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WiMax: Town & Country

The latest report from Light Reading's research division, Heavy Reading, shows that wired operators are very interested in using WiMax to deliver fixed and mobile broadband services but finds that the nascent wireless technology is liable to be a country mouse rather than a city kitty.

WiMax boosters like to talk up the myriad fixed and mobile wireless applications that the technology will be used for -- when officially certified products start to hit the market -- probably in the second half of 2005.

But Heavy Reading's "WiMax Reality Check" finds that larger operators hoping to use technology to extend the coverage of cable and DSL services in urban areas may find it easier to stick with the devil they know rather than leap into the wireless unknown.

In the city, DSL and cable will prove to be extremely competitive on performance and price.

"DSL is continually improving in terms of both bandwidth and in coverage distance from the central office," the report states. "That raises the question: Assuming that commercial WiMax gear debuts in the second half of 2005, will DSL technology have improved to the point that many of the shortcomings WiMax is supposed to address no longer exist?"

And beyond DSL, a huge expansion in fiber connectivity is looming. "There's going to be an increasing number of subscribers who have access to fiber to the home," opines Shaun McFall, VP of field marketing at Stratex Networks, in the report. "When that's done, the game is over for WiMax."

And even on price it is hard to see how WiMax operators will compete with established wired networks. Estimates for the initial cost of WiMax basestations range between $10,000 and $20,000. Meanwhile, CPE boxes could cost anything between $750 to $250, according to vendors quoted in the report.

"Growth in WiMax equipment volumes will drive down the cost of network infrastructure and CPE, and the speed at which it can reach levels that are competitive with DSL and cable will determine how quickly and widely it's adopted," the report notes. "Price competition in the broadband arena is already fierce, so it's rather difficult to see how one could swoop in with an offer that would convince a broadband provider to adopt WiMax rather than upgrading its cable or DSL infrastructure."

And wired broadband operators are already offering services priced around $30 a month -- or under.

"We don't foresee in the near term offering service for $30 a month," says Philip Urso, founder and CEO of TowerStream Corp. in the report. "It's not profitable for us or for anyone."

But in rural areas the story is reversed: Broadband infrastructure is nowhere near as established, and WiMax starts to look like a much more attractive proposition.

"This market condition provides the most fertile ground for WiMax," writes Tim Kridel, the report's author. "In the rural area of a developed country, for example, the only option for Internet access might be dial-up – possibly via a long-distance call... We believe that this strategy is sound."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:07:41 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
So, you agree that the unbundling law is the same around the world! See here is the thing. There are 2 places where buildouts are going on: US and Japan. Local loop unbundling need not apply in either. Now for older lines (which includes the not upgrading all of western europe) the equivalent of UNE-L exists in all cases.

Telric is a joke because it does not provide a profit.

Qwest (an IXC and a bubble company) has raped and continues to rape US West. Another bubble company with folks going to jail.

There have always been alternate providers that provide specific services. We will have a duopoly shortly to virtually all the country for voice data and video to residences. Business have not changed at all.

seven
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:41 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country So, you agree that the unbundling law is the same around the world!

I agree that local loop unbundling is a worldwide phenomenon, and your railing against it goes against the consensus.

See here is the thing. There are 2 places where buildouts are going on: US and Japan. Local loop unbundling need not apply in either.

Huh? I presume you're referring to "new fiber". Of course Japan's geography makes for a very, very different OSP situation. The US ILECs are not acutally doing significant buildouts. They're doing token buildouts. They promised major buildouts in 1993-1994, in exchange for price caps. They didn't deliver. Now they're promising the same thing again, in exchange for removal of UNEs. What makes you think they'll deliver this time? The bottom line for overbuilding, even by the ILEC of its own plant, is usually pretty bad.

Now for older lines (which includes the not upgrading all of western europe) the equivalent of UNE-L exists in all cases.

Yes, though the US ILECs are still fighting it.

Telric is a joke because it does not provide a profit.

Almost every CLEC I know would kill for 12% return on equity. If that's not profit, then what is? Okay, I know; the RBOCs want collective ownership of the Federal Reserve. (Then they could monetize their debt.) Nothing short of that would make them happy.
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:42 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Nope, UNE-P and UNE-L are different. UNE-L has gone nowhere except where people are plowing billions of dollars into new networks. The arguement for UNE is that people are reaping the benefit of this old network. Well, what about new network. Thats why unbundling is not required. If you want access, pay for construction people do overbuild.

