Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

2.4 Megabit Cellular Modem

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the dream-the-impossible-dream dept.

Technology 176

lew writes: "Ars has a review of a cellular modem that provides 2.4 megabits / second downsteam and 153 kilobits / second upsteam... and it works! Check it out" How much for unmetered service on such a system? :)

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272483)

FP for me!

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272507)

Congratulations on your non-logged in FP!
Kudos, mr AC!

And let me be first to say "this is a HOAX!"

Re:FP (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272997)

kindly lick my ballsac you worthless ac.

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#3273008)

When I opened this thread to view the crapflooder discussion at the top of the list, I was greatly distressed to find that an AC had gained the upper hand and acquired the FP.

This must not stand...

Therefore, in the name of all logged in trolls and crapflooders on Slashdot, all still present, and all that have moved on, I do hereby annex and claim ownership of this FP.

The battle against ACs has been going on since the inception of Slashdot. Yesterday represented a great blow against AC legions. Those individuals with their precious Karma Whore accounts who check the "Post Anonymously" button were rebuked by the leadership here. For once, I was genuinely pleased by something the leadership had done. I was quite distressed this morning to see that the ACs had moved back in and were once again setting up shop.

CmdrTaco, reinstitute this wall! Anonymous posting has been abused for too long. Now Anonymous Cowards work dilligently to remove the functionality from user-created discussions. Thousands of script generated messages are posted to these discussions in the hopes of halting meaningful communications. They know that a full assault on the front-page is too much too soon, so instead they attack in the shadows. First user-created-discussions, next YRO, then Apple, then the Front Page.

These terrorists are no better than the suicide bombers in Palestine. Driven by some sick code of ethics, they move forward believing that chaos is better than order, authoritarianism better than intellectualism.

I urge you CmdrTaco, make these individuals associate a name with their actions, a name that may be scorned and reviled.

In the name of all things good and right, I urge you CmdrTaco to remove AC posting abilities. You will not regret it.

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3273026)

Here here. I second this!

--Shoeboy, posting anonymously to preserve precious faggotry

unmetered. (2)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272491)

Ummetered? The best your ever gonna find is cellphone minute charges. But they might give you special web minutes at a slightly cheaper rate if you use it often enough. Or get free nights and weekends, to play your cellphone evercrack.

Re:unmetered. (2, Insightful)

fatgav (555629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272520)

I think most likely will be a per MB charge as the 2.5g systems are. Gonna rack up the pounds/dollars/euros/yen mighty quickly at those speeds though! ;)

Re:unmetered. (2, Interesting)

grungeKid (4260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272656)

I have unmetered GPRS (aka 2.5 G) access right now, real cheap as well. Of course, this is partly because my carrier wants people to become used to the service, then they will probably start some sort of metered access... then again, maybe not, as one of the virtual carriers here in sweden just introduced unmetered SMS service. I don't find it improbable that specialized virtual carriers will offer unmetered data transfer.

Re: Metered service (4, Informative)

Raetsel (34442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272659)

I miss Ricochet. I ended up moving into an area where they offered service -- 6 months too late. (Dammit.) They were the only ones offering flat-rate service, although only at 128-256 Kbit. Yes, I know they're trying to re-light the network, but that's not happening up here -- at the last I'd heard.

1. THIS WAS A SERVICE TEST. They set up a few cell towers just for this engineering test.

2. Fat chance any cell provider will give you an all-you-can-eat plan! That's for businesses, you don't need that! You're just a consumer so take our advertising and consume!


I've become so cynical regarding cellphone companies and their greed that I can easily see them crippling this service to the point where it's no fun for any of us. I expect:

  • Throttled service levels (want more speed? PAY!)
  • Outrageous fees per kilobyte (want a discount to buy blocks of bytes? forget it...)
  • and "service" plans that sell you a dozen features you don't want, just to get the features you do.
We've become so used to "paying for minutes" that the cellphone companies aren't going to let that go without (1) a lot of money, or (2) a fight. I know people that pay "only" $40/month for cell service, yet barely use a quarter of their 'allotment' -- the rest of their money is wasted! It amazes me that people continue to accept this... I guess it shouldn't.

Oops, flubbed a tag... (2)

Raetsel (34442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272683)

The line was supposed to read:
  • Outrageous fees per kilobyte (want a discount to buy blocks of megabytes? forget it...)
Oh, and about that modem offering up 8 IPs? You can forget about that feature ever seeing the light of day -- unless you pay them a few (hundred | thousand) extra dollars a month.

Re: Metered service (3, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272747)

You're entirely right. Cell phone pricing is silly, and I'm sure the vaunted 3G wireless will be underpowered and overpriced.

But changing that starts at the bottom of the communications industry, not the top. Why do cell phones have minute-based plans? Because land-line long distance does. They cost more because the consumer perceives greater value in the cell phone service (which is accurate), and therefore not only is willing, but demands to pay more. It's no secret that most people equate "more expensive" with "better."

Why does long distance charge per minute? Because local calls are flat-fee. Again, greater perceived value requires higher cost.

The same will be true of 3G connectivity. The only way to change that is to start at the bottom--why aren't local calls included gratis with the cost to have a phone line to a building?Why aren't long-distance calls flat-rate?

If that changed, everything above it would shift downwards. Either that, or someone has to hammer home to the public at large that cost and value don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.

