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Wireless Networking Hardware

Clearwire Plans Silicon Valley "Sandbox" WiMax Net 37

CWmike writes "Clearwire is teaming up with Google, Cisco and Intel to build a WiMax network in Silicon Valley for software developers to try out new applications on the 4G mobile broadband technology. The network will cover the three companies' campuses and the region in between them and will span roughly 20 square miles, Clearwire's Ben Wolff said in a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless show. No public access was mentioned, but Clearwire has forecast expanding its commercial WiMax service to the SF Bay Area next year."
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Clearwire Plans Silicon Valley "Sandbox" WiMax Net

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  • Looks like another good reason to visit Silicon Valley, if only 4G devices were readily available to the general public.

  • by Anachragnome ( 1008495 ) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @04:48PM (#27436313)


    "There are only about 30 devices approved to work on that network, though the company expects 100 to be available by year's end. As the first carrier to roll out the new technology on a network of this scale, Clearwire needs to encourage attractive applications for subscribers to use."

    From a consumer standpoint, this is what has kept me from investing any money into the technologies.

    When the people running the network have control over what devices may use it, I see that as an opportunity for shenanigans. Will my device ALWAYS be able to use the network? Will some corporate squabble kill it?

    I tend to not spend money on things I have no assurance will work(or be supported) for a reasonable amount of time. I see it as pretty much the same situation I was in when BETA and VHS were both on the market. I bought neither.

    • Who is approving? Without any further context (translation: I didn't RTFA), I would take that paragraph to mean FCC approval. You can not use any device in the USA that broadcasts on certain frequencies without FCC approval, and the frequencies chose for 4G (and 3G and GSM) fall into that category.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It bothers me more that the word "Clearwire" appears in the article. I don't know what their American operation is like, but I was so pissed off with their service in Ireland that I refused their offer of 50 quid to go to a seminar to help them on how to improve their appeal to customers. I just warn anyone I hear considering their product to ignore it and consider pricier broadband conections that provide latencies under 900ms and over 300Kbps (not what was advertised to me, but what I got with them)
    • by demiurg ( 108464 )

      I bet you did not invest into cell phone either ?

      • Purchasing a product is a form of investment, as well as buying stock.

        And yes, I purchased a cell phone. A basic, no-frills phone that still works after 5 years of use.

        If I want applications, I sit down at my computer, a device far more capable of running them.

  • I've always wondered why the capitol of technology in the US (if not the world) and home to so many tech giants had the slowest Internet and slowest mobile Internet. (FTTH/FiOS/etc. deployment here is not that good....3G coverage and speed, though steadily improving, is still crap, etc.)

    It is good to see 4G coming along.
    Now, if they can come out with it and have a decent plan (and xGB/month crap^H^H^H^Hcap) to boot, everything will be great.

    • I have an unlimited wimax connection for 20 dollars per month, and regularly get download speeds of about a megabyte per second.

      • Lucky you.
        As for me, well...only a few more months until the contract expires.
    • by Starayo ( 989319 )

      Don't come to Australia. Our internet might drive you mad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Idiomatick ( 976696 )
      It drives me crazy that so many people on /. bitch about xGB/mnth. It isn't a big deal. It only becomes a problem when their pricing is retarded. Honestly for a wireless network 3GB a month is way more than enough for me and I'm a pretty heavy user. At home i have a wired connection that can do more at a cheaper rate. At school I usually have wifi (not always which is kinda pathetic). Anyways what you reallllly mean is that you hope wireless providers will treat themselves like wired providers. Not like cel
    • Emphasis mine:

      Now, if they can come out with it and have a decent plan (and xGB/month crap^H^H^H^Hcap) to boot, everything will be great.

      Why, so normal users can subsidize high-volume users?

      Realistic caps or tiers are a good thing -- if they cap usage below a useful amount for 90% of the users, that's a different story. There have got to be ways we can reduce the number of packets in the air and in the tubes without impacting the services we use, and only if there is some kind of metered u

      • Why, so normal users can subsidize high-volume users?

        That's not the case at all. I would gladly pay for my high-volume use, but my ISP just caps and tiers my service instead. I'm not doing anything with my connection that other people can't do, and the highest volume I use is Hulu, which is both legitimate and now the second largest video sharing site in the world. If another use that's not high volume has the highest tier internet service, then they're probably using it wrong. If they want much cheaper internet, they can easily get dialup. So, how is that su

        • Please note I did not mention throttling, as a tiered pricing plan would obviate the need for it. Rather than throttle high-volume users, they should just be charged more to compensate for the cost of building out more infrastructure.

          Rates should be something like $X + $Y*Z, where $X is a base rate to cover overhead and usage up to a realistic cap (say, $30 for 40 gigs or so), and additional charges of Y per Z units (say, $10 per each 20 gigs above the initial cap). The actual numbers would be different,
    • You have slow internet in Silly Con Valley?  Try moving out of the valley, alright?  The best thing availabe where I live, is 1 MB, and I can't even afford it.  ($79.00/month)
  • Offtopic, but Clearwire really needs to change its name. The first thing I thought of when I read the headlines was, "What is Rupert Murdoch trying to do by isolating Silicon Valley from the rest of us?"

    • Murdoch doesn't have anything to do with ClearChannel (aside from the obvious content similarities.)

    • I don't know what Clear Channel is, but "clearwire" makes sense. Clear the wires. It's a wireLESS company. Clear Wire. "NoWire" would have been *ahem* clearer *cough* but is kinda corny looking.
  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) * on Thursday April 02, 2009 @05:39PM (#27436983) Homepage Journal

    I have Clearwire service in Portland, Oregon. It is through a WiMAX USB dongle.

    I get a reliable 2MB-8MB IP data service, wherever I am in the Portland area. No more, no less. 3G data services don't come close in price or data performance.

    It is a lot less hassle than messing with the myrid different schemes for accessing 802.11 networks when on the go.

    So I get fiber to home, high speed mobile internet through 802.16 and I get to design crypto in microprocessors. Who needs silicon valley? Portland is the place for a Geek to be. Even Linus lives nearby.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I work in Portland. I wish I could share your sentiment (and likely your job, that sounds pretty cool, crypto is only a hobby of mine - though sometimes I luck out and there's a decent amount in an app that no one else can develop), but there's a ton of stuff that drives me nuts here.

      Bad weather would be at the top of this list, but we're overshadowed by tech heavy areas both north and south, either one easily providing more big city benefits than Portland. As well, our industry is heavily affected by Nik

    • by qw0ntum ( 831414 )

      Just out of curiousity - my understanding was that WiMAX was about 3mbps (yes bits/sec). I don't doubt the speeds you report but it struck me as odd. Does Clearwire use something besides WiMAX?

      Love Portland by the way. Only been there once but loved every minute of it. Hell, I love the entire Pacific Northwest, hope I can get back up there sometime soon.

      • Clear has different plans [] that you can choose from for mobile internet. They're advertising 4Mbps on all of the mobile plans. but speeds can get going way faster than advertised.

        My clear home modem will regularly get speeds of up to 10Mbps; it's advertised as 6Mbps.

    • What areas does it work for you? I've looked at getting Clear in Portland but the 97239 area code is not reported as being covered on
      • The West side, from Portland to Forest Grove, Beaverton to Tigard.

        I haven't tried the other side.

      • by chrisv ( 12054 )
        Hm. I've got Clear in Portland; I'm in 97239, for what it's worth. They might not advertise it as being available - the primary reason that I've been able to tell is because the signal strength / quality isn't anything great. It's certainly enough to get the job done - once the equipment is placed in a good spot, I still get 5.5Mbit, but in a bad spot (which can be as little as a few inches from the good spot: at least I have ziploc bags and tape, since it's taped to the end of my balcony right now) I'll be
  • They should have done this in Austin. I hear there are a bunch of tech savvy customers looking for a new internet provider there...

  • Be damned sure that you can independently verify working service in the location you're interested in BEFORE signing up for service with Clearwire. (like borrow someone else's modem and test it out yourself)

    I bought a modem in Seattle (Southcenter Mall) and the scumbags at the Kiosk specifically told me that there was service in Las Vegas and Spokane, two locations that I need for business. I have just discovered that they don't actually cover either city and have no plans to do so any time soon, so I'm stu

  • California already has 6 areas with Clearwire coverage and nationwide it has about as much coverage as FIOS has. Do we need a new story every time a new coverage area is added?

    • I'm surprised that Google, which owns part of Meraki, isn't pushing the latest Meraki outdoor units that have 802.11 b/g/N and claim 100M performance. At $1400 a pop I'm not eager to buy to test when my existing network of $100 outdoor meraki units operating at 6M is working well enough for me.

      However it'd be nice to see those units actually deployed by the company that owns them. Since they're not I have to wonder what's wrong with them that they aren't being used?

The best defense against logic is ignorance.