That's just plain silly again, Bellheaded ranting for that proverbial pony. There's a natural monopoly on local and short-haul interoffice outside plant, but not on most other aspects of telecom. No natural monopoly on running an ISP, running a mail server, or running a voice switch. Yet your model makes them all monopolies, by enabling the owner of the natural monopoly outside plant to leverage that essential facility against its competitors in non-monopoly areas. Not only does that run afoul of the principles of antitrust, but it's 180 degrees against the direction of the industry worldwide. Local loop unbundling is the law of the land in the EU, and in most of the developed world. Multiple carriers on ever-taller phone poles went out of style by 1910.

BTW, have you ever tried to overbuild? I work with overbuilders. Poles are already quite crowded. The ILECs got on their much cheaper.

Ob. the subject at hand: Given Gingrichite regulators who think that way, WiMax is sometimes more practical than stringing parallel wire on a pole. So some ISPs and CLECs will turn to it for lack of an alternative.

Telric is a joke. Forget about rate of return carriers it only applies to small IOCs. The point is if you drive all the profit away from the business nobody can afford to be in it.

Why is TELRIC a joke? It applies to all ILECs, save rural-exempt ones who don't have to provide UNEs. TELRIC does provide profit. If you don't like the way it's administered, then contest the details. These rate cases are certainly not quickie proceedings -- a lot of variables are carefully considered.

How many RBOCs defrauded their investors?

All of them. I'm sure you concede that Qwest was guilty of creative accounting; they fit in the rogues' gallery in my new book, albeit for their LD shenanigans. But without spilling too many beans, I am aware of serious fraud allegations (SEC-level) being prepared against at least one other RBOC. It seems that they have been billing CLECs erroneously for both UNEs and local interconnection services. And those "unintentional" "system" errors always go in one direction. And the CLECs have been protesting, but not getting fast results -- the false charges remain on the bills for years, even after low-level droids admit the error. Yet it's likely that their SEC "revenue" numbers reflect the false overbillings, not the corrected billings. This is not a small dollar item; it's rampant.

Now lets talk about CLECs? Hmmmm.....see the point?

Yep, most CLECs are privately owned. A handful of boom-era companies took some stupid investors to the cleaners, but CLECs were as a group no worse than most other IT-related sectors. And since most CLECs are small family businesses, they had nobody outside to defraud. 100% of RBOCs are public. I don't think any of my pure CLEC or ISP/CLEC clients trade publicly. They watch their dollars like their own, because they are.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:07:43 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
My point on the SLC 96 is that the 1/3 of lines behind the DLC are in a small minority behind a SLC 96. Sorry that you can't accept that, thus your 2/3s numbers are BS.

Nope, UNE-P and UNE-L are different. UNE-L has gone nowhere except where people are plowing billions of dollars into new networks. The arguement for UNE is that people are reaping the benefit of this old network. Well, what about new network. Thats why unbundling is not required. If you want access, pay for construction people do overbuild.

Telric is a joke. Forget about rate of return carriers it only applies to small IOCs. The point is if you drive all the profit away from the business nobody can afford to be in it.

How many RBOCs defrauded their investors? Now lets talk about CLECs? Hmmmm.....see the point? If you can invent a company to pay regulatory arbitrage (which is what the CLEC bubble was about), you don't have to do anything but scam money. There have always been small competitive niche carriers who have carved out markets. They did so before UNE-P and will afterwards.

After your last message, I assume you acknowledge that UNE-P was a useless proposition.

seven
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:50 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country So you admit you are upset about SLC 96 but your numbers are bogus as SLC 96 was obsoleted in the 1980s.

Huh? I'm not "upset" about SLC-96; I'm reporting on its existence, and why your argument about NGDLC is irrelevant where SLC-96 is still in service. It may have been obsoleted from new manufacture in the 1980s, but ILECs leave old stuff in service approximately Forever, unless they have a good reason to remove it. I think VZ (Original Bell Atlantic) still has some analog COs in service, for instance.

So, you are wrong about DSL and competition...now for UNE-P.

You sound like Shrub blasting Kerry for "supporting" the invasion of Iraq, when Kerry preceded his vote with a lengthy (he's like that) and detailed explanation of why he didn't favor invasion in the near term, but favored pressuring Iraq while giving inspectors plenty of time, etc. Shrub turns that into "he voted for it and now he's ag'in it." Remove context and true statements are effectively lies.

