& cplSiteName &

WiMax Guide

Light Reading
1/5/2005

2005 will probably be the year in which WiMax sinks or swims as the next big thing in telecom technology. For that reason, plenty of people are going to need a quick and easy way of getting up to speed on what WiMax is and why it's stirring up so much interest.



This report aims to provide that quick and easy guide, by answering questions that are most frequently asked about WiMax. In the report's initial form, answers to eight basic questions are given, one per page. But the idea is that readers can ask further questions on the message board attached to this article. If you want to send a private message, please email [email protected] and include "WiMax Guide" in the subject field. Frequently posed questions will be answered by adding pages to this report.

For those that just want a high-level understanding of WiMax, here are the key points:

  • WiMax is a broadband access technology that delivers high-speed, carrier-grade Ethernet data communications by wireless over city-sized distances.
  • Its main use initially will be to deliver broadband Internet connections to buildings by wireless and to provide links between WLAN hotspots and carriers’ core IP networks (backhaul); later, individual user devices such as PCs will be connected direct, and, eventually, mobile devices.
  • Its big attractions are expected to be the usual Ethernet and wireless virtues of low costs, flexibility, ease of rollout and use, and interoperability.
  • However, WiMax is not expected to be fully commercialized until about 2006.


Industry opinions are divided over WiMax's prospects, judging by early results of a poll being conducted on Unstrung, Light Reading's sister Website covering wireless technologies. So far, 48 percent of respondents say WiMax will "emerge as a credible wireless replacement for DSL/cable" and exactly the same percentage say it will "splutter onto the market with minimal impact."

To take the poll yourself and see the full, up-to-date results, please click on this link.

Here's a hyperlinked list of the questions and answers in this report:



Webinar Archives on WiMax



Paid Research Reports on WiMax

— Tim Hills, Freelance Telecommunications Writer and Journalist


Need to know more about the latest developments in WiMax? check out the coming Light Reading Live! conference:

WiMax – Why Now?
at the W Hotel, Union Square, New York City, on Tuesday, January 20, 2005


This one-day event, hosted by Rick Thompson, Heavy Reading Analyst at Large, will provide qualified attendees from Light Reading's global audience an education in how WiMax will fit into their networking development plans for 2005 and beyond.

  • For more information, click here
  • To register, click here
  • Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Direct all inquiries to [email protected].


(69)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
<<   <   Page 7 / 7
Scott Raynovich
Scott Raynovich
12/5/2012 | 3:28:35 AM
re: WiMax Guide
fgoldstein,

Clearly you've gone into depth on this and thought through many of the details. I've been a big fan of some sort of LoopCo model for a while.

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

The most popular analogy is the federal highway system. As you have pointed out, subsidizing transportation can bring whole new industries to life -- such as what happend in the U.S. to the car and tire industry after the Interstate system was created (the tire industry still fights mass transit programs because it would shift money away from cars).

But I think an even better analogy to LoopCo and a proposed municipal or quasi-governmental takeover of the access networks is the INTERNET. The Internet was a gigantic federally funded R&D project that was eventually spun off to private interests. It helped create a gigantic multi-billion dollar industry overnight.

Why can't we do the same with the access network?

What was the key to the Internet? First, of course, was the fact that it was engineered properly and up to the highest quality specs. Secondly, it was based on standards. It was standards that later enabled the commercial Internet to explode.

Think if the government followed this model, developed a transitional, government sponsored fiber communications network using new telecom standards (ATCA, IMS, IP, e.t.c.). The government RFPs for access equipment would be available to all and would ensure standard components and access widgets were used throughout the network. I think eventually this would have massive economies of scale and reduce the prices of access equipment by miles. Yes, a few access goliaths and components suppliers would end up winning, but that's going to happen anyway.

Your LoopCo could be funded by revenue bonds backed by future cuts of the network. Structurally, the only way it can happen is if the government "buys out" the RBOCs.

People say -- but would the RBOC shareholders ever allow this?

I say yes, if the government made the shareholders happy.

Think about it. Do these carriers REALLY want to be in this business? It looks like a pretty miserable business to me. If the government offered to pay them to take over their debt, would that really bother them?

Let's take Verizon. It's got $40B in long-term debt. It's market cap is about $100B, yet it's enterprise value (takeover value including debt is $140B). So clearly shareholders would be eager for somebody to aquire it at enterprise value, which represents a 40% premium. They would be eager for the government to take the debt off its hands. The market is saying it's not worth that much clearly... but the government could suck it up in the belief that eventually, standardization and open access networks would create new growth (and tax revenue).