Of course, if Windows hasn't done that already, I don't know that there's much hope...

Re: Metered service (4, Insightful)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272808)

Hang on...not everything should be flat-rate.

When my girlfriend and I lived in separate states, our long-distance bill was huge...but we expected that. We were able to minimize it by using calling cards and talking in the evening.

Now my girlfriend and I live together...and our long-distance bill is small. If there was a flat rate for long-distance, it would certainly be higher than I'm paying now. All that would do is anger the 80% of people who use a less than average amount of long distance. (Yes, my math is right - the top 20% of long-distance callers talk five times as long.)

I would actually be willing to pay for cable/DSL by the megabyte. Why? Because that would encourage grandma would be able to get DSL for $3 a month because she just checks email. I'd pay $60 a month, but I'd be getting my money's worth. And when I go out of town for two weeks, my bill would reflect it.

Having the option of a flat-rate plan is fine, but I think that it's not best for most people.

Re: Metered service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272915)


Re: Metered service (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272920)

Sorry, I didn't clarify properly: I didn't mean flat-rate per month, I meant flat-rate per call. You're right: flat-rate per month would hurt the majority of consumers, much the same way flat-rate per month cell phone bills (plus the overuse surcharge, of course) hurt the majority of consumers (myself included).

Re: Metered service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272978)

My girlfriend currently lives far away... AT&T just came out with a flat rate long distance plan so long as you talk to other AT&T customers... otherwise it's metered. It's worked out great. $20 a month and we call eachother all we want.

Re: Metered service (1)

ercollin (309408) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272812)

Check out p

Slow transmissions. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272494)

Why do all the new broadband technologies limit the upload to a very slow speed? 2.4Mbps is nice and all, but for it to be useful beyond surfing the web 153Kbps doesn't leave for much of anything else.

Re:Slow transmissions. (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272581)

The vast majority of what people do in situations that would require a cellular modem would be largely downstream, so I doubt there are many customers at all that would find the 153Kbps upstream limiting (especially given that most cellular connections nowadays are about 14Kbps at best). i.e. I don't think many people want to host Quake3 games from their laptops over a cellular connection, but with those speeds you could play a game on another host just fine.

Re:Slow transmissions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272594)

because everyone on the web is just a mindless consumer of "content"

Re:Slow transmissions. (1)

Chris Parrinello (1505) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272684)

Along with the usual arguments of allocating bandwidth in ways that the large majority of consumers will use it (surfing the web, reading email, etc.) I would think that engineering a base radio that could receive up to 2.4Mbps from a small low powered radio (the battery operated cell modem) might be very difficult and certainly very expensive.

And the cell modem itself would probably go through its batteries very quickly at sustained throughputs of 2.4Mbps.

Re:Slow transmissions. (5, Informative)

joshuac (53492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272779)

Why do all the new broadband technologies limit the upload to a very slow speed? 2.4Mbps is nice and all, but for it to be useful beyond surfing the web 153Kbps doesn't leave for much of anything else.

Collisions. Same reason your upstream is often capped on a cable modem. On shared media you will get a lot of collisions from the individuals on the network as they choose to transmit at random times.

From the downstream perspective this is simple to control; you have one broadcast point, you simply queue things to be sent, and there are no collisions. On the upstream side, you need to know when someone else will be transmitting, and this is harder.

I imagine one way of doing this is to assign time slices to groups of people; you do not transmit unless it is your turn, and you compete with far fewer people (the others in your group). If you have 2.4Mbps available and you, say, divide this by 16 groups, you get a ~153Kbps window to transmit in (plus 9.6Kbps left over on the spectrum possibly for out of band housekeeping duties).

This is what is probably happening here.

Another options (and a long shot), but perhaps they are just plain mean (or not confident in their ability to control who uses their service) and want to discourage people from using the system to host anything. "Hey, our security is lousy, we know people will start stealing our wireless service to host copyrighted material/launch dos attacks from, maybe if we lock the bandwidth down at the tower this will not be attractive and the phreaks will go elsewhere".

Re:Slow transmissions. (2)

kaimiike1970 (444130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272785)

Did you want to run a warez server on your cellphone? Publish documents to the web? I think upstream on a phone is probably limited to 'thanks for the packet, it was good' over and over again or text messages.

Re:Slow transmissions. (2)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272902)

"Publish documents to the web?" cellphone will be the gateway FOR MY LAPTOP!

And remote access tools work pretty good on the 128kb capped Cable modem I've got at home...

Re:Slow transmissions. (1)

nosphalot (547806) | more than 12 years ago | (#3273001)

Another reason for limiting upstream bandwidth is based on transmitter power. The transmitter at the base station of a cell tower has lots of power, whereas the phone must run off of a battery. Since the transmission from the mobile phone is of lower power, it must slow the transmission rate to allow for more errors and noise in the signal.

great... (3, Funny)

Artifex (18308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272495)

I can use my Voicestream unlimited weekend minutes to trade Jamie Curtis movies and pictures, now...

fp on my new phone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272499)

Crapflooding at 153kb upstream, beeyatch? twice?

so... (0, Troll)

kidtexas (525194) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272503)

now I can watch por^H^H^H WMV's on my cell phone?

