Feeds

AT&T lifts kimono on WiMAX trials

Cock-a-hoop about cheaper local loops

Boost IT visibility and business value

WiMAX World AT&T did its bit to puncture the WiMAX hype today, while providing an update on three of its trial WiMAX deployments.

Behzed Nadji, AT&T's Chief Architect, debunked stories about 70 Mbit/s throughput over distances of 70 miles for WiMAX. "There's little reality to that," he said.

A range of 3 to 5 miles and 2 Mbit/s was closer to reality. In fact, one of AT&T's three deployments rarely saw throughput rise above 500 kbit/s, he said.

Where WiMAX would prosper, he predicted, was in moving backhaul traffic. But its potential users had slightly surprising desires and concerns.

AT&T's existing business customers were looking for improvements in cost, diversity, reliability, availability and provisioning time. Speed came well down their list of reasons for deployment. Their main concerns were security, reach and the fact that WiMAX is an unproven technology.

AT&T has three trials using a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum. A Middletown trial using a pre-specification agreement linked three businesses, with favorable results. Up in Alaska, WiMAX is being deployed in five village locations. Not all of which have running water - but are now being given broadband internet. AT&T had opted for unlicensed spectrum because there was little electromagnetic pollution. Not surprisingly, the Alaskans were delighted with going from no net to broadband. A third deployment is taking place in Atlanta.

But if WiMAX makes any impact it will be for cheap local loops. AT&T's current fibre carrier customers, who need no more than 1.5Mbit/s, appreciate the flexibility of WiMAX and spend a lot of money today on access charges.

It's very early days, and it was sobering to be reminded that the first, proprietary line of sight wireless networks were being announced in 1996, and we're still deploying them. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.