Now, currently, shareholders get a nice 4% dividend on Verizon. But that's really the only reason to own the stock. So, in the end, it behaves like a municipal bond. Let's face it Verizon is not a growth company. Wouldn't we all be better off if the government bought all these RBOC access networks, repackaged them as quasi-municipal assets backed by tax-free revenue bonds, and sold them to the public that way?

Now the RBOCs are a municipal asset paying the bondholders tax-free yields. If the government rolled them all together and created a standard "Access Internet," and then adjusted regulation acccordingly, the whole thing could then represent a new platform for growth.

Obviously these are ambitious ideas and the lawyers, lobbyists, and Congressmen probably don't want to have anything to do with it. But the whole thing is worth mulling over.

--Scott
fgoldstein
fgoldstein
12/5/2012 | 3:28:33 AM
re: WiMax Guide
Scott, you make some very good points. We agree on the fiscal problems facing the Bells and the folly of "more monopoly" as a solution.

Frankly the main problem with your proposal is that it has no hope of going ahead at this time. Government ownership of anything -- even Social Security -- is ideologically noxious to the "conservative" wing of the Republican Party. They'd probably privatize the Interstates if they could, even if it meant that the renamed "Ford Freeway" was closed to GM, Toyota, and DaimlerChrysler vehicles.

Municipal ownership is less noxoius to those moderate Republicans who, as Christy Todd Whitman said on a radio interview today, hold that if the people can't do something themselves, the government closest to them should, with the feds as a last resort. But then Whitman was being interviewed about her new book whose topic is the alienation of moderate Republicans like her from the ruling wing.

That's why, for practical reasons, a regulated private utility model is the closest to being both doable and ideal, though perhaps not ideal in either regard. I suppose it could happen in two ways. Going back to your excellent 2002 article, I suggest that a smart RBOC boss would do it voluntarily. If I had Ed's or Ivan's job, I might create the LoopCo voluntarily, keeping say 49% of the equity if allowed, but saddling it with debt which, as a utility, it could repay from cash flow. The second option is antitrust: Trinko protects some demonopolization from antitrust, but the Bell's current and desired behavior strikes me as crossing well over the line. Antitrust led to the 1984 breakup so it's the obvious weapon of choice. And of course divestitures like AT&T's and Standard Oil's before it led to increased, not decreased, total shareholder value.
keelhaul42
keelhaul42
12/5/2012 | 3:28:32 AM
re: WiMax Guide
fgoldstein wrote:
...
Frankly the main problem with your proposal is that it has no hope of going ahead at this time. Government ownership of anything -- even Social Security -- is ideologically noxious to the "conservative" wing of the Republican Party.
....
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
It ought to be noxious to anyone who wants his money's worth of anything.
I understand the frustration with the RBOCs. A good spanking seems to be in order. But in seeking a solution let's not overlook the dismal record of govt run enterprises in general. Sure, there are some bright spots - the seeds of the internet, for example - but they are few and far between.

Let's also not forget that a philosophy of regulated monopolies is what got us into this mess in the first place. Ok, in fairness, better ideas may not have been obvious but will a govt run monopoly somehow be better?

How about thinking of some alternatives now instead of complaining about those right wing Republicans?
We all think it's worth doing, let's try to conceive of a free enterprise way to get it done.
Haven't the cable companies been spending heap plenty bucks to do just that? That shows that _someone_ is willing to invest private capital to make it happen -- it doesn't have to be the telcos who can just die on the vine if they don't want to get off their butts.

I'll grant you that not every govt project turns into a disaster but the record is bad enough that we ought to think long and hard before following that path again.

-kh
keelhaul42
keelhaul42
12/5/2012 | 3:28:31 AM
re: WiMax Guide
As a followup, here's my admittedly minimalist, partially tongue in cheek (and NOT thoroughly considered ...) proposition:

- defeat any RBOC regulatory initiatives aimed at crippling the cable tv/internet/telephony space

-loosen up regulations on RBOCs vis-a-vis line sharing. Let them charge whatever they want for colocated equipment & line access. In exchange for this give them a 5 year timeline: get real broadband (e.g. 10 Megabits per sec) to a high percentage of US households (e.g. > 75%) or the regulations will come back along with any public canings deemed appropriate for RBOC mgt.

Comments, flames, whatever, welcome. I just want to stimulate some thinking.

-kh
fgoldstein
fgoldstein
12/5/2012 | 3:28:30 AM
re: WiMax Guide
Keel, I'll answer both of your notes.

