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  1.    #1  
  2. #2  
    Here's the value proposition. Wi-Fi is currently at 54 Mbps and has been for years. Reaching 100 Mbps is easily achievable thanks to pre-n and other tricks. The cell connections run from 384 Kbps with EDGE up to maybe 2 Mbps on EV-DO, if you're lucky. These are the speeds we were playing with 10 years ago, but now they're some sort of breakthrough. Yes, it's a kind of breakthrough, considering the phone companies' old 115-Kbps GPRS clunker technologies.
    All these numbers are missing the 300 foot range (or less) of your typical access point.

    Free, widely accessible internet would be a great thing, but this limitation of WiFi makes it unsuitable. I heard Dvorak mention this on TWIT last week, mentioning EVDO as if it's some gimmick.. he's got it all wrong. Wifi should be killed as a wide ranging standard (in the home it's perfectly adequate) for some new technology that is as pervasive as cellular networks.

    wimax?
  3. #3  
    I agree with the thinking that wimax is a good idea. However, Michael Mace makes it sound as though Sprint is smoking crack and incredibly gullible to be rolling out wimax. I'm not sure why. I just moved from TMo to Sprint and the pervasive high speed data service is enchanting. I want more. If they would price it a bit more sanely I would buy a data card to stick in my laptop. Maybe it would pay for itself because I always used TMo's hotspots at Starbucks and would always get a beverage. That got pricey.
  4. #4  
    Thanks for the link.
    I am not sure I am buying Mr. Dvorak's argument entirely.
    Firstly, there is a difference between Wi-Fi and EV-DO networks as with WiFi you are sitting in a pretty much stationary place (coffee shops, your own home, etc.), while with, say, EV-DO you can ride a bus or a train going at 55 miles per hour.
    Secondly, as far as blanketing a municipality such as SF with Wi-Fi, the process is very costly (Google must have a hidden agenda there) and it won't be truly free (tax payers forking some of the cost?).
    Thirdly, the coffee shops, hotels and other places that provide free Wi-Fi (of course they expect you to buy something -- it is only fair), attract customers. I doubt W-Fi service in such places will be killed: If anything, it is growing fast and it is a very successful model (Read the NY Times article: "What Starbucks Can Learn From the Movie Palace". That article compares Wi-Fi -- the free kind -- to the 1920s, "when air-conditioning began to be installed in movie theaters, owners had to spend a sizable sum — $50,000 (roughly equivalent to $570,000 today) — to transform the property into a 'cold spot.' But it was worth it. Before the 'refrigeratory process' came along, theaters could not draw customers during the summer because of the unbearable heat in confined space. With air-conditioning, patronage increased so sharply that even the largest investments were quickly repaid.").
    And fourthly, stating the obvious, some Wi-Fi providers (of DSL) are indeed the cell phone companies (Verizon, for example). So while Verizon's EV-Do might make sense for certain customers, Verizon's Wi-Fi might benefit both customers and coffee shops or hotels. So why would Verizon fight the trend?
    Last edited by impish; 03/04/2007 at 10:15 PM.
  5. #5  
    Until or unless EVDO covers the entire US at affordable data rates for the masses, Wifi will always have a place and value.
  6. #6  
    WiFi will never have "full" coverage because there are millions of WiFi jammers out there. They're called 2.4 GHz cordless phones and they're not going away.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    WiFi will never have "full" coverage because there are millions of WiFi jammers out there. They're called 2.4 GHz cordless phones and they're not going away.
    That's silly in my view. Wi-Fi is changing and with its new "mask," and at a much faster speed, known as IEEE 802.11n., it will not operate at the 2.4 GHZ anymore, but the 5 GHz frequencies (the older versions 802.11b and 802.11g standards use the 2.40 GHz band).
    Besides, how many interferences do you experience while surfing at the local coffee shop? I am yet to have a problem with a 2.4 GHZ phone at those places.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    That's silly in my view. Wi-Fi is changing and with its new "mask," and at a much faster speed, known as IEEE 802.11n., it will not operate at the 2.4 GHZ anymore, but the 5 GHz frequencies (the older versions 802.11b and 802.11g standards use the 2.40 GHz band).
    Besides, how many interferences do you experience while surfing at the local coffee shop? I am yet to have a problem with a 2.4 GHZ phone at those places.
    Um, the interference will occur where the 2.4 GHz phones are. Obviously, they don't use 2.4 GHz phones in coffee shops.

