Sprint, Clearwire to build national Wi-Max network

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by theRick119, May 7, 2008.

  1. theRick119 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2008
    from USA Today

    Anytime you hear google and nationwide wifi being tossed around and numbers like a 3.2 billion dollar collaboration it sounds like it is worth listening to.

    I'm curious to hear opinions here on just how much better this network could potentially be than the 3g network we believe the iPhone is about to jump on.

    I'm planning on paying money to break out of a Sprint contract and purchase the 3g iPhone, but this article sounds like this new network should blanket half the US population by 2010.

    Obviously there is always going to be something bigger and better right around the corner, but how significant is this?
  2. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Oct 17, 2007
    Camp Snoopy
    Well, WiMax is what Sprint intends to use as 4G, IIRC. So naturally it's better than HSPA.
  3. TexasAg macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2008
    You have something better than a 3G iPhone to use for the next 2 years? ;)
  4. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006

    Nope. Not necessarily

    Australia's trialled WiMax- Australia was to be the testbed.

    and what happened?

    Australian WiMAX pioneer trashes technology as "miserable failure"
    March 20th, 2008 by Grahame Lynch

    Australia’s first WiMAX operator, Hervey Bay’s Buzz Broadband, has closed its network, with the CEO labeling the technology as a “disaster” that “failed miserably.”

    At an international WiMAX conference audience CEO Garth Freeman slammed the technology, saying its non-line of sight performance was “non-existent” beyond just 2 km from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000ms (=1 second). Poor latency and jitter made it unacceptable for many Internet applications and specifically VoIP, which Buzz has employed as the main selling point to induce people to shed their use of incumbent services.

    Freeman highlighted his presentation with a warning to delegates, saying “WiMAX may not work.” He said that the technology was still “mired in opportunistic hype,” pointing to the fact most deployments were still in trials, that it was largely used by start-up carriers and was supported by “second-tier vendors”, which he contrasted with HSPA with 154 commercial networks already in operation and support from top tier vendors.

    What made Freeman’s presentation most extraordinary was that just 12 months ago he fronted the same event with a generally positive appraisal of the platform which at that stage he had deployed just a few months before. At the time, Freeman said that his company had signed 10% of its 55,000 user target market in just two months, a market share that rose to 25%, on the back of an advertising campaign that highlighted value VoIP prices.

    He did acknowledge at the time that the technology had indoor coverage issues, which he yesterday said had earned him a quick and negative reaction at the time from his supplier, Airspan. Other early WiMAX adopters have also reported issues with indoor coverage: VSNL in India reported indoor loss at just 200m from the base station at an IEEE conference last year.

    HORSES FOR COURSES: Freeman says Buzz has now abandoned WiMAX in favour of a “horses for courses” policy. This includes use of the TD-CDMA standard at 1.9GHz—used by operators such as New Zealand’s Woosh Wireless—and a platform he described as wireless DOCSIS– a relatively little known technology that takes HFC plant and extends its capabilities via wireless mesh. He said wireless DOCSIS operates at up to 38Mbps in the 3.5GHz spectrum and its customer premises equipment supported two voice ports for under $A70 while it boasted “huge cell coverage.” He also was employing more conventional wireless mesh platforms at 2.4GHz that support up to 10Mbps with CPE voice ports costing less than A$80.

    Despite his problems with WiMAX, Freeman is a believer that competitors should operate their own infrastructure and not depend on Telstra unbundled or wholesale offerings. Prior to Buzz he was involved in the rollout of regional Victorian HFC networks as an executive with Neighborhood Cable. He says the use of wireless is essential in Hervey Bay, because ADSL is blocked to 80% of the population because of Telstra’s use of pairgain and RIMs, while what ADSL ports are available are now largely exhausted. But years of successive government policies had weakened the case for standalone infrastructure, beginning with restrictive policies in the pay television market which he said undermined independent HFC deployments.

    “I’m against government micromanagement of the market. Government should start to provide a conducive investment environment.”

    Not all WiMAX operators are unhappy.

    Internode says an Airspan-supplied network is providing consistent average speeds of 6Mbps at distances up to 30km, with CEO Simon Hackett describing the platform as “proven.”

    Freeman’s frank words left many at the WiMAX event looking uncomfortable but none more so than his co-panelist Adrian de Brenni representing Opel Networks. De Brenni, standing in for an absent Jason Horley, said little new about Opel that hasn’t already been discussed, except to state that QoS would be a product feature of the future Opel wholesale offering “including voice.”
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is where I find the continued proliferation of both CDMA-based and GSM-based networks really frustrating. Sprint was the first out of the gates, AFAIK, in the US with 3G, and they're very forward with 4G also. But their phones are teh sUXX0Rz. :( Verizon has some pretty interesting LG phones, but because they're relatively small market outside Windows- and mobile- centric Korea, they never interoperate with computers well, and particularly not with Macs. And hardly any of those phones ever come to the GSM operators.

    How great would it be if all the top five or six US carriers were GSM, and you could hop back and forth between AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mo?
  6. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Does Sprint have any customers?

    Seriously, if this was a big deal, I think AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon would be behind it. The only thing Sprint has going for it is the sponsorship of the NASCAR series. I seriously don't know anybody with Sprint service (because they tried to charge you $10 more for that dumb direct-connect thing).

    I have also heard many of these faster Internet partnerships before only to see them fizzle. Earthlink was supposed to start blanketing places in WiFi, but that seems to have died.
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Verizon and AT&T are also rolling out 4G plans. This is just Sprint's plan. And Sprint is the smallest of the top three, but its subscriber base isn't *that* small -- as of January, subscriptions were:

    AT&T - 70M
    Verizon - 60M
    Sprint - 54M
    T-Mobile - 28M

    (Source: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/35764/139/ )

    In other words, across the four national providers, there are more CDMA users than GSM users. And this is also why Deutsche Telekom's speculated pursuit of Sprint is a big deal -- at the current numbers, if DT added Sprint to their portfolio, they would have more subscribers than AT&T.

    Don't get me wrong. I've never looked back since ditching Sprint five years ago. And they are certainly struggling in ways that AT&T and Verizon are not. But they're also not irrelevant to the market.
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Who's Sprint? All their CSR's are outsourced to who knows where, and they are very apologetic about everything, but the bottom line = $$$$! My favorite line: "If I wanted to be treated like "CRAP" I'd still be with Sprint!" :eek::cool:

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