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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

WiMAX In India

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I have been suffering from the lack-of-broadband-connection syndrome recently. Its amazing how much you can take broadband connection for granted. I signed up with Aritel DSL service about two weeks ago but the fat pipe is nowhere near my home yet. It seems that the they have to do some digging and lay some cables! That in turn means that I can forget about the broadband connection for a few more weeks.

Given that background, this study is of relevance. It states that WiMAX will succeed in India since there is no 3G deployments till now. Laying DSL cables takes time and the maximum they can go up to is a measly 256 kbps! The situation is similar to what it was when Wireless Telecom was introduced. The state owned Teleco's had a huge backlog with the waiting list running into years, whereas the demand for it was increasing. The demand for broadband is also increasing but without quick viable solutions in sight. If this can happen in Bangalore, I wonder how would it really be in the smaller cities.

Thankfully there are ongoing efforts. The policy is in the works and supposedly the 3.5 GHz spectrum will be allocated to it. Although it will take another one to two years till the services are widely available. Its the perfect technology for India to leap frog on.

Tags: WiMAX ADSL Airtel 3G TRAI Broadband
posted by Rajiv, 4:16 AM

1 Comments:

Here is another viewpoint on using WiMAX to provide connectivity to rural areas. The gist is the following:

The problem with WiMax at its current stage of development, says Brew, is that it is too expensive and requires too much power. "WiMax is not the answer yet. It my be soon, but right now it is also not fast enough or able to broadcast far enough," he says.

Brew's position on WiMax, as with many other issues, comes from years working in Uganda providing wireless and technology services. It is a position that lets him see through the hype. And he cautions the industry and regulators to be wary of the pitfalls of over-hyped new technologies. "In the big cities like Johannesburg and Lagos there is enough money to make mistakes; it's easy to swap out units and fix problems. But in the rural areas you only get one shot at making it work. There isn't enough money to make mistakes. In most cases there just isn't any money at al
l."

I like what is said at the end:

Brew also argues for the more rather than the less approach to broadband. "If you build it they will use it," he says citing experience of installations where implementors believed users only required a minimum service. "Don't just provide minimum bandwidth in expectation of what you believe people want."
Said Anonymous Amit Saha, 2:42 PM  

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