How much for unmetered service on such a system? : (1)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272506)

"How much for unmetered service on such a system? :) "

I will bid an arm ...oh and my leg too...

that's PER CELL (3, Interesting)

Syre (234917) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272510)

What that article doesn't mention, and what people usually don't know when discussing 3G mobile is that the data rates quoted are PER CELL not PER USER (unless only one user per cell is active at a given moment).

This is the big lie of 3G mobile. In cities, it will never support the data rates they keep talking about because of the duty cycle: the number of users per cell at any one moment.

Re:that's PER CELL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272533)

sounds like the cable modem myth to me....

Re:that's PER CELL (2, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272555)

Yeah, but think about what most of those users are going to be doing with the connection: looking at web pages, reading email, and instant messaging people.

None of those are terribly bandwidth-intensive...the average user will probably feel pretty much exactly like they were sitting on a consumer broadband line.

Of course, if you mean to use it for downloading a DivX;-) version of LotR, you might run into (and cause) some problems...

Re:that's PER CELL (4, Funny)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272736)

I can just see it now:

Scene: AirPort Terminal;

Business man : WTF!!! how come it is taking so frigen long to down load my itinerary from the company? man this service sucks ass, not letting me download a frigen 4k file!!

1337 Kiddy: cool dude!! I almost got Office XP Downloaded from Kazaz to my Pocket PC!!!

Re:that's PER CELL (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272784)

Of course, you have exhaustive data to support your observations about the different usage patterns of internet users, right?

Remember, even with Yahoo News, just "looking at web pages" includes streaming video. A lot - a *lot* - of people like streaming audio. P2P is pretty ubiquitous - what if your cell is the one that a dorm room is near? Etc. etc.

Re:that's PER CELL (5, Insightful)

grnbrg (140964) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272913)

Yeah, but think about what most of those users are going to be doing with the connection: looking at web pages, reading email, and instant messaging people.

The cable companies brought out DSL and didn't worry too much about that fact that heavy use could saturate the local segment of the network, because very few people would ever be downloading multi-megabyte files, they'd just be looking at web pages, reading email and instant messaging people....

Then Napster happened.

It's just a matter of time before someone figures out a high-bandwidth app that Joe Public wants on his phone.

Want an example? Wouldn't it be cool if Nokia (or someone else) put one of these modems, a small colour LCD, camera, and video conferencing software into a cheap phone? Suddenly everyone is sending/recieving high-bandwith multi-media streams, 'cause everyone just *has* to have a videophone.

Demand will always grow to exeed limitations, usually in ways that could not be predicted when the limitations were imposed.


Re:that's PER CELL (2, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272980)

True enough, but the fact that its capacity will be exceeded at some point doesn't make the per-cell limitations any worse than any other ultimately inadequate broadband solution. I'm not saying this will be better than wired broadband (in terms of bandwidth availability), I'm just saying it won't be worse.

Not to mention it's far and away better than the "wireless web" capabilities built into current cell phones, vastly superior to current cell modems, and just kind of neat in general.

I just think it's overly harsh to call the cell-shared nature of its bandwidth the "big lie" of 3G. It's no more nor less true than any other marketing claim; it has to be considered in context.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272601)

Which bit of "that 2.4 Mbps is shared among all users on a cell sector, just like cable bandwidth is shared by everyone in a neighborhood" don't you understand?

Re:that's PER CELL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272609)


You mean my like 10Mbps Ethernet network shares its bandwidth?? I've been lied to! OMFG!

You ANIMALS! How could you!? sob...

Re:that's PER CELL (5, Informative)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272701)

What that article doesn't mention, and what people usually don't know when discussing 3G mobile is that the data rates quoted are PER CELL not PER USER (unless only one user per cell is active at a given moment).

Try reading the entire article. Page 3 [] , near the bottom, does a nice job of explaining this, and why it's not such a big deal:

Which brings us to the next point: that 2.4 Mbps is shared among all users on a cell sector, just like cable bandwidth is shared by everyone in a neighborhood. What's a sector, then? Cell sites are generally divided into three sectors that each cover different parts of the surrounding area, so each site can have up to 7.2 Mbps of bandwidth to play with. In contrast to cable, bandwidth in 1xEV is intelligently scheduled to maximize throughput for everyone. The modems actively monitor signal strength and request the highest data rate they can handle without dropping too many packets. If the packet error rate gets too high, the system switches to a more reliable transmission scheme and the data rate is throttled down. The cell site uses a sophisticated scheduling algorithm that tracks the modem's average receive signal strength from millisecond to millisecond and takes advantage of local peaks in the signal conditions to send packets when they are most likely to get through. That way, bandwidth is not wasted on packets that will likely have to be retransmitted anyway, and one user with a bad connection can't cause a storm of retransmits that slows down service for everyone. Of course, if everybody on your sector is doing large downloads at the same time, the bandwidth will be divvied up among them, factoring in signal conditions. Of some consolation is that fact that your typical usage scenario is rather more sporadic: you download a web page for maybe 10 seconds, then stare at it for a minute, and so on. When you aren't actually downloading, the airwaves are free for someone else to surf. The likelihood of everyone clicking at once is very low, and the average response as seen by any particular user is pretty good; that's the miracle of statistical multiplexing.

Re:that's PER CELL (3, Funny)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272872)

The likelihood of everyone clicking at once is very low...
And this, fellow /.ers, is where the whole plan falls apart. I can hear the execs in their boardroom now: "Damn you Taco!"