    When I lived in an apartment building several years ago, I couldn't use WiFi due to interference from one of my dozen neighbors, so I just switched back to ethernet cable. I also had a 2.4 GHz phone, and when the WiFi signal died, I could also hear the interference on the phone. Now I use WiFi, but I've replaced my 2.4GHz phone with a 5.8 GHz one.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Um, the interference will occur where the 2.4 GHz phones are. Obviously, they don't use 2.4 GHz phones in coffee shops.
    ...(my highlight) which is where the discussion has taken place.

    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    When I lived in an apartment building several years ago, I couldn't use WiFi due to interference from one of my dozen neighbors, so I just switched back to ethernet cable. I also had a 2.4 GHz phone, and when the WiFi signal died, I could also hear the interference on the phone. Now I use WiFi, but I've replaced my 2.4GHz phone with a 5.8 GHz one.
    So you solved that problem, good.
    As I have mentioned, Wi-Fi is now moving into a new sphere so cordless phones shouldn't pose a problem. Besides, in the scheme of things, cordless phones seem to be a minute problem.
    My 2 cents on the issue.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    ...(my highlight) which is where the discussion has taken place.
    You read the original article, right? It's not about sitting in coffee shops. It's about full city-wide WiFi coverage to compete with wireless carriers.


    Besides, in the scheme of things, cordless phones seem to be a minute problem.
    Perhaps in coffee shops.


    But it's a fair point to say that the technology is changing while keeping the WiFi name.
    Last edited by samkim; 03/06/2007 at 01:19 AM.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    You read the original article, right? It's not about sitting in coffee shops. It's about full city-wide WiFi coverage to compete with wireless carriers.
    Precisely; a city-wide coverage will be very little effected by cordless phones or microwaves because the new Wi-Fi runs on different frequencies. (This subject begins to have an echo.)
    The price-tag to a city-wide-blanketed Wi-Fi is much more of an issue for citizens like you and I: Who's going to fork that huge bill? That price-tag is what might be driving cell phone providers to compete directly with Wi-Fi over customers who are uncertain of the Wi-Fi future.
    In the end lions and sheep might coexist in towns like yours and mine, or one technology will push the other one over the cliff. Time will tell.
  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers View Post
    I agree with the thinking that wimax is a good idea. However, Michael Mace makes it sound as though Sprint is smoking crack and incredibly gullible to be rolling out wimax. I'm not sure why. I just moved from TMo to Sprint and the pervasive high speed data service is enchanting. I want more. If they would price it a bit more sanely I would buy a data card to stick in my laptop. Maybe it would pay for itself because I always used TMo's hotspots at Starbucks and would always get a beverage. That got pricey.
    In that article Mace says right off that Sprint planned to provide free access to its Wi-Max network. Somehow, like him, I find that hard to believe, but very interesting. Thanks for mentioning his blog Tasty, I wasn't aware of it.
    Last edited by copernicus; 03/06/2007 at 09:56 AM.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    Precisely; a city-wide coverage will be very little effected by cordless phones or microwaves because the new Wi-Fi runs on different frequencies. (This subject begins to have an echo.)
    Not quite. City-wide WiFi will certainly run on 2.4 GHz and be subject to interference. If it doesn't, the millions of people with 802.11b/g cards won't be able to connect. Eventually, the world will change. I conceded that point.


    As for an echo, here's your statement to which I responded:
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    Um, the interference will occur where the 2.4 GHz phones are. Obviously, they don't use 2.4 GHz phones in coffee shops.
    ...(my highlight) which is where the discussion has taken place.

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