Okay, so here is the point. First off you described UNE-L not UNE-P. So, please learn before you speak.

I'm talking about both. I rarely bring up UNE-P, since I'm basically a UNE-L advocate, but you like to blast all CLECs equally, so what's your point? I brought up UNE-P here because it was relevant.

Second off, remove the profit remove the investment. Now look what happens when you allow the investment to occur. You get FTTP and IPTV.

Huh? As I noted several times, TELRIC pricing for UNEs includes profit. Hell, last night I was listening to The Motley Fool Radio Program and they were telling a caller about what a good deal "balanced" funds were, mixing low-risk low-yield bonds with riskier stocks, to provide a typical 7% return. They were oh so impressed! Yet TELRIC nowadays is designed to give the ILECs a return on equity in the 10-13% range. (Each state picks a sensible number. FCC rules state that competitive risk for a given product may be taken into account, so riskier UNEs can have a higher return.) Back in the 1970s, monopoly LECs were typically given returns in the 8-10% range, and capital was a LOT costlier then (remember inflation?). Yet the world didn't come to an end. Ma Bell kept investing and paying dividends.

What you want is investment in the network. Let the companies that actually matter do that. CLECs are dead, have no money and no longer matter. Let them die, all they did is lie to the investment community.

That's your ridiculous prejudice. Sure there wre crooks who put on CLEC hats, just as there wre crooks who put on banker hats, broker hats and merchant hats. But that doesn't make all bankers, brokers or merchants crooks. Lots of hard-working honest CLECs do plenty of good things today. I am proud to have a number of them as clients. Monopolies provide bad service at bad prices, and slow down technological progress.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:07:53 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
So you admit you are upset about SLC 96 but your numbers are bogus as SLC 96 was obsoleted in the 1980s.

So, you are wrong about DSL and competition...now for UNE-P.

Okay, so here is the point. First off you described UNE-L not UNE-P. So, please learn before you speak. Second off, remove the profit remove the investment. Now look what happens when you allow the investment to occur. You get FTTP and IPTV.

What you want is investment in the network. Let the companies that actually matter do that. CLECs are dead, have no money and no longer matter. Let them die, all they did is lie to the investment community.

seven
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:54 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country UNE-P means that SBC has to rent its lines and its equipment to other companies to resell.

True. More importantly, though, and the point I was making, is that it set a wholesale price based on cost, with a fair profit. That's the traditional pricing formula for monopolies. UNE-P is a cost-based price, tempered by the need for a reseller to do some of the work. It only works as a business because the ILEC's prices are not cost based, but involve significant extraction of monopoly rents.

It means they add no equipment and therefore no value. People that think this is a good idea want the network to collapse.

Oh, that's just silly. They add value by providing an avenue to cost-based (vs. monopoly-gouge) pricing. Some UNE-P CLECs also provide significant added value in credit-risk management (selling to ILEC-rejected subs). Others add value to the bundle elsewhere. Some use it as a way to provide DSL, absent line sharing (which your buddies removed). Under TRO rules, the DSL-CLEC can no longer ask for line share, but can ask for the line to become UNE-P, and *then* share it with its own data service.

So, suppose the RBOCs decide to invest $0 in the network and go into the donut business with their money. They could lay off their entire staff and pay the fines. They could let the network rot. Then where is your UNE-P?

Sounds that way for any business. RBOCs make a fair profit on UNE-P. If they don't want it, then they should indeed get out of the business and sell it to somebody who does. Regulated-rate LECs did fine for years. Today's ILECs are just greedy.
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:55 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country DLCs with Integrated DSL blades started shipping in March of 1999.

So the hell what? The SLC-96 that VeriZontal uses in my neighborhood (your basic CEV equipped with fourteen of the suckers, vintage 1986 or so) doesn't have a DSL blade. I did once manage to get them to put ISDN in it though. (I don't count IDSL as meaningful.)

Independent rural telcos have been doing remote DSLAMs for years, but then they usually think rural. And get subsidies... SBC talked a big game with Pronto, but when Shrub and the princeling Powell came along, they suspended it, hoping to hold upgrades hostage to their anticompetitive agenda. So not a lot went in. Ditto VeriZontal, which has only recently begun to put in more than token remote DSLAMs. Not really a regulatory issue -- they cost more per line than CO-based ones, so they spent the money first where the margins were highest.

