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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

Mobile Routers

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Here's an example of innovative use of the expensive 3G telecom services. Its the birth of a new breed of routers called the Mobile Routers. They use the EVDO or HSDPA network and provide the services of a small WiFi Hotspot. A very novel idea indeed. It enables you to use a single wireless plan and use it for all the computers at home, instead of relying on different ones. A good example of how both WiFi and 3G technologies can coexist together.

But the bandwidth on the wireless network is usually limited. The 3G systems have been designed with a single user in mind which can move around at will. The most practical speeds provided to a stationary user is generally around ~700 kbps, which is good enough for a single user. If that has to be shared by several users, it will be as good as a dialup.

This is exactly where backhaul WiMAX comes into the picture. The backhaul WiMAX specifically targets the problem of having and managing leased lines for WiFi hotspots. The hotspots can connect wirelessly to the internet instead. The only poroblem; its not available commercially yet. Maybe all these devices will move to a WiMAX backhaul eventually, provided WiMAX deployment is a success.

Till that happens, its bad news for the operators.

PS: an earlier post on WiMAX.

Update: Featured on Slashdot as well.

Update 2: Review of Kyocera's product in Wired.

Tags: Mobile Routers Portable Hotspots EVDO WiMAX 3G

posted by Rajiv, 7:13 AM

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