Light Reading

Covad Plots 'Pre-WiMax' Service

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
7/11/2005
50%
50%

DSL provider Covad Communications Inc. (OTC: COVD) isn't waiting for official Wimax products to launch a broadband wireless service offering -- probably in the first quarter of 2006 -- that promises better than copper performance for its high-end customers.

If it sticks to that schedule, Covad will be one of the first established players to launch a fixed WiMax-like service. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) recently said that it plans to launch WiMax services in 2007 (see Sprint Firms Up WiMax Plans). AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) is plotting a large trial of the technology in the fourth quarter of this year (see AT&T Plots WiMax Trial ).

Covad has been actively testing so-called "pre-WiMax" OFDM products since the fall of 2004. The firm has been running a technical trial using four 5.8GHz base stations in San Jose and Oakland, Calif. Ron Marquardt, director of product development for the alternative access services group at Covad, says that firm has "close to 20 users" on the network right now.

"We're looking at the first quarter of next year" for a commercial launch, says Marquardt. He wouldn't go into details about where the firm plans to roll out services or what equipment vendor -- or vendors -- it plans to use.

But Marquardt does say that Covad won't wait for equipment that has the official seal of approval from the WiMax Forum to start offering its service. The first round of WiMax interoperability tests is due to start this month, and WiMax-branded product is expected on the market late in 2005 or early in 2006 -- right around when Covad actually hopes to launch its offering.

And Marquardt says that Covad is happy to use pre-WiMax kit for its fixed wireless service. "Frankly, the fixed services are not really a big focus of the WiMax Forum," he opines. "That's being driven by companies that are very interested in mobile." (See Mobile WiMax Faces Struggle and WiMax: A Spec Divided.)

Covad says it will use the broadband wireless kit to offer customers a high-speed alternative to DSL. The firm claims it consistently achieves links up to 5 miles from the wireless broadband base station at speeds as high as 5 Mbit/s. In contrast, DSL technologies are unable to make links at that distance, and at 2.5 miles or so from a central office, ADSL will be limited to speeds less than 1 Mbit/s.

"It is offering speeds that you can't do over copper," says Marquardt.

Covad's approach to WiMax-style services most closely mirrors that of startup TowerStream Corp., which has carved out a business for itself supplying business customers in markets like New York and San Francisco with high-speed wireless links (see TowerStream: Unwired in the City).

This model is quite different from the idea of using WiMax to offer broadband services in rural areas that are difficult to wire up. The rural broadband usage model has been touted by vendors like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) as well as many analysts (see WiMax: Town & Country).

It's probably too early to predict which will be the more profitable business model: High-speed urban wireless delivery or rural broadband deliverance.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeal!

— Dan "You Sure Are Purty" Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
sgan201
50%
50%
sgan201,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:08:17 AM
re: Covad Plots 'Pre-WiMax' Service
Hi,

We are comparing apples with oranges in term of bandwidth. WiMax's bandwidth is shared. DSL is not.. So, DSL provide 1Mbps to each link while the WiMax shared the whole X Mbps to the whole group of users for each radio.

In urban area like USA, you have choices. You could get DSL with exclusive 1Mbps with very low price which WiMax try to compete with shared X Mbps. The DSL may give you better performance..

A more fertile ground for WiMax type of product will be dense urban area in Asia where DSL servcie is not widely available or use WiMax as filled in coverage for DSL.

Dreamer
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 3:08:17 AM
re: Covad Plots 'Pre-WiMax' Service
Interference is likely to be the big issue in urban environments. All the initial WiMax rollouts in the US are using unlicensed public bands. Hard to say how big of a problem it will be yet.

Dan
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:08:17 AM
re: Covad Plots 'Pre-WiMax' Service
I have always felt that the "Rural WiMax" pigeonholing was bogus. If the economics of WiMax are so superior to DSL that it even works in rural areas does not, why would it not work even BETTER in urban areas? Line of sight issues? Interference?

If these issues do not hamper urban service, then covering even more people with one base station is more profitable, implying that WiMax is indeed economically threatening in urban settings.
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:08:16 AM
re: Covad Plots 'Pre-WiMax' Service
Is the unlicensed BW for current deployments part of the BW that congress plans to reclaim along with/in addition to that from the digital to analog TV conversion?

Here comes the Telecom Bill reform $$$.

OldPOTS
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:08:15 AM
re: Covad Plots 'Pre-WiMax' Service
The FCC will have riots on their hands if they try to reclaim one Hz of spectrum. I have been involved with spectrum allocation. It does not happen quickly or painlessly.

I take it then that LOS is not a WiMax issue in the 5.8GHz range?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Then pick up your axe, put on your spandex trousers and get yourself down to Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE). Kerrang!!!
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ciena CEO: The Web-Scale Revolution

4|28|15   |   10:32   |   (3) comments


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A study run by Insights in Marketing and commissioned by Meredith shows the devices, channels and ways in which women are consuming content.
Hot Topics
No Service, No Problem: 5 Places That Want to Be Unconnected
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/1/2015
Astellia Highlights Customer Care Disconnect
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/29/2015
Cisco's Robbins to Replace Chambers as CEO
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/4/2015
Sprint Maps Out Its Next-Generation Network
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/5/2015
Ciena's Cyan Buy: It's All About the Software
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 5/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Cats with Phones
Cinco de Mayo Click Here
Cats With Phones says Happy Cinco de Mayo. Accessorize appropriately.