool should do a little study on why it's not workable. I'll give an anecdote: KOS has a 2.4Ghz node over Napanee, Ontario which services about 20 customers (and others, but this is a good one). The tower is about a 1/4 mile from any structure and is 130' in height. Yet in the radios list, it shows about 50 other access points. Yes, about 50. These are not our subscribers, they are just radios transmitting on 2.4Ghz WiFi in the area. Even better, we know that two competitors are running 2.4Ghz Motorola Canopy units which won't show up in our list. UGLY.

Re:WiMax isn't what they've promised (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29476739)

I fully agree, I work for a business isp up here in canada that has a wimax product that we position at 3mbps x 640kbps iirc and we have nothing but trouble with it. Some of that is our horrible management tool which is unrelated to the tech, but the modems that we use are junk (but still cost 300$ a pop). Our towers can barely support 30 or so subscribers before users suffer performance issues. It suffers from tower hopping when in close proximity to multiple strong towers (unlike cell phones, wimax does not transfer cleanly between towers). As far as range, the absolute best I have ever seen is 18km in a rural area that was only possible because of the absolute best combination of beneficial factors. In our cities, we have users 1km away from a tower unable to get signal due to interference sources. We have quite a bit of coverage, but we're hearing rumours that they want to phase it out potentially because it just does not live up to our expectation so that major investment will probably go to waste.

Re:WiMax isn't what they've promised (1)

ipb (569735) | about 5 years ago | (#29477765)

I've had Clearwire service for something lilke three years now, Speeds were good, reliability the same, and I''ve anxiously awaited the deployment of WiMax.

Now that I have it, it doesn't work at all.

The old system gave me 2-3 bars of signal from a site about 5 miles away, WiMax gives me nothing.
There's a new site only ten blocks away, and from it I get nothing unless I put the modem ten feet above my roof (I taped it to a pole to test)

Clear's recommendation?
Find a way to permanently mount my modem above the roof or switch to another service.

With this kind of support, they're going to die.

Re:WiMax isn't what they've promised (1)

strstr (539330) | about 5 years ago | (#29477859)

"which means 10.5Mbps in either direction"

Wrong! Sprint 4G users currently getting 16Mbps down and 6Mbps up.

See for yourself [] .

Funny (1)

jav1231 (539129) | about 5 years ago | (#29476791)

An interesting note that the OP is talking about what LTE WILL do compared to what WiMax is DOING! Bird in the hand, People.

What abour rural America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29477825)

Why is any money being invested in "new" technology for major cities while those of us that live in rural areas still suffer with dial-up or insufferably slow satellite or cellular service. Lets invest this money in equalizing the playing field for everybody. Us "poor dumb farm boys" aren't always dumb by choice. Sometimes we just don't have any good options.

Old news is... you know the joke (1)

Neuticle (255200) | about 5 years ago | (#29478295)

I was about to rip on TFA for being poorly informed and very out of date, then I re-read the top:

By Matt Hamblen
May 14, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Good job submitting a link that's over a year old CWmike, did you have to use the wayback machine to find that?

Biggest problems with WiMax: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29478409)

- Only ONE of all the users can have the maximum speed in the same area. If others use it too, it drops. Which for thousands of users can easily mean a very crappy bandwidth.
- Everyone can access and potentially crack it, without having physical access.
- General pointlessness to replace the wired connection of stationary devices with it because... [HYPEHYPEHYPEHYPESCREAMHYPEBLINGHYPEHYPEHYPE]

For mobile devices it's OK when well encrypted, because you've got no choice. But if you can use cables, their bandwitdh will always be higher, and their connection safer. If only because you can use the full spectrum for yourself alone.

SIngle vs. dual frequency (1)

isdnip (49656) | about 5 years ago | (#29479697)

WiMAX is optimized for single-frequency (time division duplex) use. It works on single channels in the 2.3, 3.65 or 2.6 GHz bands, for instance. Clearwire has lots of 2.6 licenses.

LTE is optimized for dual-frequency (frequency division duplex) use, as are cell phones. It will eventually replace TDMA (GSM) and CDMA. It will initially coexist with them; the carriers will roll out LTE on some frequencies while preserving their legacy digital networks. This is sort of how the analog-digital transition (and the 2G-3G, for GSM operators; CDMA 2G and 3G are compatible) worked.

Yes, there is dual-frequency WiMAX and there might even be a spec somewhere for single-frequency LTE. But the two specs are similar. Both (this refers to the later "mobile" WiMAX) use OFDMA transmission and multiple antennas (for range or speed). They license some of the same patents. So if a licensee (Clearwire) is sitting on unpaired spectrum, they'll use WiMAX, and if they're paired, they'll used LTE.

And it's thus likely that in practice, WiMAX will act more like the Internet, while LTE, owned mostly by VZW and ATT, will be constrained to "wireless web" crap, charging by the message or picture, restricting the "app" you're allowed to use, etc.

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