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Clearwire Plans Silicon Valley "Sandbox" WiMax Net

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the coordinate-sushi-at-much-greater-speeds dept.

Wireless Networking 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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This bother anyone else? (3, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:This bother anyone else? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#27436523)

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:This bother anyone else? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27438889)

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)

Re:This bother anyone else? (1)

demiurg (108464) | about 5 years ago | (#27441949)

I bet you did not invest into cell phone either ?

Re:This bother anyone else? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#27449239)

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.

it's about time... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | about 5 years ago | (#27436323)

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 ToS...aka...no xGB/month crap^H^H^H^Hcap) to boot, everything will be great.

Re:it's about time... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436519)

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.)

Simple, the user load outstrips the infrastructure and the customers are so dependant on it the companies know they upgrade the infrastructure relatively slowly and not risk loosing subscribers. Behold the wonders of market collusion and consumer apathy!

Re:it's about time... (1)

Deanalator (806515) | about 5 years ago | (#27436541)

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

Re:it's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27437367)

Care to link us to a sales page?

Re:it's about time... (2, Informative)

Deanalator (806515) | about 5 years ago | (#27437735)

It's the same service being talked about in this article. Clear has a deployment here in portland.

http://www.clear.com/shop/home_services.php [clear.com]

I use the basic plan. They say they cap it at around 100k (bytes) but I regularly get download speeds over a megabyte per second.

I actually have a comcast buisness connection at home, and just carry around the wimax home router with me for places that don't have decent internet. The USB stick doesn't work in Linux anyway.

Re:it's about time... (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#27436623)

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 cellphone providers (self proclaimed messiahs or something, damn crackpots).

Also by coming along you are counting Google, Cisco and Intel providing something for Silicon valley? By that measure soon everyone will have huge servers and be swimming in rivers of money. Silicon valley != rest of the world. That is like saying, nice to see solid gold cars coming to the populace because someone photoshopped a picture of one.

Re:it's about time... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#27436651)

Emphasis mine:

Now, if they can come out with it and have a decent plan (and ToS...aka...no 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 usage will we increase the efficiency of internet services.

Re:it's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436811)

One thing I would like to see on metered pricing plans is averaging over 3 or 4 months. I don't expect my 'credit' of data transfer to roll over indefinitely, but to be penalised for going 10GB over one month when one was 20GB under the preceding month and 5GB under the following month seems more money-grabbing and less QoS-ensuring.

Re:it's about time... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 5 years ago | (#27437243)

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 subsidizing high volume users?

As you mentioned, what we have here is a failure of companies to offer good choices. Why not charge by the gigabyte, or advertise for caps right out? High volume users like me would gladly pay for high speeds all through the downloading, and if they wouldn't then let them get shoved to a lower tier or cut off. Lower volume users who still want ultra high speeds while accessing their email can sign up for a 1Gb/month connection. Most people will still buy more connection than they need, you'll corner the market on power users if their only other options are crap like they are now, and the low users can get a lower price than at other companies because their usage patterns will now match the price they're paying.

What's really dumb with this situation, though, is blaming people who are just using the connection they were given in reasonable ways. High volume users are easily stigmatized if you think about it from the point of view of people sharing the companies internet, but that's not what's advertised by the companies and that's not what I've bought. I've bought my connection, I bought it at the speed I wanted, and my ISP tells me to go eat shit if I try to use it how I want to.

Re:it's about time... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#27437749)

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, of course. If done correctly, the high-volume usage (plus some % of the regular base fee) would pay for the cost of adding bandwidth, so that bandwidth could be added as needed (and would be paid for!), and no one would have to suffer reduced speeds.

Re:it's about time... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#27437237)

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)

Clearwire, not Clear Channel (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 5 years ago | (#27436439)

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?"

Re:Clearwire, not Clear Channel (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 5 years ago | (#27436487)

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

Re:Clearwire, not Clear Channel (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#27436645)

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.

It Works Just Fine in Portland (2, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 5 years ago | (#27436983)

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:It Works Just Fine in Portland (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27437893)

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 Nike and Intel (tech industry, not in general). Even a smaller company dumping a couple of hundred contractors will make contracting nearly impossible for months. For full time jobs, well, it's better, and you can always pick a small company like I did, but we still feel the effects of the big boys whenever we need to hire.

As for the great outdoors, Bend is a 3 hour drive and if you can stand the coast weather you have 1.5+ depending on where you're headed. Don't even get me started on places to hunt (but I suppose most techies don't like that, so it's not a big deal to anyone but me).

As well, Portland has gone from a mecca of awesome dining in any price range to being downright mediocre most of the time.

Now, if you were talking about fresh produce and organic meat that you can buy right off the farm, then I'd agree with you. As a fellow techie in Portland, I don't think much of it.

Re:It Works Just Fine in Portland (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | about 5 years ago | (#27439633)

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.

Re:It Works Just Fine in Portland (1)

Brieeyebarr (938678) | about 5 years ago | (#27440313)

Clear has different plans [clear.com] 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.

Re:It Works Just Fine in Portland (0)

justinlee37 (993373) | about 5 years ago | (#27440847)

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 Clear.com

Re:It Works Just Fine in Portland (1)

chrisv (12054) | about 5 years ago | (#27550811)

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 lucky to get dialup speeds.

Austin. (1)

bored (40072) | about 5 years ago | (#27437747)

They should have done this in Austin. I hear there are a bunch of tech savvy customers looking for a new internet provider there...

Lying assholes (1)

soundguy (415780) | about 5 years ago | (#27439841)

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 stuck with a device that I can't travel with.

Fuck Clearwire. They're every bit as useless as the similarly-named Clearchannel and should probably just merge with them to hasten their ponderous march towards irrelevance.

At least I still have a T-mobile Edge card that sorta works.

Is this really news? (1)

Carlosos (1342945) | about 5 years ago | (#27439877)

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?

Meraki (1)

witherstaff (713820) | about 5 years ago | (#27440291)

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?

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | about 5 years ago | (#27448945)

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.

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