It is a big deal (1)

alder (31602) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272927)

3G is marketed [] for videoconferencing.... How exactly "the miracle of statistical multiplexing" would help there?!

Re:that's PER CELL (2, Informative)

mellifluous (249700) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272755)

There seems to be a lot of confusion running around on this issue. I would recommend looking at this whitepaper [] . Admittedly, it is from the CDMA development group web page, so take some of the spectral efficiency claims with a grain of salt. Still, it is a pretty good introduction, and there are some other helpful papers on the technology there.

Re:that's PER CELL (4, Informative)

aquarian (134728) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272763)

Nonsense. If demand warrants it, they'll add more cells, just like they've been doing all along. In high density areas, there are more cells than you'd believe- dedicated cells to serve single buildings, or crowded public areas. As long as the *number of paying customers* warrants it, providers will beef up their networks to ensure good service. The problem will be in the low density areas- rural counties with only a few paying customers, one or two of whom like to smutsurf on their cigarette breaks.

Re:that's PER CELL (2)

Jordy (440) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272943)

Actually... it isn't per cell but per channel (1.25 MHz for 1x and 3x uses 3 channels.) The number of channels you can have is dictated by the frequency spectrum a provider bought at auction.

Needless to say, some providers have more than one channel of bandwidth allocated.

jesus saves (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272516)

and darwin kills.

So, what's going to happen when everyone uses it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272522)

Sure, it works great when it's just a prototype and you're more or less the only one on. What happens to performance once you get everyone using it in a densely populated area? In big cities during peak times, the existing digital cell phone network drops enough calls as it is for me.

Re: 2.4 Megabit Cellular Modem (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272524)

So now I can download Morpheus movies on my Nokia?

Re: 2.4 Megabit Cellular Modem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272750)

I think that you're pretty dumb. Please do us all a favor and don't post anymore. Thanks

mm.. (1)

skilef (525335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272526)

Does that mean my sms will arrive faster?

What good is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272539)

Other than to stream pr0n on your phone?

zzzzzzzzzz (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272541)

tiny upstream bandwidth, no thanx. give me moochable 802.11 any day.

Re:zzzzzzzzzz (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272866)

what are you gonna do? serve up a web page from your PDA or Cell phone?

lcd technology (-1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272542)

I will be impressed when they come up with an lcd screen that is bright enough that you can see it with th sun behind you.

kickass (0, Troll)

GutBomb (541585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272554)

pr0n on the bus!

Better question (3, Funny)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272568)

How long before there are enough Quake and Home Porn/Warez servers filling the airwaves with frags and grainy shots of Britney Spears to make it as slow as a 56k connection on a bad phone line.

Eww, just think, I could have a pirated copy of Windows XP wisping its way through my body in the form of radio waves. That alone might add credence to the celluar gives cancer argument.

Re:Better question (1)

esper (11644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272893)

I could have a pirated copy of Windows XP wisping its way through my body in the form of radio waves.

Better not let Senator Hollings find out - he'd require that you have a DRM device fitted. We might even be required by law to wear tinfoil suits... (But at least we know why everyone dressed like that in old sci-fi shows.)

Re:Better question (1)

carm$y$ (532675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272912)

If you are worried, imagine the panic that hit this guy [] . :)

Re:Better question (1)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272922)

Well ... just think where that guy from is going ...

You'll get charged one way or another (2, Insightful)

ramdac (302865) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272571)

...You just watch.

I know how these phone companies are. They'll either use CDPD billing or some other way to charge you.

They'll either charge you by the minute or by the byte. Either way you'll get reamed.

500th redundant joke time! (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272572)

This is great! I can stream porn at high speeds to my cell phone!

Oh and also..Microsoft sucks!

No thanks (1, Funny)

marian (127443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272582)

The pathetic upstream bandwidth implies to me that the only use this is going to see is faster downloads to your phone of targeted ads.

More of a nightmare (3, Insightful)

DickPhallus (472621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272591)

Picture this: you're sitting on the beach sipping something cold and sweet while browsing your favorite website, listening to some streaming audio, and communicating with a friend or co-worker. You have untethered bandwidth at your fingertips. Pipe dream? No, it's 3G.

I suppose this is an unpopular opinion, but isn't the purpose of 'getting away' actually to avoiding talking to a co-worker? I mean I would love the bandwidth they talk about at home but it's just not here yet.

The last thing I want on the beach is some dweeb cellphone going off 'cos his download of the latest Britney video is done. Just enjoy your vacations and leave the office crap at home.

Right on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272661)

This is why I refuse to use a cell or give my cow-irkers my personal email (they're all lusers so they won't get it without mt) -- Come 5PM (or maybe 7PM if the day's been hectic) I AM DONE. I am OFF THE JOB. And may God show the mercy I lack if you actually have the balls to try to make me deal with work on a VACATION!

Re:Right on. (2, Insightful)

esper (11644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272939)

Sure, if you follow the "normal" pattern of going into an office for n hours, then going home, that's entirely reasonable. But what about those of us with enlightened bosses who say things like, "Why don't you stay at home and work on project X tomorrow"? In the middle of summer, I'd love to be able to spend the day writing code at the beach while watching my email and maybe sshing in to check out a server problem instead of having to do it from home.

The ability to work from anywhere can also be used to let you get away from it all while working, not just to let work follow you when you're trying to get away.

