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Freeman calls WiMAX a "disaster"

Freeman calls WiMAX a "disaster"

If you were hoping to ditch these wires in favour of WiMAX then you might want to hold on just a while longer.

If you've been waiting patiently for a country-wide WiMAX network to arrive, then I'm afraid you may be hanging on for a while yet. It seems that even WiMAX's proponents aren't too sure about the future of the last-mile wireless technology.

Garth Freeman – no relation to Gordon – surprised delegates at the recent International WiMAX Conference by laying in to the technology with both fists. Freeman's company, Buzz Broadband, deployed a last-mile network based on the wireless technology just over a year ago and he claims that he's learnt quite a few things over that period. Mostly, he's learnt that WiMAX is a “disaster” that has “failed miserably”.

Among Freeman's complaints about the technology's performance were the poor reception available indoors – the signal is all but useless if you're more than half a kilometre from a base station – and the ridiculously high latency, reaching upwards of 1000 milliseconds at times. He was also critical of the technology's ability to reach base stations out of direct line of sight, with units failing to connect at ranges of just two kilometres when the line of sight is blocked.

Freeman sees the technology as being “mired in opportunistic hype” and pointed out that support by top-tier vendors is practically non-existent compared to the far more popular HSDPA wireless broadband system.

You won't be surprised to hear that Buzz Broadband is no longer a WiMAX house, with Freeman choosing to adopt a system he refers to as “horses for courses” and mixed technologies including TD-CDMA and DOCSIS alongside mesh networking based on 802.11 technologies.

Is WiMAX a dead duck, or did Buzz just not have the wherewithal to utilise it effectively? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

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bahgger 25th March 2008, 07:53 Quote
This opinion would only be valid were it from Gordon Freeman
Jar of Almonds 25th March 2008, 09:57 Quote
You were expecting it to be Gordon Freeman as well? Lol.
Bauul 25th March 2008, 12:01 Quote
I did my masters with a guy who was a massive WiMax advocate. However, he was talking about using it as the only method of broadband for remote areas in countries such as India. There, where putting a wire to everyone's home is totally unfeasible, but a 1000ms latency isn't going to bother someone on a clock-work laptop, the technology is a good idea. But in a built up, urban environment? Forget it, it's not designed for that, never really was. On the top of hills in open countryside it's perfect, he's right in that people got all wrapped up in thinking it could be used for anything else.
sotu1 25th March 2008, 13:19 Quote
anyone else think that the title of this topic should be:

the Freeman calls WiMAX a "disaster"

said like a vortigaunt.
proxess 25th March 2008, 13:24 Quote
After his long lost brother working with such technologies as gravitational guns and dark energy matter and combine technology, of course WiMax is Crap.
TreeDude 25th March 2008, 15:06 Quote
Well doesn't this suck. Sprint (my wireless carrier in the US) is launching WiMax phones later this year. I was planning on getting one since none of the current phones really do anything my current one can't. If this is true and these issue cannot be overcome as the tech matures then Sprint just dumped a ton of money into the garbage. That is no good for me since I like Sprint a lot.
devdevil85 25th March 2008, 15:22 Quote
just look at 4G.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

a minimum of 100Mbit/sec anywhere in the world and up to 1Gbit/sec if the device is stationary....

WiMAX has no chance....unless they debut first....
DXR_13KE 25th March 2008, 16:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
just look at 4G.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

a minimum of 100Mbit/sec anywhere in the world and up to 1Gbit/sec if the device is stationary....

WiMAX has no chance....unless they debut first....

shame it will cost your first born.....
Bluephoenix 25th March 2008, 17:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
shame it will cost your first born.....

true, though HSDPA is out and working very well.
devdevil85 25th March 2008, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
shame it will cost your first born.....

I haven't seen anything on cost regarding 4G.....so honestly I have no idea if what you say is true or false......hopefully the latter....
E.E.L. Ambiense 25th March 2008, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
anyone else think that the title of this topic should be:

the Freeman calls WiMAX a "disaster"

said like a vortigaunt.

LOL
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2008, 21:48 Quote
Given that I have seen quite ordinary wifi go several kilometers between dish antennae, you have to wonder at the need for yet another standard.
outlawaol 26th March 2008, 07:35 Quote
This sounds like the 21st century equivalent of the 'can-with-a-string-to-another-can' idea, gone awry in technological obscurity. Do monkeys really run these companies?
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