- defeat any RBOC regulatory initiatives aimed at crippling the cable tv/internet/telephony space

That's fine, but the truth is that the RBOCs are doing bo diddley against those spaces anyway. Cablecos don't need the ILECs, except to interconnect, and have the clout to retain it. So that's kind of like asking to not let elephants into the dining room.

-loosen up regulations on RBOCs vis-a-vis line sharing. Let them charge whatever they want for colocated equipment & line access. In exchange for this give them a 5 year timeline: get real broadband (e.g. 10 Megabits per sec) to a high percentage of US households (e.g. > 75%) or the regulations will come back along with any public canings deemed appropriate for RBOC mgt.

First off, the RBOCs are no longer required to offer line sharing anyway -- where have you been? They sometimes offer it commercially (not as a UNE) because it's incremental revenue and takes away from cable. In any case, you're right back in the Industrial Policy area that I referred to earlier. But getting ADSL2+ to 75% of homes within a decade is trivial. And what good will it do the consumer, if it's on the RBOCs' terms (no ISPs except their own)? You'll end up with a simple duopoly, one CATV and one ILEC, each with its own ISP, and no other ISPs. Then those ISPs will offer filtered, walled-garden services (think "Great Firewall of China", only for commercial reasons as well as to curry political favor). Much worse than we have now. Who gives a goat's bzadeh if the ILEC can stream Fox News at you in HDTV?

Now, WRT pubic ownership, you're reciting the precise ideological argument that I was expecting. The government is actually pretty good at some things. Who else provides roads, bridges, sewers, flood control structures, and similar infrastructure? And for that matter, Social Security has an extremely low overhead, far better than the mutual funds. So I don't think letting them own a LoopCo would result in a bad job being done.

Nor am I calling for it to be a monopoly. It is by its nature a natural monopoly, which means that there won't be a lot of competitors even if it's allowed. Now if you go to Scott's article, you'll see the RBOCs' long-term future being cloudy. Revenues are not keeping up. Powell's industrial policy was to have needless overbuilds, with each CLEC and ISP expected to own its own wire on the poles, hoping to get enough market share to pay off. That does help the bucket-truck-rental industry and the glass industry, but it's still an economic waste. Sort of like the king whose answer to a depression was to pay people to build walls and tear them down, over and over. There are better uses of a resource.

Since it is a natural monopoly, and real competition isn't going to happen (duopolies don't count -- they collude), the answer is to regulate the monopolist. I'm perfectly happy to see it be a joint-stock company, with some fiscal incentives to be efficient (but not rate caps). Again, the idea is to not repeat the problem of the last divestiture, when the spun-off Baby Bells decided not to stick to their knitting, and ended up abusing their monopoly power.
keelhaul42
keelhaul42
12/5/2012 | 3:28:29 AM
re: WiMax Guide
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
That's fine, but the truth is that the RBOCs are doing bo diddley against those spaces anyway. Cablecos don't need the ILECs, except to interconnect, and have the clout to retain it. So that's kind of like asking to not let elephants into the dining room.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
Well, no. If the RBOCs start feeling some heat from the Cablecos they will respond in the way they know best: get the FCC to administer a dose of regulatory poison. (Instead of competing GǪ)
They surely have a regiment of lawyers & lobbyists in training for this should they need to use them.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
First off, the RBOCs are no longer required to offer line sharing anyway -- where have you been? They sometimes offer it commercially (not as a UNE) because it's incremental revenue and takes away from cable.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
Sorry, poor phrasing/choice of words. The RBOCs wailed bitterly about line sharing, said they can't buildout tomorrow's access networks if forced to share at below market rates etc, etc, ...
Enter the carrot: get something done that we want (high speed buildout) and we'll spare you the stick (forced line sharing)
I think the FCC made a poor deal on this one, could and should have squeezed the RBOCs much harder.


>>>>>>>>>>>>
In any case, you're right back in the Industrial Policy area that I referred to earlier.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
Remember I said this was partially tongue in cheek? It's the path of least resistance: requires very little other than holding the line on new regs and extracting just a little more from the RBOCs in exchange for releasing them from line sharing. Besides, I'm not an ideologue either, moderation, all that jazz :-)


>>>>>>>>>>>>>
But getting ADSL2+ to 75% of homes within a decade is trivial.
>>>>>>>>>
Huh? Billions of $$, digging, cutting, splicing, etc? What are you telling me and when can you start?


