WiMax Debriefing

Loraine Lawson

Anybody who uses a wireless connection regularly is painfully aware of the technology's shortcomings. For instance, I could connect to two other, unsecured networks within my neighborhood -- if I wanted to travel the speed of a aged snail.

Portland -- bless its heart -- has tried to install citywide wireless access, but Internet veterans have found the connection wanting, as this piece from Top Tech News explains. The problem is one of scale and economics: In order to provide really good access, you'd have to put so many nodes in that the business model falls apart.

WiMax is an emerging wireless technology that some say could make robust city-wide networks possible. We'll soon see. Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to deploy WiMax in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore this year, with more deployments planned next year, Top Tech News reports.

While many news agencies and experts label WiMax as a "long shot" for now, feeling there are issues to be worked out -- security springs to mind -- before the technology can be mainstream.

Still, as the tag line for this blog notes, the bleeding edge is never as far away as you think. So, here are a few resources to debrief you on WiMax. You can peruse over the holiday weekend if rain ruins your picnic plans:

  • How Stuff Works: This article, titled "How WiMax Works," does a great job of explaining more than how WiMax works. It also covers issues such as who would pay for WiMax, what it would mean for existing ISPs if we could suddenly have city-wide access, and a list of online WiMax resources. It's a great starting point for beginners.
  • WiMax.com: I like this site because it's a good resource for both those new to WiMax and more seasoned wireless techies. Check out the learning center if you're still learning, but go to WiMax360 -- the site's community space - to talk with the pros.
  • WiMax Trends: Wondering how WiMax is doing in Europe? What's going on with the Beijing Olympics and 3G? You can find out here or sign up for the weekly newsletter to have the information sent to your inbox. The site isn't very pretty, and it's a bit difficult to "cruise through" if you're just looking for basics. But if you really want to follow the WiMax industry, this is a good bet.
  • Finally -- prepare for some shameless self promotion -- why not check out our WiMax coverage? Fellow IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk often talks about WiMax in the Voice & Data Convergence channel.

Otherwise, good luck with the ants this weekend.

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