But if a subscriber *is* in a remote DSLAM, there is usually no CLEC-DSL alternative (e.g., Covad), although I know a few hardy CLECs who do in fact put in remote-terminal DSLAMs themselves, leasing the distribution subloop. Common carriage is still in effect, so such subscribers still can choose an ISP, but the Bells are working hard to kill that option.
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:55 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country From a purely economic-efficiency viewpoint, WiMax doesn't make a lot of sense in urban areas. It's great for rural coverage though. In urban areas, spectrum is a bit costly, and so are radios (and their supporting infrastructures), so DSL and cable can both be cheaper. There's an old saying among my cohorts -- nobody ever makes money doing wireless data. Will WiMax change that? Not certain.

But there are other factors in play. The current FCC (this hinges dramatically on the election) does not believe in wireline competition or common carriage. They believe that the wire owner should control everthing on it. So there will be one LEC/ISP, and one cable/ISP. Business in non-cable areas (cable plant is mostly in residential areas) who don't want to subject themselves to the ILEC will thus depend upon wireless access, unless they're in the <1% of buildings with competitive fiber access.

WiMax thus becomes an important survival tool for non-ILEC service providers. Whether wholesale (licensed radio provider selling its services to ISPs and CLECs) or retail (WISP/WCLEC), the non-ILEC service providers may be forced to use radio in order to stay in business. WiMax is the commodity technology that will dominate the volume end of that market, even in cities.

On the other hand, if common carriage survives, then urban ISPs will be able to use wireline networks, limiting the appeal of WiMax. Some providers may still make a go of it, but there won't be the same pressure.

Licensed spectrum for WiMax is not common carriage, unless someone chooses to offer it that way, so that's another variable to contend with...
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:07:57 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
The $48 phone service (which I noted was part of a bundle) includes Long Distance service with 200 minutes of calling.

UNE-P means that SBC has to rent its lines and its equipment to other companies to resell. It means they add no equipment and therefore no value. People that think this is a good idea want the network to collapse. So, suppose the RBOCs decide to invest $0 in the network and go into the donut business with their money. They could lay off their entire staff and pay the fines. They could let the network rot. Then where is your UNE-P?

seven
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:07:57 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
According to whom is DSL only available to 67% of consumers?

DLCs with Integrated DSL blades started shipping in March of 1999. The first commercial installation of such was at Valley Telephone in West Texas. The consumer was 22 miles from the Central Office. Today the following DLC manufacturers offer DSL blades:

AFC
Alcatel
Calix
Catena (and they offer the card for the SLC 5)
Lucent
Occam

So, are you on drugs and have missed the last 5 years? Did you also miss out on Remote DSLAMs?

seven

fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:58 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country " SBC just dropped its pricing today to $19.95 "

Only if you take about $48 in voice services. Well, duh! ILEC Local residential phone service usually carries a predatory (but regulator-friendly) base price under $20, but they nickel and dime you to death on top of that. So they cover their costs when you sign up for a few options, whose marginal price is normally near zero but whose price is high.

If you're paying $48 for POTS, then $20 for DSL more than covers their nut. That's a $68 bundle. Hardly a great bargain. "Hey sucker, you've overpaid so much already, we'll throw in a sot at cost!"

This is largely a result of their expectation that UNE-P will go away. UNE-P is the last vestige of regulated cost-based POTS pricing. Without it, the ILECs in many states will be able to gouge away with no real recourse, there being no meaningful competition, and, if they can keep up the Powell momentum, no chance of much competition except maybe cable. And a duopoly is hardly vibrant competition.
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:07:58 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country BellstherewereSeven noted,

According to statistics I have seen 93% of consumers have access to broadband and 80% have access to 2 or more providers.

Or are you misquoting FCC numbers that say that 80% of consumers live within a zip code that is touched, at any point within the zip code, by two or more providers?

How can you have two broadband providers when DSL is only available to under 2/3 of the population, due to long loops, loading coils, DLC, etc.? But there may be DSL near the CO. It's the suburb problem, remember?

Statistics don't lie, but liars, especially RBOCs, love statistics.
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 1:08:06 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country I see the new 802.16e spec as the physical layer for true 3G wireless service. 5 years out, a low transmit power version is going to be in every cellphone and PDA. The new killer application is going to be the mobile videophone and the "Honey, should I buy this one?" phone call. Unlike 802.11, I see 802.16 being run on licensed frequencies by service providers. The 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum for WiMax is going to be problematic for anything but point to point with a directional antenna and line of sight.

