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Wireless Networking Hardware

Massive WiMax Network for India 145

An anonymous reader writes "Engadget reports that the largest Indian telecom company is planning to build a mobile WiMax network covering three states on the subcontinent capable of serving 250 million people. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is leaning on Soma Networks to build the broadband-speed network in response to government requirement that 20 million broadband lines be in service by 2010." Meanwhile I can't even get cable. Maybe it's time to move to India.
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Massive WiMax Network for India

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  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:34PM (#22193872)
    Maybe it's time to move to India.

          Why not. Your job already has.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Alsn ( 911813 )
      The first though that popped into my mind was instead the following:

      Maybe it's time to start a web based company such as a store or a downloading service in india... ;)
    • Maybe it's time to move to India.

      Why not. Your job already has.

      I was thinking Brazil [] myself. Nice weather and good place to retire. Probably more stable and less people per square km. Less strife and unrest.

      And with how many people there are in India, WiMax will be maxed out to a point it isn't very reliable or usable, much like many support centers I have had to recently use.

    • India doesn't allow foreigners to come in and work, or take jobs away from it's citizens, even if those foreigners are cheaper, better trained, better skilled, more capable and more competent in general. Ha.
      • Foreigners will never get a chance because there is always some indian who will work for less.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That's false.

        And has been shown to be so many times over here.

        1. The latest example of a foreigner working in India is Mr. Gary Kirsten (, the Indian cricket coach. The two coaches before him were Australian and New Zealander respectively.

        2. Australian cricketers routinely accept advertising contracts (and in one case a movie role) in India.

        3. There are backpackers from Europe working in call-centers.

        Your statement is not grounded

      • by oook_in ( 703298 )

        India doesn't allow foreigners to come in and work
        Untrue. []
      • by ghoul ( 157158 )
        Thats bullshit. India actually has an open border policy. If you show an offer letter from an Indian company you and your family get resident permits. As long as you have a job you can stay as long as you want. You only have to renew the permit each year by showing current employment
  • Like mobile phones (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apathy maybe ( 922212 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:35PM (#22193880) Homepage Journal
    There is a good reason for under-developed countries like India not to invest in cabling. It is the same reason why such countries have so many mobile phones as compared to landlines.

    Mobile phone towers are a lot cheaper to put up then running cables everywhere, they are a lot easier to upgrade, etc. (One reason why Japan and (West) Germany were able to do so well economically after WW2 was all the new equipment, all the old stuff having been bombed. Yes the money helped, but France got that money too...)

    Anyway, good oh.
    • by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @01:38PM (#22194354) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately mobile towers have the least redundancy in disaster times.
      All mobile towers have a 99% utilisation in india.
      It means if all the mobile users dial at the same time, you get a network busy tone. Heck i get a network busy tone about 30% of the time.
      During a storm the mobile network is the first to fail.

      Meanwhile the landline is the strongest network india has.
      If the power goes off, the generators in the exchanges run it for 24 hours, and even if they fail, the batteries keep them for another 14 hours.
      The generators are topped off with fuel almost weekly.

      The mobile towers run on batteries for 7 hours max. After that they start dropping off one by one.
      • Also, there is only so much bandwidth available in the electromagnetic spectrum. Once you fill the spectrum, it's very hard to find more capacity. With cabling, you can always add a little bit more, or use fibre optics to carry more data over the same size cable. Sure there's still limits, but cabled communications can provide much more bandwidth than wireless ever will. Wireless is the cheap way out that works now, but doesn't account for future growth. It's already becoming a problem with too many wi
        • Spectrum utilization is very, very important especially for large deployments. 250M => crazzy slow speed.

          Anyway, wireless is least reliable, least secure method of deployment. It is also cheapest to deploy in the near term. In the long term, fiber is cheaper and by far more reliable and expandable.

          WiMax may be a good secondary, low bandwidth connection to fiber/DSL. It is not a reliable primary connection though.
      • It means if all the mobile users dial at the same time, you get a network busy tone.
        A side point, but if everybody is dialing out, then there is nobody with an idle line for any of these people to try to call.

        I know, not what you meant...

        - RG>
      • by ap7 ( 963070 )
        In India, mobile towers are usually backed up with gensets. This is because erratic power supply caused by massive electricity shortage makes is absolutely neccesary to.
    • I'm not sure which states this network is going to cover, but India is a pretty dense country. Wired would be more cost effective for the major cities and states. BSNL is known for having the best rural coverage so maybe it won't skimp on additional/redundant wireless and backhaul bandwidth. Still, covering 250 million people with 1.5Mbit is Sprint's goal too, and I doubt BSNL is going to spend the billions Sprint has. Not to mention Sprint's backbone is probably 10x as better as BSNL's as far as peak capac
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Your comment seems to imply that cabling is better than wireless.While this is certainly true for optic fibres,wireless will beat conventional copper twisted pair cabling hands down in many cases.The cost/capacity ratio is simply too skewed in favour of wireless,in India.And this has nothing to do with India being "under-developed".This is simple engineering. Anyway,India has a significant investment in Optic Fiber channels.There are companies both in public and private sectors,that specialize in making op
    • This is more like Wireless in Local Loop [].
    • And of course, phone towers are far more difficult to steal than wires!
  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:53PM (#22194016) Homepage
    "Meanwhile I can't even get cable. Maybe it's time to move to India."

    Dude, the free market solves all problems. Didn't you get the memo?

    • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2008 @01:22PM (#22194216)
      XOHM ( is coming *very* soon and will offer WiMAX across the US. Our WiMAX buildout will be complete long before India's is. Many parts of the network are already operational and many active (non-commercial) users are on the network today. Performance is also VERY good, better than advertised.
      • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
        XOHM will make your city one big hot spot (COVERAGE NOT AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE).

              So I can get access everywhere except where I can't. Yawn. Call me when you have more than a couple silly videos to offer.
        • So I can get access everywhere except where I can't. Yawn. Call me when you have more than a couple silly videos to offer.
          What, you think the Indian service will offer connectivity across 100% of the nation? Are you on crack?
    • And where, pray tell, in your fairy tail world is a free market?
    • The largest private company in India (Reliance) has soft-launched [] WiMax for consumers in some parts of Bangalore... and a quick search on Google reveals users are not very happy []. SIFY, Aircel and VSNL already offer WiMax for corporate customers in some parts of the country..
      More here []
      • The best wireless we get in RSA is 1.8mbps on 3g with a 1gb cap, and the best wired sevice is 4mbps adsl with a 4gb cap.

        sucks... no wimax...
    • "Meanwhile, nobody will subsidize the cable service that I want so the costs are mostly hidden from me and borne by others who wouldn't otherwise pay for it."

      There, fixed that so it will make more sense to you.

    • Exactly! I see this argument all the time, where the interests of the John Q Citizen is presumed to be served by the free market. Like the interests of the large Corporations and the individual were presumed to be one and the same by the elected government. So when it comes to government loyalties, is it where the votes come from, or where the money comes from? The conflict of interests broken government contention! (I am presuming that your post was sarcastic here.)
    • "Meanwhile I can't even get cable. Maybe it's time to move to India."

      Dude, the free market solves all problems. Didn't you get the memo?

      What free market? There isn't one.

      • True, if there was a free market you'd be able to buy a sarcasm detector ;)
        • True, if there was a free market you'd be able to buy a sarcasm detector ;)

          It's hard to detect sarcasm without visual cues, especially on /. where so many don't understand or know what a free market is.

    • by ap7 ( 963070 )
      I don't think you've studied the Indian telecom market. If you look closely, a free and extremely competitive market has made the telecom business what it is today. Compare this with the regulated market that you love so much from 20 years ago in the same country and you will see the difference.
  • Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhrapradesh? That would make sense. Infact Chennai-Bangalore-Hyderabad triangle alone would be worth it.

    But given the hype and meddling by politicians, they might be pouring money in Godforsaken places like the Bihar-Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan corridor.

    • by oook_in ( 703298 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @01:47PM (#22194420)
      Looks like it's Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. This article [] also mentions that the roll out is supposed to happen by 2010. The weird thing is that the city of Mumbai in Maharashtra is serviced by another telecom company MTNL and not BSNL. I wonder if it will be covered by this WiMax network.
    • by grepya ( 67436 )
      of course the usual south vs north India ugliness raises it's head on slashdot too. I see and hear a lot of this when in India.
  • by ScorpFromHell ( 837952 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @01:39PM (#22194358) Homepage

    Computer penetration is not as good as mobiles in India. Also a 3g mobile is far cheaper (~ $200) than a computer (~ $300).

    The common man is more comfortable with using a mobile than a computer.

    If enough mobile apps are made available for most of the stuff that the common man requires it might be possible that 3g phones win over the wimax connected phones.

    In addition to the apps like feed readers, gmail, google maps, browsers, there need to be applications that can enable the common man to bank, pay bills, shop, get weather updates (atleast warnings), get various examination results (believe it or not, this is a big business for small time entrepreneurs in the rural districts), make bookings in trains, buses, etc.

  • Seriously though, it's not a bad idea for a young person starting his/her career in the western world to spend some time in India right about now. It will be fun (for some values of "fun") and a great asset on your resume.

    • Yeah, but get ready for a *massive* culture shock. When you arrive there, it's like you landed on a different planet or went back in time 100 years in the urban cities and 200-300 years in the villages.

      So... as they say here on slashdot: Goodluckwiththat!
  • Maybe it's time to move to India. Don't you dare take your jobs back!
  • by kicks-ass ( 977232 ) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:13PM (#22194606)
    The Russians dug 1000 ft in the ground and found copper wire, They declared Russians had electricity 1000 years back US dug and found Optical fibre, and said US had telepphone 2000 years back Indians dug, found nothing, Then said we had wireless communication technology 5000 years back
  • Sounds ideal for a large Netsukuku ( []) deployment to me. P2p heaven! Power to the people.
  • Providing broadband for millions of people in a country where tens (hundreds?) of millions more are in deep poverty is a modern-day version of "trickle down" economics.
    • Providing broadband for millions of people in a country where tens (hundreds?) of millions more are in deep poverty is a modern-day version of "trickle down" economics.

      Is there something wrong with providing said broadband? Should the existence of said poverty preclude the building of broadband? Does it add to the poverty? Must resources be diverted to the problem of such poverty before all else? Is this even possible? Would it be effective, if it was? If it is desirable, why not divert resources from elsewhere, like the United States? (Isn't that one thing that outsourcing accomplishes, to some extent?) If it is extremely desirable, why aren't you voluntarily divertin

  • I think it is much more viable to deploy wireless infrastructure instead of physical cables for covering such a wide geographical area.
  • One of the leading Telecom companies in Pakistan has already deployed commercial wimax in all major cities, covering near 50 million people. Apparently the project has led to a reduction of broadband prices [] all over Pakistan.
  • What's the difference between HSDPA and WiMax? I already have a 1.5 MBPS HSDPA line for my mobile; what additional stuff would WiMax provide?


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