Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Wireless Networking Hardware

Australian WiMax Pioneer Calls It a Disaster 202

Anonymous Coward writes "Garth Freeman, CEO of Australia's first WiMax operator, sat down at the recent International WiMax Conference in Bangkok and unleashed a tirade about the failings of the technology, leaving an otherwise pro-WiMax audience stunned. His company, Buzz Broadband, had deployed a WiMax network over a year ago, and Freeman left no doubt about what conclusions he had drawn. He claimed that 'its non-line of sight performance was "non-existent" beyond just 2 kilometres from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000 milliseconds. Poor latency and jitter made it unacceptable for many Internet applications and specifically VoIP, which Buzz has employed as the main selling point to induce people to shed their use of incumbent services.' We've previously discussed the beginnings of WiMax as well as recent plans for a massive network in India.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Australian WiMax Pioneer Calls It a Disaster

Comments Filter:
  • All of AM? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iknownuttin ( 1099999 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:01PM (#22836776)
    Do you mean all radio on the AM band including aircraft and CB or just the AM spectrum that is used by broadcast radio?

    I can just hear it now: RUSH: "It's a Liberal conspiracy to get rid of us who tell the TRUTH!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:21PM (#22836876)
    So your argument is that the reason the WiMAX system design is poor is spectrum regulation?

    These are to different issues. Come back when you can string a logical argument together.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:24PM (#22836898)
    Why is it that we still have broadcast TV and AM radio?

    Stations of relatively modest power can provide services to distances of about 100 miles.

    Receivers are cheap, portable and ubiquitous.

    The AM radio is as accessible and familiar to the four year old as it is to the centenarian.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:31PM (#22836938)
    They should be making deals with current access points for better coverage. Thats how a real wifi network will work. 1000s of access points.

    and the cost of building and maintaining 10,000 access points will be what. exactly?

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:33PM (#22836946) Journal
    I hope someone mods you funny instead of informative, but it's really hilarious when Slashdotters scream about the Constitution when child porn vendors or suicide bombers get caught online, but when it comes to silencing people who have a different political viewpoint than you do then any means including violence is perfectly OK.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:59PM (#22837102)
    The problem with a mesh network is that you have a serious chicken-and-egg problem. It's not going to do work well (or at all) until you get enough of your population using it, and you can't get enough of them to use it until it works well. Mesh networking will probably be piggybacked on the deployment some other wireless technology, and will be used to supplement it.
  • by gambolt ( 1146363 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:00PM (#22837122)
    In event of natural disaster, I'd rather have an AM radio than VoIP.

    AM radio is a really durable technology. You can listen to solar powered broadcasts on crank powered radios.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:02PM (#22837128) Journal
    the cost of building and maintaining 10,000 access points will be what. exactly?

    Less than the cost of laying fiber to millions of homes.
  • by NobleSavage ( 582615 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:07PM (#22837156)

    If getting rid of the AM band gets rid of all those fundie talk shows, I say nuke it NOW! From orbit! With sharks with frigging lazers stapped to their heads!
    I wish it were that simple. The problem is they are like cockroaches, when you try to kill them they just come back stronger. They thrive on persecution.
  • by sciop101 ( 583286 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:08PM (#22837168)
    If you build it, they will come. OR NOT.

    ISPs losing interest in citywide wireless coverage. []

    Is patience in order?

    In the '90s I could not drive from Oklahoma City to Dallas and keep cellphone service during the entire trip. If I was in an area not serviced by my cellphone provider, I had to "force" roaming by turning my Motorola flipphone off and on, then wait.

    AT&T saw no future for data networks and the Internet!r

  • by Telvin_3d ( 855514 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:19PM (#22837242)
    Add to that the fact that AM radio is robust, understood and ubiquitous technology. The shit could it the fan tomorrow. Major economic collapse, dying infrastructure or whatever. AM radio would still be around and working. There is something to be said for a civilization having enough depth and legacy in its technology that there become no single point of failure.
  • by Shaman ( 1148 ) <shaman@ k o s . net> on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:20PM (#22837252) Homepage
    Myopic thinking. The value and the income from those access points will be a fraction of what can be carried over fibre. Namely voice, data, video, emergency services, business services like remote backup, et al.

    But forget that, it's the least of your worries. Your real problem will be to make the access points and subscribers not all hear each other in the limited frequency available, drowning each other out, causing network brownouts (or blackouts), hurting efficiency, causing lag and re-registrations, etc. Go downtown Toronto and you'll see what I mean. It just doesn't work the way people want it to.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:53PM (#22837448) Journal
    Not really. Small meshes are easier to get working than large ones, so the first step in deployment is to dangle meshes off the ends of existing infrastructure. You'll find a static access point in, for example, a coffee shop, and then use a small mesh to extend the range out into the street by relaying via devices in there. Once enough people are carrying mesh-capable devices, you'll be able to extend the range all the way to (for example) the access point in the library. At the point, any computer in the mesh can have some of its traffic routed via either connection. Once enough meshes are deployed and overlapping then the existing static links are just for bulk traffic or fallback use. The problem is that the complexity of mesh routing does not scale well. If you've solved the routing problem, you can deploy easily. Until then, meshes are limited to small-scale use.
  • Are these the same Slashdotters?

    I find it annoying when people try to point out the hypocrisy of "Slashdotters" without citing individual people who are hypocritical that way. We are individuals, and despite the apparent groupthink, we can actually disagree. I don't agree with you that all Slashdotters are the same, and I don't agree with GP that fundie talk shows should actually be censored. Oh, and I don't agree with pretty much anything fundie talk shows have to say, but I will defend to my death their right to say it.