Re:More of a nightmare (1)

bombom (168256) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272799)

The last thing I want on the beach is some dweeb cellphone going off 'cos his download of the latest Britney video is done. Just enjoy your vacations and leave the office crap at home.

Hmm..... downloading titney videos is something you do at work? I want that job! ;-)

Re:More of a nightmare (1)

kaimiike1970 (444130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272847)

Some of us are 'in the office' when we are sitting on the beach or just hanging out at home with the family. Technologies such as this might allows us to alter the paradigm and give workers less reason to need to 'get away from it all'

Re:More of a nightmare (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272960)

Technologies such as this might allows us to alter the paradigm and give workers less reason to need to 'get away from it all'

That's been one of the premises of technology for a long time, but it always seems to accomplish the opposite -- tethering instead of freeing. My wife has a marketing job. Her cell rang 4 times this morning before 6:30 AM, simply because someone *could* call her, they did. No emergency, no 5 alarm fire, just someone who had the number.

Probably comes with 2M storage... (1)

Monte (48723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272592) much for downloading distros to your uber-leet cellphone.

So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272595)

It'll be 4 or 5 years before this gets established enough to bring the price levels down to anywhere near earthbound mortal levels. Only big businesses and rich tycoons will be able to play here for the first couple of years (just like cell phones). I can see some security issues with this though. A few mods to a scanner that you can hook up to a PC and you got yourself a wireless packet sniffer!

check monet wireless for service with this card (4, Informative)

ripaway (546509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272605)

Monet Mobile Networks [] provides wireless broadband in rural areas using cdma2000 1xRTT (144kbps), and is upgrading to 1xEV-DO which provides 2.4mbps downstream and 144kbps up. The already have 1xEV-DO trial network Manhattan, Kansas. Their service fee is a flat 49.95 a month, unlimited usages. They also have 1xRTT service up in Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D.
Here [] is more info on the 1xEV-DO network.

yet ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272611)

i still live 500 feet out of range for dsl

can't these tech companies fix shit that's broken before coming out with new stuff?

This is useless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272648)

Let's admit it: the only purpose for broadband is pron, porn, Porn, pr0n and FREE ADULT PICXXXX.
Up to now, this content was transmitted by high resolution images. For the transfer of these images broadband access was pressingly needed.
However modern XML technology makes the high-res images obsolete (like linux).
The main principle is brilliant, but yet very simple: pornographic images consists usually of genitals during copulation. All what is needed is therefore a markup language which is able to describe the relative locations and some basic attributes of the genitals. This is now possible by the PornML [] standard. PornML conforms the XML standard and the documents can be displayed with any XML enabled device (with pron plugin). Due to the very small size of the PornML documents only very little bandwith is needed, enabling users everywhere to jerk off to high quality internet porn.

2.4Mbps? Well, Not Actually (3, Interesting)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272665)

Ars has a review of a cellular modem that provides 2.4 megabits / second downsteam and 153 kilobits / second upsteam... and it works! Check it out

That's the optimal, best-case, never-gonna-see-it-in-real-life (unless you're testing the system before it's released to the public) speed. In real life use you'll be sharing with everyone else on the cell, just like a neighborhood of cable modems.

From the article: Which brings us to the next point: that 2.4 Mbps is shared among all users on a cell sector, just like cable bandwidth is shared by everyone in a neighborhood. What's a sector, then? Cell sites are generally divided into three sectors that each cover different parts of the surrounding area, so each site can have up to 7.2 Mbps of bandwidth to play with.

And FWIW, latency: Round trip times were in the 110-120 ms range on average, with the minimum I recorded coming in a bit under 80 ms.

Drug salad: the quickening. (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272670)

Day is usual. Mom sends me to the store to buy $4L4|) 70pp1nz for her drug salad. You see, she is down with Spinach and lettuce with LSD, but what she doesn't know is that I've been working on an addiction myself.

The relatives of gelatin hold isotopes of opiates, and so I can slip some heroin, methodone, or morphine into her salad, and she'll be none the wiser.

This is what I think of when I shoot up at the deli section at Safeway.

Last page most important for real world use (2)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272671)

I think the most important part of the article is where the point is brought up about per Kb download cost. If you want people to buy this and the related service as a broadband app, you have to make that it doesn't end up costing more to download something than it would to buy it. This would kill wireless broadband faster than it could be deployed.

Charging a flat fee would probably not work because of the 2% that would use 98% of the available bandwidth. However simply charging per minute would not penalize the userbase for using this for the intended use. This would also address the points of the article about being able to get the multimedia that your buying this for. In short, the lesson for 3G providers, don't kill the market that your trying to create.

Debate: Is unmetered bandwidth a myth? (-1)

AnonymousCowheard (239159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272675)

(*This post is quite long and is well worth the reading*)
(*spoiler: Vice President of WebStream Internet Solutions makes a verry good point about "unmetered" data bandwidth*)

I received an unsolicited (spam) eMail from a webstream administrator trying to market to me for webhosting. I've taken a verry sincere approach to spam recently by threatening every spammer with an invisible sword, but the eMail I got from webstream gave me an opportunity to respond with a good question...Unlimited Bandwidth. And so I asked the "said" webstream marketer a good question and I received a verry nice eMail from the Vice President! Here is the message I received back from Vice President Dubec...


Question -

"If you have unmetered bandwidth, how does one
find out if you are really getting that?"

There is no such thing as unmetered bandwidth available. The
unmetered idea is a sales / marketing concept based upon the fact
that few web sites ever hit 1GB, much less 2, 6, or 20 GB (our
limits without added charge, dependent on hosting option
purchased). Most of the "unmetered" company's will dump you if you
get too much bandwidth. Read the agreement and you will find an
excessive bandwidth clause.
This said, if they are a commercial server, check your logs
summary. This tells you how much traffic, bandwidth, and more that
your web site is using. If all you have available is a counter, you
are getting ripped off -- visitor logs, and a summary over the past
year is a mark of a hosting professional.

2) How does one find out when you have exceeded
the bandwidth limit and are being cut??

A harp here. Never go with a hosting company that offers unlimited
anything. It is unrealistic. Go with one that has limits, WITH
added costs if you exceed the norms. That is the mark of a
knowledgeable, established, and true professional hosting
company. (Remember, a full use of a T1 is $600-$1,200 per month.
Expecting that someone would allow a site to use $1,200 of cost for
receipts of $20 is stupid. Same thing for space. If I have a 20Gb
drive on the server and you use it all, then my costs are $300 for
the server lease alone-excluding traffic, accordingly don't expect
a bill for $20.)

3) What happens when the bandwidth limit is exceeded??
Depends on your ISP. Unlimited companies usually just dump you --
if you lose business, so be it. (We have several clients that are
now with us, and came to use because they went through this very
situation. Losing $1,000's in the process) Others, such as
ourselves, notify you that you have exceeded normal limits and give
you options, such as purchasing bandwidth or other needs as
prepurchased, spot market, etc.

4) What's the bear minimum of bandwidth required
by any web site??

Few successful web sites ever exceed 1 GB per month. We have one
that is generating $60,000 in gross sales per month and they are
still at only 1.2 GB per month in traffic. In my experience, the
exceptions are software manufacturers (which allow the visitor to
download software), and large companies. (We host some sites in the
University of Colorado and other colleges and their traffic demands
are pretty high.)

5) When you have a 5000MB limit for your site, how many
people can access your site at the same time without any

Sorry, wrong measurement criteria. I can give you any traffic limit
I want and it does not relate to access at the same time. If we are
talking people per second, the real issue is server load, not
traffic load. With eight redundant connections, my server load is
my limitation as a web host. The server load depends on programs
running on the specified server, and other issues. 1,000 people
accessing per second is our usual stated limit, however, it appears
that the real limit on a UNIX server of the type we run is much

George Dubec
Vice President of Corporate Sales
WebStream Internet Solutions

Snowcrash (3, Funny)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272679)

Now perhaps I've been reading too much Neal Stephenson lately, but...

Do I foresee roving bands of samurai-warrior-programmers with laptops and wearable interfaces to the 'metaverse'?

Yes I do!

Well, maybe not Samurai Warriors, but pale geeks, surely! (And soon, perhaps not so pale?)

Could the stereotypical geek image change from pasty-faced teens languishing in a darkened computer room to well-traveled, olive-skinned men on beaches with laptops? (Oooh, look, live porn! ... no wait, those are just real girls getting a suntan.)

How much will civilization change when high-tech commuters can work from anywhere -- literally?

1xEVDO available in the US (0, Offtopic)

ion (18545) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272693)

Press release []

What they didn't tell you......Don't always belive (0, Redundant)

liquidzero4 (566264) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272721)

The article was very poor. The article was obviously written based on marketing information only. I did notice at the end of the article that they had looked at some techinial documents but I don' think they were completly digested. WHAT THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU. 1. The 2.4 Mega Bits per second they mentioned is raw channel throughput. That means raw data, not necesarily your data. Some of this throughput is consumed by the Radio Data Link Access Protocol, retires on the network, other control protocols. You get what's left over, then on top that you might have TCP retries. 2. The 2.4 Mega bits that are mentioned are the maximum per channell. In real life no one user will be given an entire channel. So if there are ten concurent users on the chanell which is very probable divide whatever your max throughput is and dividr it by ten. 3. On top of this most likly the carriers will carry both voice and data on their networks. Even though there is almost no distinction between voice and data anymore voice will be carried by either voIP or another propriatery method and will always be given priority over data. My point, it's fast but don't think your going to be getting 2.4 megs bits per-second. In the end your real throughput will be much much less that 2.4 Mega Bits per second.

2.4 mb/s cellphone? (2)

hex1848 (182881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272725)

i thought april fools day was yesterday

How much? (1, Troll)

suso (153703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272769)

How much for unmetered service on such a system?

Bend over and they'll show you.

Peak usage times (2, Insightful)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272793)

In addition to the normal internet peak usage times, you can also through another one into the mix: rush hour traffic. I live in a major metropolitan city (of ~4 mil), and I can't hardly use my cell phone from about 4:30 to 5:30.