There is some incremental money to be made using WiMax in rural areas but the pipe isn't really big enough to do video. Coax will still be king for 90% of the market.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:08:12 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
Good luck with that. Going to run a DS3 to each of these little base stations?

seven
freetoair 12/5/2012 | 1:08:14 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country here goes Tropos Marketing Dept again...
wap545 12/5/2012 | 1:08:16 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country WiMAX will not fail, it will thrive both in the Metro Areas and Rural areas. Metro area deployments will be based on Multiple Mesh Networks Gateways being fed by WiMAX BAse Stations delivering services to both Fixed Subscribers as well as portable and Mobile users. This latter functions (porting ones Broadband Link with them) will dominate the demand for Broadband Services. If the incumbent service providers ignore these new WISP's, in their market they do it at their peril. These folks will team up with City/County and Muni's, lease Access from the SP for their WiMAX Base Station and deploy the new MultiBand Mesh systems dominating this Metro Area Wireless space.
Keep in mind that a real Mesh net can deliver 11-24Mbps in any sector and when fed with multiple WiMAX PTP or PTMP link will provide the comprehensive Metro Area coverage promised.
Phase #1 It will be WiMAX Point to Point and Point to Multi Point connecting Mesh Net which connects to standards based 802.11a/b/g subscriber devices. By the way SP, this will also include delivering a QoS based VoiceIP service over the same WLAN Link.
Phase #2 (802.16e) will introduce the true mobility and eventually full Multi Media functionality to these Sectors with customer access devices (Laptops/PDA/Game devices and Smart Phones). That is when the Cell Carriers need to have a foot in this door or lose local metro market share.


WiFi/WLAN (802.11a/b/g) will rule for the next 12-18 Months in the Last Mile Access side with WiMAX reducing connection costs to SP networks. Then in the 2006-8 time frame 802.16x products will be in Circuit City and Best Buy at $39.

Jacomo
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:08:19 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
Well, and those are advertised maximum data rates. Not actual connect speeds. That is on top of whatever other issues are involved. There is one anecdote of a guy buying the 40M DSL service and getting a lower connect rate than his G.lite service.

seven
john mcclenny 12/5/2012 | 1:08:19 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Americans pay 20 times as much as the Japanese for broadband access. Quoting Business Week, the report says U.S. consumers pay about $35 a month for a 1.5-megabit-per-second connection, compared with about $25 a month in Japan for a 26 megabits a second.

I always get irritated at these speed comparisons. What is the sustained data rate for these faster end connections? Is it any faster than slower end connections? Where does their network bottleneck, because it most certainly will. This is like comparing 60s muscle cars - strong in one aspect of performance but perhaps lacking in other areas.


paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:08:24 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
Doug,

There is a company doing that. Its called Verizon. Once the shackles of having to resell its multi-billion dollar investment to its competitor was removed note what its doing. 15M/3M for $49.95 a month.

seven
douggreen 12/5/2012 | 1:08:25 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country " SBC just dropped its pricing today to $19.95 "

The RBOCs are moving (or have moved) to tiered pricing. THe lowball prices are for service that is 2X-3X what you can get with dialup. This is just an extention to the evoluionary path that we were on with dialup (9.6 to 14.4 to 28.8 to 56K, now 128K DSL).

What many people are looking for is a leap in bandwidth that enables a new realm of applications.



jepovic 12/5/2012 | 1:08:26 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Wimax promises to increase capacity and lower CPE prices. As anyone who has tried to sell and deliver FWA services know, that has never been the real problem with FWA.

Wimax will still have unpredicable capacity, depending on the local geography. This will be a hassle for sales people, and they will prefer to sell DSL and fiber.

Most importantly, delivery will still require on-site visits and new in-house cabling, which will make each new customer cost at least $500 plus CPE costs. That's a showstopper for all consumers as well as SMEs, and the larger corporates will still need fiber. Many times, customers will need permits and pay fees to the landlord for the antenna on the roof, which increase cost and delivery times. Compare with DSL, where you can fedex the CPE or just ask the customer to get it himself.

That leaves the odd cases of really rural customers, or sites with needs for extremely fast delivery. Those volumes won't be enough to get the component costs down anyway, or give the operators the volmues they need.

Wimax will fail, just like FSO and previous FWA generations.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:08:26 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
Well, thats because there is no access problem. According to statistics I have seen 93% of consumers have access to broadband and 80% have access to 2 or more providers.

