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WiMax Washes Dishes
Cures cancer, potty-trains toddlers
by Karl Bode 12:59PM Friday Oct 01 2004
While drinking coffee this morning, we stumbled into a Wi-Fi Weblog article dubbed "WiMax Gaining On DSL and Cable Modems", which proudly proclaimed WiMax was "gaining in popularity and is poised to become the third most used high-speed internet access technology after DSL and cable modems". That's damn impressive for a technology that hasn't been released yet - and may not make a serious impact on US broadband until 2009 - if ever.

This latest wave of optimism comes from a Yankee Group study that more reservedly predicts WiMax could compete with DSL and cable many years from now. "The largest impact on WiMAX market acceptance will be when silicon is embedded in portable devices, such as laptops, removing any upfront investment in CPE (Consumer Premises Equipment). This will likely happen in 2007 when 802.16e silicon is produced," says one Yankee analyst.

"Likely happen" in 2007? That's a far cry from the litany of excitement we've been force-fed over the past twelve months. Intel's PR department earlier this year called the technology "the most important thing since the Internet itself." The Potential for success in 2007 is also a few yards away from saying the technology is "gaining in popularity" as a DSL & Cable competitor; but that's the kind of year WiMax is having: ample sauce, little actual meat.

Intel shoveled out the press releases in 2004, nudging endless outlets to hint WiMax was right around the corner. When said outlets weren't confusing the technology's timeline, they were busy confusing Wimax with other wireless technologies like Flash OFDM, or suggesting it would be a competitor for 3G or Wi-Fi.

Yet "We try not to talk too much about [Wimax]" said Intel's Sean Maloney with a straight face a few weeks ago, his company's 2004 Wimax hype making low-carb marketing seem subdued. If the company had applied the same PR effort to politics as they have Wimax, they could have elected a busted Mickey Mouse lamp to the office of President.

What WiMax is: a promising wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) technology, with a range of 30 miles. It will start as a non-mobile backhaul and T1 replacement technology, possibly evolving into a more promising mobile cable & DSL competitor - if a number of complicated factors (regulation, spectrum availability, competition, other technologies, their own feet) stay out of Intel's way.

What WiMax is not: A miracle broadband solution that in January of 2005 will suddenly begin spewing megabits to desperate housewives in remote corners of North America for pennies a day. Intel only just shipped its first WiMax chip (dubbed Rosedale) in September for trials in 2005. Some analysts believe it could be 2009 before the mobile version of the technology takes serious steps forward in the United States.

WiMax's promise as a backhaul technology is not disputed, but its eventual ability to compete with landline alternatives is. Joseph Crupi, vice president of Texas Instruments' Broadband Communications Group, recently compared WiMax to similar promises made by the Broadband Wireless Internet Forum (BWIF), who pushed a technology known as Vector OFDM that never materialized.

Some of you may also remember HomeRF. Stuck between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Intel poured money into that technology until they eventually abandoned ship to join the Wi-Fi party. Right now, while very different technologies, there is not a lot of solid information to suggest that Wimax is any more of a sure thing than HomeRF was.

Those interested in watching the Wimax show will find their best seats to be squarely on the fence, and not down on the hype-arena floor.

topics flat nest 

All noise, no signal.
Jamestown, NC

All hype

I've spoken to my wireless vendor and he said the consumer stuff won't have any better range than current 802.11b/g/a gear.

He said all the promises being made are overhyped unless you are one of the companies that actually purchased spectrum and can afford to place a couple of half a million dollar WiMAX towers around the city.
TripOnThis.net Administrator
"Security by obscurity is no security at all. Don't believe the hype." (c) MntlCase

Temp banned from BBR more then anyone


1 recommendation

Re: All hype

if wimax can wash dishes and potty-train toddlers...can it bring back pets.com?!!!!

Winterset, IA

Re: All hype

Here is something similar - »www.petsovernight.com/

qos and voip wireles

Hmm, I've got an idea.. use voip over the stuff and sell 5000 wireless minutes for $39.99/month hehehe.. and no cell phone taxes!!!! Yay......
do to landlines the same as cellular..
That is the killer app, not broadband for broadband's sake!

Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

New York, NY

Wimax certainly looks good......

