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Thread: WiMax is Alive and Well in Atlanta

  1. #1
    FLAC
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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. #2
    FLAC
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    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

  3. #3
    FLAC
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    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

  4. #4
    FLAC
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    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

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

  6. #6
    FLAC
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    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

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

  8. #8
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    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

  9. #9
    FLAC
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    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

  10. #10
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    Unhappy

    Quote 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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