So since virtually everybody in the US can get broadband and only 60% has computers, I think you are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. By the way if you were paying attention, SBC just dropped its pricing today to $19.95 (you do have to buy a bundle).

Gee, I guess if access was a problem...hmmm...I guess that P2P would not be putting a strain on networks. Hmmmm....maybe the backbones are too oversubscribed to support the bandwidth that is out there if people use it. Hmmmm.....Mobility might be nice but broadband access is available. Hmmmm....highest rate internet access....who has that....oh wait its Verizon...hmmm....
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 1:08:26 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country The problem is that most people don't appear to see it that way or they would be screaming louder (like they do about gas prices).

Agreed that the public isn't going to get out in front with our access problem.

Leaders in our industry can do better than offering up WiMAX. Leaders in the power industry can do better than offering up BPL. The FCC can do better than offering VoIP as a subsititute for the competitive goals of the Telco Act.

We can and must do better.
douggreen 12/5/2012 | 1:08:28 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country fiber_r_us,

Our network was built in a different era, when we were way ahead of the rest of the world and felt no need to "manage" it's evolution.

Some of the other countries had the "benefit" of having to come from behind. This forced them into a more managed evolution of their networks. Some governments likely did have more vision than ours, but they also had more "facts" in front of them. They also had the "advantage" that their governments managed more aspects of their lives anyway.

I think that it is fair to say that our population doesn't understand much at all about where we stand competitively with the rest of the world. We are too busy watching the stock market, playing the lottery, and watching reality shows. Instead of educating us on important issues, our media makes sure that we are fully informed on the latest with Scott Peterson.
lastmile 12/5/2012 | 1:08:28 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country douggreen
It's a lot easier to run a fiber bundle to a high rise apartment complex and service hundreds of households than to deliver service to one house at a time.
Yes I agree but the US also has a dense concentration of population in cites that puts large percentages of people within easy reach of fiber.
I have been to Japan many a time and I am sure that the US can be divided into many 'Japans' in terms of population density/sq mile.
Even the dense concentration of population in our cites does not have fiber.
Most of our energy is spent on regulatory battles.
jpotterADI 12/5/2012 | 1:08:28 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country I thought the value proposition of WiMax was mobility - DSL type speed but anywhere within the urban space, whether it be taxi, coffee shop, etc.

If the monthly cost was double existing DSL wouldn't many people pay for the freedom of mobility? Plus an SP could also roll out VoIP services over the network as well to compete with mobile carriers, right?

obviously there are regulatory challenges but in a perfect world are there any other reasons why the above would not work?
fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 1:08:28 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Then why do the other countries apparently "need it" enough to go out and do it??

-- Is it that their populations understand the value of good access more than our population?? (which wouldn't suprise me at all)

-- Or do their governments have more vision than ours?? (which wouldn't suprise me either)

-- Or that our LECs have paid-off politicians so that they could insure that regulations favored their ability to continue milking the ancient copper plant for another decade or two (at the expense of our country's leadership in communications)?
douggreen 12/5/2012 | 1:08:29 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country fiber_r_us,

It is your opinion (and that of many others) that the need for higher speed telecom access is in the same leaque as roads, sewers, water, gas, etc. The problem is that most people don't appear to see it that way or they would be screaming louder (like they do about gas prices). The discusion on this board is not being repeated in the average household.

IMO, the question of whether or not access infrastructure is the responsibility of private enterprise or the government is irrelevant until the problem is considered a problem by a broad enough cross section of the population. Don't expect the government to show any vision other than what they see in the polls.



fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 1:08:31 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Yes. But we are willing to pay the "suburb penalty" for roads, sewers, water, gas, gasoline, electricity, shopping, work, schools, etc.

So, getting decent telecom access is clearly economically within the realm of something that can be done (as it is cheaper than many of the items listed above).
douggreen 12/5/2012 | 1:08:32 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country rjm,

While I won't argue that access in the US is a problem, Japan is not an apples to apples comparison. Aside from the issues that Tony pointed out, Japan has a dense concentration of population in cites that puts large percentages of people within easy reach of fiber. It's a lot easier to run a fiber bundle to a high rise apartment complex and service hundreds of households than to deliver service to one house at a time.

We are certainly paying a penalty for the way our access network has evolved historically. One might also argue that we pay a penalty for the fact that we want to live in the suburbs in neighborhoods versus concentrated in large cities in apartments.

Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:08:33 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
Rj,

It's very true that Japan's access prices are far lower than what we pay. However, it is entirely possible that the market in Japan is still in the midst of the bubble. Access prices may be artificially low, driven by a land-grab mentality amongst the providers there using cheap access as a loss leader to gain subscribers. Only time will tell if prices stabilize at that level.

Tony
unlimited 12/5/2012 | 1:08:34 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country It's hard to know the role that WiMax will play in access but it's not for incumbent providers. Today broadband Internet is still so constrained that it holds back the transisiton to VoIP. Incumbents have a desperate need to sell voice and Internet access at prices that will sustain their current revenue levels. That means they do not want to make it easy for service bypass. I suspect triple play services will be constrained so that access bandwidth is metered out in expensive per service increments. A new wireless access provider could take a fresh approach and set pricing and performance levels at far more attractive levels. Whether and how this will happen remains to be seen.
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 1:08:36 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country The report states,

"Price competition in the broadband arena is already fierce, so it's rather difficult to see how one could swoop in with an offer that would convince a broadband provider to adopt WiMax rather than upgrading its cable or DSL infrastructure."

But according to an article in yesterday's Mercury news, Americans are paying 20 times as much for internet access as the Japanese and still too many don't have access at all.

Americans pay 20 times as much as the Japanese for broadband access. Quoting Business Week, the report says U.S. consumers pay about $35 a month for a 1.5-megabit-per-second connection, compared with about $25 a month in Japan for a 26 megabits a second. While half of American consumers with incomes over $75,000 a year have broadband access, half of those who earn less than $30,000 have no Internet service at all.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld...

Looks a lot like the flu vacine problem where public interests are not being served very well. Why is that?
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 1:08:37 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
I think the point is that Wireless Internet will serve the same speed needs as 2 embedded technologies (DSL and Cable). Thus, its likely to be a niche business in the industrialized world urban/suburban settings. In particular, current 1 - 3 Mb/s offerings are going to be challenged by higher connect rate (FIOS primary service is a 15M/3M connection) services.

I think its challenging to want to invest in a broad way into a market with 2 incumbents with not a lot of differentiation to the service.

seven
sgan201 12/5/2012 | 1:08:37 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Hi,
WiMax will succeed or fail depending on whether it is useful outside of the developed countries. In developed world, there are too many alternatives to justify the business. It is easier to deploy when you are green field and no other alternative existed. So, in order for WiMax to succeed, it has to be deployed first with volume in countries like India, China, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe. And, when the volume reach to a point where the CPE's price is around $100 or less, then we can talk about this as being viable alternative to DSL/Cable Modem.

But, given that WiMax is not designed optimally for the emerging market, it may never succeed.. Something else may win...


Dreamer
Frank 12/5/2012 | 1:08:38 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Good point, Tony, concerning business reasons. Beyond baaic install times, for instance, my clients would be looking to WiMAX and other wirelesses for D/R and secondary ingress/egress purposes in their smaller branch offices in order to back up critical services, even if on a highly impaired basis. However, based on our last experiences with major outages and the ability of wireless services to fit the bill, it appears that even wireless suffers initial shock syndrome before a period of stabilization or equillibrium can be arrived at, as we witnessed during 9/11 here in NY City.

Frank
freetoair 12/5/2012 | 1:08:38 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country Tony,

Agree. The question/challenge is on the business side. Can another "pipe" be offered at a cost/price point where an SP business case is viable. Without a new application (vs wireless DSL) then it all comes down to the business economics. Does the rural market only support this? Can CPEs hit the right cost point? Can service be reasonably engineered to support predictable service assurance & levels? Not clear from recent history that this is the case. And WiMAX chipsets do not change that. If the primary goal of the chipsets is to drive costs down that is great. But at what RF power levels can you make CPEs/modems that are viable from a battery consumption/heat dissipation level to use in laptops, etc.? Does the challenge here necessitate turning power down such that coverage/performance is now on par with 3G? How different is this from 3G once you look at RF performance/packaging in portable, battery powered devices?

Thoughts?
Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:08:38 AM
re: WiMax: Town & Country
While it's probably true that WiMax might not provide something that is technically vastly superior to DSL, I think that that is not the whole story. For alternative access providers or mobile access providers, WiMax may make a nice way to make an end run around the RBOC's install times. The draw may be on the business side, not the technical side.

Tony
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