I am pretty confidant that wimax will come to market and will help to alleviate the always terrbible "last mile" problem many companies face. However the timeframes are still up in the air in my opinion. The other thing that I question is their claims of 30 mile range. I see plenty of wifi or wisp retailers selling bundles that offer "50 to 70 mile range" with existing 802.11b and 802.11g products coupled with special antennas. I have not really seen a comparison between the two (wimax and wifi backahaul) so I can't say how much better or different wimax is than these homebrew 802.11 solutions you can find all over the web. My last issue is not so much with wimax, but more with consumers impressions of what it will do. Wimax is NOT meant to be a wifi replacement. It is my understanding that wimax is meant to be a wireless backhaul to the internet. Customers who purchase wimax will use it simply like they use a regular T1 line. They will still need/want to create their own wired/wireless network in there home or place of business to share this internet connection. I think intel is trying to hype up this product by letting peoples imaginations run wild, while not really trying to hard to clarify what their new technology will do.

Greenville, NH

Re: Wimax certainly looks good......

said by wifi4milez:
I am pretty confidant that wimax will come to market and will help to alleviate the always terrbible "last mile" problem many companies face.
That's the argument used by the WIMAX crowd that I have the most problems with.

In my own situation, I have a big last mile problem that WIFI doesn't solve. Unfortunately there nothing about WIMAX makes it perform any better. The problems are all NLOS. The terrain NLOS problems make distances longer than a few miles irrelevant. The "trees" NLOS problems aren't affected by WIMAX at all. The major part of any solution will have to be using lower frequencies (independent of the tech used on those frequencies).
Palmdale, CA

Range isn't what WiMax is about

Range isn't what WiMax is about, it has a host of other features that make it interesting, but not to home users.

Unless you are a WISP this isn't going to be hot news for you.

WiMax is designed for outdoors, offers QOS and other features that allow for traffic control and prioritzation. It also offers a much higher spectral efficiency. How about 802.11g speeds but with 11 channels that don't overlap each other?

As to it being a long ways off, there are already WiMax like systems being deployed by several manufacturers, it won't take much to bring them to WiMax compliance.


I believe it actually..

The future is a combination of fiber and wireless. So why is it not believable.



Re: I believe it actually..

Nobody is doubting Wireless. Wi-Fi can evolve, 3G is finally taking off with Flash OFDM, EV-DO, EV-DV and other technologies. The doubt is in saying Wimax is the all encompassing answer.

Colorado Springs, CO

WiMax already out

I dont know what they mean by silicon being made in 2007 Towerstream already is deploying WiMax in certain areas.


You can get Gigabit links if you can afford them. They are also undercutting telco t1 prices to garner business. Either way with this company and McCaw guys coming into the picture for residental WiMax you'll probably be seeing it next year if not sooner for lucky test markets.

Karl Bode
News Guy

Re: WiMax already out

Yankee Group is saying that before Wimax can be a competitor to DSL and Cable, there needs to be integrated chipsets built into devices like laptops to reduce the price for consumers and carriers....

The Wimax of today isn't the same mobile Wimax Intel thinks will challenge residential landlines down the road....

Laramie, WY
Sorry but they don't use Wimax. They use produts by Aperto Networks and I think Trango. Either way these are not open standard like wimax. They may work in similar ways but completely different tech.

the wimax dude

Towerstream IS NOT WiMAX. No matter how much they claim it is and wish it is, it's not. They may upgrade at some point, but Towerstream is lying if they claim this is really WiMAX. There is NO WiMAX equipment.

the wimax dude


De-Hyping WiMAX

For more about why WiMAX isn't so hot, see:

»www.thefeature.com/article?artic ··· fb::4519

I Need A Drink
Lebanon, PA

Re: De-Hyping WiMAX

If You want to know what the Pro's really think?, read this thread: »WiFi vs WiMax.....What's In The Future?

Professional lurker


Busted Mickey Mouse Lamp for President!

If the company had applied the same PR effort to politics as they have Wimax, they could have elected a busted Mickey Mouse lamp to the office of President.
Busted Mickey Mouse Lamp for President!
Inanimate Carbon Rod for Vice President!

Now there's a ticket I can support!
I use conjecture and hearsay. Those are kinds of evidence. - Lionel Hutz
All hail the Hypnotoad!