[amsat-bb] Re: Is Wi-Fi Headed toward an Early Grave?

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Wed Dec 13 10:40:38 PST 2006

Greg D. wrote:

> The wild card in my opinion is Wi-Max (802.16), which is intended to be 
> the "last mile" connection for service prividers.  If this wins, it will 
> be the death blow to BPL (Yeah!), and will ease the pressure to blanket 
> Wi-Fi across every major city on the planet.  I believe Wi-Max is on 
> licensed frequencies outside of the Ham bands, so this would be a really 
> good thing.

WiMax may be dead in the water, due to a lack of interest from the 
service providers already -- in my humble opinion.  The service 
providers already in place, are doing point-to-point last-mile services 
on 5.3 and 5.8 GHz and have a huge install base they won't want to drop.

Examples of the equipment they're using:
Trango Wireless, Motorola Canopy

Unless the manufacturers of those example systems above make a WiMax 
product that inter-operates with the existing management tools for 
managing subscriber units on those other widely-deployed systems, WiMax 
doesn't stand a chance in anything but new deployments, because the 
install base is fairly fixed in many areas now.

Of course, there will be plenty of new deployments... we'll see if they 
can compete with the existing providers in areas that already have coverage.

Around here we're starting to see the "second stage" of wireless 
broadband services.  The little 802.11 companies are being eaten up by 
the guys who did their RF equipment "right" with the 5.8 GHz equipment, 
and point to point high-speed licensed microwave backbone links.

Their networks are being yanked out and replaced with these much more 
manageable units.

I remember seeing early stuff where small companies were taking the 
Lucent 802.11b routers and stuffing them in NEMA boxes -- but we haven't 
seen those on towers around here in a couple of years.

The 5.8 GHz providers are using panel antennas and "sectorizing" their 
sites, just like cellular.

Nate WY0X

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