I wonder how that's going to work with data connections, that are constantly dropping and reestablishing? It'll be a mess, for sure.

umm, slight mirror since it's being slashdotted... (3, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272798)

this is the meat of the article. the pictures aren't really worth too much looking at. get a dvd case out and two black pens. there you go. here's the article:

The System

The particular 3G technology under examination in this review is called 1xEV-DO, which is a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology developed by Qualcomm. Picking apart the acronym is instructive. If you ask an engineer, the "1x" stands for "single carrier," which means it operates in a single 1.25 MHz frequency band just like existing CDMA cellular systems. If you ask a marketing rep, "1x" means the "first phase" of the third-generation wireless systems, implying more good things to come. The "EV" is for "Evolution," meaning the technology is an outgrowth of the base 1x standard, functioning as an interim solution for high-speed data while waiting for the "3x" multi-carrier systems being standardized by the ITU. "DO" stands for Data Only (the marketing guy would say "Data Optimized"), meaning that the entire 1.25 MHz channel is dedicated to data traffic and not shared with voice calls. So the present system implements the data-only variety of the evolution of the first phase of the third generation of wireless cellular technology. Got it?

If acronym soup isn't your bag, simply "fast" will do. 1xEV transmits in the same frequency bands as existing cellular systems and uses similar radio-frequency transmission equipment (the cell sites you see popping up everywhere), but employs packet-switched connections and a new radio link protocol optimized for high data throughput. The maximum speed of 1xEV -- no drooling now -- is 2.4 Megabits per second on the download link and 153.6 kilobits per second on the upload link. As you're probably thinking, that kind of bandwidth is on par with broadband wired connections like cable or DSL -- and the system delivers.

I was given the opportunity to test out an engineering prototype of a 1xEV-DO wireless cellular modem called the HDR Hornet, developed by Qualcomm as a reference design for their 3G chipsets. HDR is short for High Data Rate, Qualcomm's internal name for 1xEV. Qualcomm just makes the chips and does not sell retail devices, so you will not see this modem on the market. What you will see is a plethora of devices incorporating Qualcomm chips, from cell phones to PDAs to PC Cards to notebooks and devices that have yet to be conceived. Of course, any cellular technology without an appropriate infrastructure is about as useful as a frozen brick; Qualcomm also develops chips and software for cellular base stations, and the HDR modem under review was provided as part of a small over-the-air field trial conducted by Qualcomm in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego. There were three 1xEV cell sites set up on top of Qualcomm and UCSD buildings in the La Jolla, California area for the purpose of stress-testing the system in real-world conditions. Free bandwidth, in range of the beach? One stress test coming up!
The Setup

The unit I was supplied with came in a plain white box and a static-proof bag, along with an AC adapter, a dongle to connect the modem to an Ethernet jack, a two-page quick-start guide, and four Velcro stickies to attach it to a laptop. The Hornet itself is something between the size of a DVD movie box and a VHS cassette, measuring 7 1/8" x 4 1/8" x 3/4" HWD (18 cm x 10.5 cm x 1.9 cm) and weighing about 3/4 lbs. (0.35 kg). As you can see, the unit has two 5 3/4" (14.6 cm) antennae that independently swivel up about 200 from alongside the unit, enabling diversity reception for a stronger signal. Keep in mind that this is an engineering prototype; you will probably not see retail devices with this form factor. PC Cards and PDA modules with the same chips inside will likely be the most popular paths to 3G in the near future.

The first thing that struck me about the Hornet is that it looks pretty darn smooth for an engineering reference design, no frills, but all the essentials: AC adapter plug, on/off switch, USB port on the bottom, Ethernet dongle on the right, and four status LEDs on top that wrap around to the back so as to be visible while the unit is stuck to your laptop lid.

Installation and set-up can't be any easier. Taking a cue from the quick-start guide, the process goes something like this:

1. Plug it in.

2. Turn it on.

3. You're good to go.

The unit I was supplied with interfaced via TCP/IP over standard 10 Mbit Ethernet. The Hornet has a built-in DHCP server that automatically serves up the correct TCP/IP settings to your laptop and acts as your default gateway to the network. The connection is "always on" and there is no special dial-up or logon procedure. Having connected this thing to a dozen different computers, I can say that setup was simply a non-issue and took at most two minutes.

USB connectivity was not implemented on the test unit I received, but I can't imagine it being any easier to use than the Ethernet connection. USB will probably be the interface found in most external devices for laptops; unfortunately, this means you are at the mercy of the manufacturer for driver support and you will probably have to install a CD full of video-mail-grandma-with-one-click software to make it work. On the other hand, TCP/IP over Ethernet is standard, well-understood, supported out of the box by every operating system, and already used for Internet connectivity by most laptops. An Ethernet-enabled wireless modem would be a drop-in replacement for a huge installed base of users, but USB + Plug-and-Pray is perceived as being easier for consumers. Go figure. I tested the Hornet through its Ethernet interface with desktops and laptops using a variety of Ethernet cards under Windows 95, 98, and Me, Windows NT4, 2000, and XP, MacOS 8, 9, and X, and Mandrake Linux 7.1 (kernel 2.2.17). All worked flawlessly. A big nod goes to Qualcomm for sticking with open systems and standards. We can only hope retail products will do the same.

Once the unit is connected up and turned on, it takes about five seconds to initialize and then begins searching for a connection. If you're in a covered area, the service light goes green and the receive and transmit lights flash as the fire-breathing modem awakes and stretches its muscles. After living with this unit for a while, the sight of those lights when service comes up is like the geek's version of a well-tuned big-bore Harley's guttural rumble.

This is the best bet for home broadband (3, Interesting)

drew_kime (303965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272824)

As much as rolling this out will cost, it's still going to be less than rolling out high speed land lines. In places where local conditions (terrain, politics, the whims of Time Warner) make DSL or cable unavailable, this may be the way brodband finally comes to the consumer market in big numbers.

The most compelling reason to suspect this may happen is that you can do an incremental buildout. Put up a few cell towers in an area and sell service. As enough people sign up to demand more bandwidth, you can add towers. You can't do that with land lines.

Price it right please. (2)

UnifiedTechs (100743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272850)

Hopefuly they will do some decent pricing on this system, my biggest complaint with the web features of Sprint (my current cell provider) and many other cell carriers is they charge you for the time you access the web, by this I mean if I surf on my cell phone and stop to read a page for ten minutes I get charged for 10 minutes, not the 30 seconds it took to download the page. Most phones I know offer no way to download a page and then store it so you can read it latter without charge. Hopefully this sytem will charge me for actual download time or bandwidth, and not for the time I spend reading it.

No minute cost. (1)

pa3gvr (548273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272852)

3G providers in Europe are going to charge their cutomers per byte not per minute. They will look at raw data so their will be no differance between surfing and a voice call. NISY (no interesting sig yet)

Re:No minute cost. (1)

liquidzero4 (566264) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272890)

Not true. Voice is not charged as data. Although voice is data it is not billed as so, voice packets weather proprietary or VOIP are diferentiated. One other thing, Voice always has priority over data.

Unmetered service? (0, Offtopic)

parker (140273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272858)

Timothy says:

How much for unmetered service on such a system? :)

How much for unmetered service on Slashdot? :)

backwards (1)

mmusn (567069) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272860)

That seems completely backwards to me. People who are out and about generate data (audio, video) that they want to transmit home. The thing should be faster coming from the phone, not going to the phone.

april foolin (0, Redundant)

winse (39597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272863)

I thought april 1 was over? I'm always so there something I'm missing? Why the lies?

This is so cool (0, Redundant)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272886)


Now I can surf the 'net for ascii porn 1 character at a time at insane speed.

Can you feel the sarcasm? Pffft, what a useless feature.

USB interface. (1)

MrSeb (471333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272906)

" ... on/off switch, USB port on the bottom... " (emphasis mine)

I'm quite sure the maximum datarate of USB is well under 2.4Mbit/second. Isn't it nearer 1Mbit/sec?

Sounds a bit iffy to me...

Re:USB interface. (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272919)

11Mbit max shared with every device on the bus.

Re:USB interface. (2)

photon317 (208409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272941)

Basic USB 1.x is 12 Mb/s I'm pretty sure, so it sizes up nicely. USB 2.x is more in the neighboorhood of hundreds of megabits (480 I think?). More tech info is at [] .

Re:USB interface. (1)

MrSeb (471333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272968)

Thanks :)

It was Bluetooth that was 1Mbit/sec :)

OK (1)

great_plains (565288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272923)

I remember reading the instructions for my cellular modem, it said that if I crossed a cell boundry, I could lose data in transit. Have they solved that?
If not, how is this better than a 2mbps wlan?

As Bad as it is, the system *works* (3, Insightful)

Qwerpafw (315600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272970)

Many people have brought up ther valid point that if this (seemingly large) 2.4Mbit bandwidth is spread amongstwhoever is using the cell, then some people will hog everything, and others will get almost none, thereby creating a really terrible situation for the great majority of users.

The point has also been brought up that paying by the kilobyte sucks for those who want high bandwidth...

My point is that the two effects would tend to cancel each other out, or, more specifically, that The people hogging the bandwidth would have to pay more, thereby eliminating the use of a cell phone for downloading warez or such.

Okay, so its not so nice... but it works. People will end up using the system for IMing and light web page browsing, which is what it is designed for. No-one intended cellphones to be used as hotline servers.

Now, it would be really nice if 3G meant more bandwidth than you could shake a nokia at, but its just not feasible. And who really wants to host a quake 3 server on a laptop. Most laptops can't even PLAY quake 3 with decent FPS (note I said most). And the payment scheme, though I am sure it will exact several orders of magnitude more dollars than are needed, making you pay the jerks through the nose for some crappy junk, works. Don't be surprised. We live in a real world :)

Re:As Bad as it is, the system *works* (1)

liquidzero4 (566264) | more than 12 years ago | (#3273039)

All this has already been thought off and will not present a problem. 1st of all these networks all support QOS. All users will be allocated a certain amount of bandwith dynamically depending on conditions. Nextel already does this. As for paying by the kilo-byte. This will most likly be the case. All 3G systems have what's genericly called "Billing Acumulators" which can be used to bill users for anything. For example. They can if they wanted charge a differnet amount for HTTP download than FTP, Or a different amount for MPEG streams. This is all possible.

Ricochet? (2, Interesting)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272971)

Just wondering if anyone has any inside information on the Ricochet network. They were purchased by Aerie networks, who claim they'll be offering service again "soon", for less than it was before!

At $50 a month for unmetered 128kbps (many subscribers got faster than that, too) Ricochet is easily the best way to get wireless data.

I see their transmitters hanging off lightposts all over my neighborhood, too. Every time I drive past one I'm reminded of what could have been...

FREE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3272977)

How much for unmetered service on such a system? :)

I'm waiting for free low-earth orbit satellite.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?