    But nuance (sanity?) like that is completely lost when you lump us all in a group like that. Good job.
  • by moxley ( 895517 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:14PM (#22837952)
    That's just a ridiculous weasely exaggeration and misrepresentation to try to prove a point and when you have to do that it generally means that whatever you are trying to say doesn't stand up on it's own.

    I have never once heard anyone on /. defending child porn or suicide bombers in relation to the constitution; the point I have heard often is that the constitution is being destroyed, people are being manipulated or forced into giving up their rights - rights which are inherent in being human, not GIVEN by a fucking government.

    Violence is abhorrent and I have never seriously heard people on /. adovcating using violence to "silence others opinions."

    Violence for self-defense is another story....
  • I don't agree with pretty much anything fundie talk shows have to say, but I will defend to my death their right to say it.

    I used to buy into that as well, but its wrong. Should people be given carte blanche to lie, just because it's about their favourite superstitious belief?

    People in the past have said (and continue to say) stupid things - would you really "defend to my death their right to say it"?:

    1. The jews deserved the holocaust
    2. A well-hung nigger is the one hanging from the nearest tree
    3. AIDS is god's punishment for gay people

    How about people like Fred Phelps []? He said that 9/11 was god punishing America. Ditto with the people killed in the Missouri bridge collapse. Or his tactics at military funerals, which deliberately go way beyond any limits of decency.

    Lets look again at what you wrote:

    I don't agree with pretty much anything fundie talk shows have to say, but I will defend to my death their right to say it.

    If you're willing to throw your life away to defend Fred Phelp's "right to be an asshole", you value yourself less than any two-bit hooker or crackhead. People with principles will use their judgement rather than blindly follow their "freedom of speech" dogma to self-defeating extremes. Principles come with responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is to make sure that liars don't stand unchallenged. The fundies are liars. So are the scientologists, etc. Heck, look at the crazies going on about holy jihad over "images of Mohammad." How would they know those are really "images of Mohammed" if they're forbidden to have images of Mohammad? Goofballs, just like any other religion. Dawkins is right. Such stupidity only continues to exist because we don't challenge it, using rationalization such as "I may ot agree, but I'll defend to the death ..."

  • Re:Who's fault? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DevilM ( 191311 ) < minus language> on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:33PM (#22838098) Homepage
    It is probably a combination of many different factors. A reporter should really dig in and learn more. Regardless, WiMAX can and does work. We have a network in Atlanta that sees less than 20ms latency, very little jitter and less than 1% packet loss. We carry real PRIs to demanding enterprises that work flawlessly. Unfortunately, our network is the result of blood, sweat and tears as opposed to some magic technology offered by ours vendors. This stuff is hard, but very doable. []
  • I told you guys (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2008 @04:04PM (#22838308)
    Wireless anything is a big pile of steaming shit. And now the experts agree.
  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @04:16PM (#22838408) Homepage Journal
    I'll say that Fred has the right to say what he wants to say, just that people also have the right to not to listen to him. I swore an oath not to protect Fred but freedom of speech and our nation in general. I'll admit to having an occasional fantasy involving him and a high powered rifle. Then I think, he's not worth it.

    IE if he wants, he can demonstrate on his own property, on public property available for that purpose, etc... If he can afford a radio station, he can spew all he likes. That's what I'll defend. Today you can't say 'I like puppies' without offending somebody. Freedom of speech protects speech that people find embarrassing, offensive, etc...

    Doesn't mean that he has the right to disrupt other people's freedom of speech(IE the funeral he's interrupting).

    As far as AM radio goes, I understand that there have been a number of liberal attempts to break into that broadcast medium. Most have failed. Besides, all you have to do to get away from, say Rush, is to change the dial or turn the radio off. What are you going to do to get away from Phelps? Leave your son's funeral?

    There's being offensive, there's being controversial, then there's being a dick. Phelps is a dick.
  • by zogger ( 617870 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @06:13PM (#22839230) Homepage Journal
    I listen to AM radio all the time (it propagates well, I can listen to stations from all over the nation at night when I listen, and there is a dearth of talk radio on the FM bands and you are limited to close by stations) and most of the shows have phone numbers you can call in and comment. Go right ahead, challenge the views of guests or hosts you don't agree with, with reasons, etc. That is what it is all about. If you feel even stronger about the subject or subjects, get your own show on some radio station or do netcasting. So far, the RIAA hasn't screwed over net "talk" radio, just anything with music.

    I know I would have had my own station (low power, all I could afford) long ago if the FCC and the big broadcasters weren't such dicks about it, and that includes those NPR cretins who lobbied hard to restrict any competition. I can see it from the major broadcasters, but that was sure a bummer to find out they were against opening up low power. I don't want to go pirate radio because the HAMS throw hissy fits over it (even if you aren't interfering anyplace and have a clean signal) and nark on people, and netcasting takes a decent broadband connection, which I can't get here. Someday though...although reading that WiMax thread was a bummer, kept hoping that might be the magic to get broadband out into the sticks, and so far, cellphone broadband ain't it either. So...I type on teh internets.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:08AM (#22841980)
    it's not like we have a comparable neighbour a few klicks to the west. Tell me, is San Fran further from or closer to Boston than Moscow is to Vladivostok?

    A few klicks to the west?

    Boston to SF is 4,344 km.

    St Petersburg to Vladivostok is 9,288 km by rail. Eight time zones.

    But how many middle or western Europeans are accustomed to thinking of distances on either scale?

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard