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WiMax is Alive and Well in Atlanta

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  • WiMax is Alive and Well in Atlanta

    I briefly tested the new WiMax service in Atlanta ..... and it is awesome! I installed the Motorola USB dongle in my Lenovo laptop and cruised from Mid-town Atlanta (~10MBps download, ~500k upload) out I-85 north to I-285 west to around I-75 interchange with excellent coverage. Top download speed maxed out the Speakeasy on-line test app at around 11MBps down and ~580k up. The coverage became a bit spotty in Vinings/Smyrna, but I am confident that Clear will continue to fill in the gaps as folks sign up.

    This stuff it going to be great!
    MikeH

  • #2
    thats great. it wont be that much longer before cell phone internet starts taking customers away from cable companies. i still prefer the low latency of landline, but most people dont game and cellular internet is just fine. especially at those speeds

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    • #3
      Just a quick update.

      I am consistently getting ~6MBps downloads and 500kbps uploads on my laptop in midtown Atlanta.



      According to the (very knowlegable) Clear tech support rep, the 11MBps downloads that I had experienced earlier are not the norm. They give me whatever bandwidth is availabe but will eventually throttle back to around 6MBps download and 500k upload as network traffic increases.

      Keep in mind that with Clear WiMax you can get a $50/mo month-to-month plan (ie NO CONTRACT) with NO DOWNLOAD LIMIT. This is very different from the cellular 3G plans that require a contract and typically limit throughput to 5GB per month. The $50 WiMax plan is *not* guaranteed to continue forever, but I'm guessing that it will continue to be offered for some time since the Atlanta netork is new. For this plan you will have the pay a $35 activiation fee plus you'll need to buy the USB modem ($70), but I would glady do this in return for being able to pull the plug at any time. They offer other plans that let you bundle fixed + mobile for various different price points.

      For grins I purchased the $140 WiFi-to-WiMax router (Personal Hot Spot, or PHS made by Cradlepoint) which lets me connect my laptop, via WiFi, to my USB WiMax modem. The PHS allows up to 8 laptops to share the WiMax dongle. THis way you can put the PHS in an "optimum" location for WiMax reception that may not be suitable for using your laptop, but still get great WiMax throughput. Unfortunately the PHS limits the per user throughput to ~2MBps down, but that's still faster than much of the "wired" service offerings!

      Also, the WiMax core (backbone) network is all IP vs the "channelized" guts of a 3G network. This is why the cellular carriers *must* limit your monthly data consumption otherwise their network would grind to a halt with all of the heavy data users. Also the IP core gives a very acceptable latency (~85ms in the above tests) so VoIP should work well.

      This stuff is way cool.......
      MikeH

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      • #4
        if this is a sign of whats to become pretty much standard for cellular internet- wow. in fact, so much wow that most people i know would ditch their cable internet. it would also mean the death of internet routers- every device you have would be connected straight to your isp... very, very cool

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        • #5
          We might need to get some Centrafuse-mobiles using this... Can't wait to try it out!
          Reagan
          Formerly from Centrafuse

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          • #6
            Skype video on WiMax Atlanta

            Another WiMax Atlanta update.

            We are regularly using a laptop/webcam running Skype to conduct video conferences via WiMax with a contractor at a remote site. We get very good video (Logitech laptop webcam) and audio quality with only occasional picture degradation, which we suspect is the remote end of the link (DSL). We've come to rely on this video conference method since we do a great deal of technical design interaction.

            Another great WiMax applicaiton! Don't try this with 3G....
            MikeH

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            • #7
              Hmmm... and now Las Vegas....
              MikeH

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              • #8
                Just bought a new Dell w/ onboard WiMAX so i thought i'd try it out. Unfortunately, it appears Clear has discontinued the "No contract" plans, but you can get a day pass for $10. $40/mo for 2GB cap and $50 for unlimited.. but w/ a 2yr contract... yeah right..

                I'm at the perimeter about 12 miles from the city and getting 2 bars out of 5 with a 1.2Mbps down and 400kb up. Not bad at all. Latency is not an issue.
                Reagan
                Formerly from Centrafuse

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                • #9
                  it appears Clear has discontinued the "No contract" plans
                  You've gotta be kidding! Why on earth would they do that? With the "newness" of WiMax people are going to be very skeptical (as you are) of a 2 year lock-in to an emerging technology. You gotta wonder where they get their marketing people (actually, looks like they came from Sprint and AT&T). What a buzz-kill...........
                  getting 2 bars out of 5 with a 1.2Mbps down and 400kb up
                  That's really not very good. Have you tried moving the laptop to a different location? Unfortunately, with embedded WiMax you don't have the option of the ClearSpot/Dongle relocation option.....
                  MikeH

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MikeH View Post
                    You've gotta be kidding! Why on earth would they do that? With the "newness" of WiMax people are going to be very skeptical (as you are) of a 2 year lock-in to an emerging technology. You gotta wonder where they get their marketing people (actually, looks like they came from Sprint and AT&T). What a buzz-kill...........

                    That's really not very good. Have you tried moving the laptop to a different location? Unfortunately, with embedded WiMax you don't have the option of the ClearSpot/Dongle relocation option.....
                    I totally agree Mike, i mean how many people are going to take a 2yr plunge into something so new and who knows if it will even still be here in 2 years. I mean i hope/think it will be, personally, but not all consumers have that knowledge. Bad bad marketing move.... What a drag..

                    I bought a day pass out of necessity and didn't have the option to really move around where i was working today. I'll get try another one soon and do a b/w test in the car closer to our offices in midtown.
                    Reagan
                    Formerly from Centrafuse

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                    • #11
                      I would gladly take a 2 year plunge. After all aren't Clear Wire and Sprint working together on this? I love Sprints data, so I know the Clear Wire has to be reliable also. I wonder when FL (Miami) will start to get WiMax. I don't think Clear Wire is down here in FL at all, so it will most likely be under the Sprint name, I read on Sprint's site though that it will be unlimited with the option to use 3G where 4G isn't available, but their pricing starts at $79.99
                      Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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                      • #12
                        I read on Sprint's site though that it will be unlimited with the option to use 3G where 4G isn't available, but their pricing starts at $79.99
                        IMHO, the key to any of these data plans is the "unlimited" monthly useage. Most of the competing cellular carrier *must* limit throughput since the core of the network is built for "circuit switched (ie voice)" traffic. Lots of high volume data downloads will choke their core switches. Looks like AT&T is learning this the hard way. On a WiMax network (or any 4G network) the core is all IP (ie routers) and is built to handle large amounts of bursty data. Sprint certaily has the right idea to build a 3G + 4G service offering, especially if it is an unlimited data plan.

                        Doesn't look like Miami didn't make the cut..... at least not in the released list.
                        The company plans to bring CLEAR to 80 markets and up to 120 million people by the end of 2010. Some of the additional markets planned to launch in 2009 include Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Some of the additional markets planned to launch in 2010 include New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
                        MikeH

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeH View Post
                          IMHO, the key to any of these data plans is the "unlimited" monthly useage. Most of the competing cellular carrier *must* limit throughput since the core of the network is built for "circuit switched (ie voice)" traffic. Lots of high volume data downloads will choke their core switches. Looks like AT&T is learning this the hard way. On a WiMax network (or any 4G network) the core is all IP (ie routers) and is built to handle large amounts of bursty data. Sprint certaily has the right idea to build a 3G + 4G service offering, especially if it is an unlimited data plan.

                          Doesn't look like Miami didn't make the cut..... at least not in the released list.
                          Well Sprint does have a limit on the 3G, but what I like about Sprint is that they dont ever charge for overage, nor do they complain. Im actually at the point that I dont mind the waiting game. I want my connection to be solid. Although Sprint is fast with the EVDO Rev A, with things like Sling Box, which is a key feature for me, it just stutters more then id like, also the sound and picture quality has to be lowered.
                          Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                          1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                          4X MK808b
                          3x Perixx Touchpads
                          3x 7 inch Screens
                          1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                          1x Win 7 PC

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                          • #14
                            Unfortunately, it appears Clear has discontinued the "No contract" plans,
                            Not sure who told you this, but I talked with the guys in the new Clear store on Peachtree @ 7th and they are still offering the "No Contract plan" for residential plans. FYI...
                            MikeH

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                            • #15
                              I've been using this in the Atlanta area for about a month now. The speeds are great and my main use is streaming internet radio. But I've noticed a couple of annoying things:

                              1) I would love for this thing to connect to the network without any user input (ie. having to hit that Connect button on startup) - if anyone knows a way to do this, please tell me!

                              2) When I'm connected, sometimes I don't reconnect automatically when I hit a dead pocket in the network. It's 50/50 on whether it reconnects or not. I have to minimize RoadRunner and rehit the Connect button - not fun while you're driving 80mph on 285 lol. If I could get #1 working then this wouldn't/shouldn't be an issue.

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