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« Katrina WiMax Waivers | Main | WiMax Sales $72M in 2005, $2B in 2009 »

September 9, 2005

WiMax is Tweener Tech

By Glenn Fleishman

Former editor Nancy Gohring files this report for IDG News Service on WiMax’s role between DSL and T1: It’s much cheaper for businesses who need certain levels of service that fall outside DSL offerings but don’t want to pay the often high cost of DSL to choose WiMax-like options. T-1 is charged typically by the mile from the central office, which makes it cheap in some urban areas and in areas with competition, but very expensive in many parts of many cities. In some towns, just a plain T1 with a zero mile (intra-central office) charge is still very expensive.

WiMax and its ilk make it affordable to deliver T-1 or fractional T-1 speeds at a cost that’s not nearly as dependent on distance, only coverage area. While business DSL services—such as symmetric DSL and other flavors—can sometimes meet T-1 reliability and speed, WiMax et al. is a much simpler way to achieve goals in appropriate locations.

There’s also the T-1-plus problem, mentioned in passing in this article. Seattle’s Speakeasy Networks, which offers nationwide DSL and T-1 services, has a pre-WiMax network running in downtown Seattle using Alvarion’s WiMax ready base stations and CPEs. They found that a lot of their business customers wanted flavors higher than 1.5 Mbps each way, and that multiple T-1s cost too much. Two T-1s deliver symmetrical 3 Mbps (3 each way) when bound together. Their broadband wireless offering is 3 Mbps or 6 Mbps sliced as 2/4, 4/2, 3/3, or 2/1, 1/2, or 1.5/1.5, respectively.

Posted by Glennf at September 9, 2005 10:33 AM

Categories: applications

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