>>>>>>>>>>
You'll end up with a simple duopoly, one CATV and one ILEC, each with its own ISP, and no other ISPs. Then those ISPs will offer filtered, walled-garden services (think "Great Firewall of China", only for commercial reasons as well as to curry political favor). Much worse than we have now. Who gives a goat's bzadeh if the ILEC can stream Fox News at you in HDTV?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Two is better than one, especially if they both have to answer to shareholders. You forgot wireless (three). There's also satellite for those who just want Fox News in HDTV (3 -1/2).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Now, WRT pubic ownership, you're reciting the precise ideological argument that I was expecting. The government is actually pretty good at some things. Who else provides roads, bridges, sewers, flood control structures, and similar infrastructure? And for that matter, Social Security has an extremely low overhead, far better than the mutual funds. So I don't think letting them own a LoopCo would result in a bad job being done.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
No, I gave a factual argument. Granted, some infrastructure seems to have been handled reasonably well by govt agencies. But very often it can be - and has been - privatized with excellent results. So the jury is still out on that. Let's give Fredric Bastiaat some credit and pay attention to what is seen and what is not seen.
Re: social security, please educate yourself on this. If you want that can be a separate discussion that easily rivals this one. But please don't mention it in an attempt to bolster a case for govt programs -- that's bad salesmanship.


>>>>>>>>>>>>
Nor am I calling for it to be a monopoly. It is by its nature a natural monopoly, which means that there won't be a lot of competitors even if it's allowed.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I thought a monopoly meant ONE entity. Anyway, we have the likes of Comcast et al spending capital to bring cable service to residences, wireless is getting a hard look, ...
Two or three choices are better than one and one is all we'll get if we fall into this natural monopoly mode of thinking.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Now if you go to Scott's article, you'll see the RBOCs' long-term future being cloudy. Revenues are not keeping up.
>>>>>>>>>>>
Good, might get them off their collective duff ...
fear has been effective in motivating other private enterprises. A little panic in HQ could be just what we need.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Powell's industrial policy was to have needless overbuilds, with each CLEC and ISP expected to own its own wire on the poles, hoping to get enough market share to pay off. That does help the bucket-truck-rental industry and the glass industry, but it's still an economic waste.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Time will tell. The companies doing that are businesses run by and for people who will feel PAIN if they fail, joy (or whatever moves you) should they succeed. This is what moves markets. Let it work.
Let's not pretend this paradigm applies to govt enterprises. Take a look at what you'll get out of social security if you've more than a few years to retirement for a graphic reminder.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Again, the idea is to not repeat the problem of the last divestiture, when the spun-off Baby Bells decided not to stick to their knitting, and ended up abusing their monopoly power.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Agreed. One very good way of avoiding this problem is to make sure no one has the monopoly power. Let them earn their way just like the rest of us.

-kh
rjmcmahon
rjmcmahon
12/5/2012 | 3:28:27 AM
re: WiMax Guide
Structurally, the only way it can happen is if the government "buys out" the RBOCs.

The following paper from the Electric utility industry gives some guidance on how this could be done.

Valuation and Compensation Issues in Establishing a Public Power Utility

http://appanet.files.cms-plus....

It suggests to me that the existing local loops will need to be condemned and brought under local ownwership.

The idea of using US tax payers dollars to "buy out" RBOC shareholders doesn't solve the problem. That's a financial game where nothing of real value gets created. Value creation will occur when people start investing into the upgrades of the outside plant and into the establishment of modern, Internet Protocol capable, operations and management staff. Motivating value creation is what needs to be done.

Solving this is no small task. One wonders if Iraq will become a democratic state before the US has a modern communications infrastructure. Let's hope for our children's sake both can happen within a generation.
keelhaul42
keelhaul42
12/5/2012 | 3:28:26 AM
re: WiMax Guide
RJ:
Solving this is no small task. One wonders if Iraq will become a democratic state before the US has a modern communications infrastructure. Let's hope for our children's sake both can happen within a generation.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
RJ, you sure can turn a phrase. I thought I had it nailed by saying we were set to fall behind N. Korea but I can see you've done me one better.

-kh
Peter Heywood
Peter Heywood
12/5/2012 | 3:15:20 AM
re: WiMax Guide
http://www.answers.com/topic/w...
<<   <   Page 7 / 7
Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
October 1-2, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Why Are Governments Around the World Subsidizing 5G?
By Paul Zhou, FromGeek.com, for Huawei
Edge Computing, the Next Great IT Revolution
By Rajesh Gadiyar, Vice President & CTO, Network & Custom Logic Group, Intel Corp
Innovations in Home Media Terminals for the Upcoming 5G Era
By Tang Wei, Vice President, ZTE Corporation
All Partner Perspectives