bq.. …WiMax, which promises fixed wireless 70 megabit-per-second data service over a distance up to 50 kilometers, *scares the phone companies* because it will be for the most part a licensed carrier-class service that is *capable of completely replacing the current local telephone network.* *If you are a bloated and conniving phone company, WiMax is bad news.*
So of course, they’ll try to kill it.
Many people think current WiFi technology also threatens the telcos, but it doesn’t. For one thing, WiFi networks are just too darned small…
>> “Robert X. Cringely: What If Wal-Mart Got in the WiMax Business?”:http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20041125.html
p. This is exactly what Pakistan needs. More on wimax:
bq.. …It’s becoming clear that WiMAX is quickly emerging as the future of broadband connectivity with “across-the-board” applications for end-users. The technology appears to be affordable, and the ability alone to bring high-speed Internet to areas not currently wired for high-speed is huge. For those already with high-speed, businesses and individuals alike, WiMAX will offer a low cost broadband wireless roaming solution. And with a 10 mile base-station radius potential, they mean ‘r-o-a-m-i-n-g’!
In theory, WiMAX will be available to you soon. Initial deployments are scheduled to begin in 2005, while full WiMAX capabilities will become common market technology by 2006. Considering the way Wi-Fi has taken off as a desireable alternative to even faster hard-line, or “fixed” alternatives, it’s hard to imagine how WiMAX, will NOT have a huge impact upon the personal and business technology of broadband networking.
>> ‘WiMAX: Broadband Wi-Fi is on the way…’:http://www.wimaxxed.com/wimaxxed_news/wimax_broadba.html
p. So what is the direction we’re moving in? See the following critiscm of the upcoming broadband policy:
The thing is that a national IT policy needs to focus on setting up
the playing field rather than defining the game to be played within
that playing field. That is the job of the teams and players. The
government needs to concern itself within providing good infrastructure, cutting process red-tapism and creating a conducive
environment for broadband to work. Do you think the U.S. FCC (Federal
Communications Commission) worries about mailbox capacity wars between Google and Y! when it revises rules? If the federal govt. is worried about mailbox sizes in defining the national broadband policy then it is micro-managing things and not focusing where it really should.
Mailbox sizes and this type of stuff are trends that come and go. Yesterday it was Y!, today people are going goo-goo over Google, tomorrow something else will come along. A govt. ministry needs to look beyond fashions and focus on needs at a national level and look into the future. The only concern it should have at such a low-level is regulation of activities.
Local content development *may* be a policy issue rather than a trend
because there is a famous quotation that says, “If you want to destroy a nation or civilization, destroy its language.” Protecting local content can be construed in the higher plane of cultural protection and promotion. There is a certain gray area between how far the MoITT should get involved and what should be left to the society to evolve. But I personally support any clauses that emphasize local content development on cultural rather than technical grounds.
Other than that, for those keeping up with the latest trends in broadband, the focus now is on Wi-Fi and high-speed, broadcast wireless access. In this context, we need to innovate rather than copy. *The national policy seems to want to focus on chronologically going through what other countries did. If others graduated from
dial-up to DSL or cable and then to Wi-Fi, do we need to do the same?* I think it should be a policy priority to usher in the Wi-Fi era now and cut through the DSL/cable era if possible. After all, looking at the way cellular telephony has picked up here and is on the boom, we probably have some of the foundation stones for Wi-Fi. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have DSL or cable, just that we shouldn’t wait to get to the Wi-Fi era another 5 years from now.
I read the policy and I think it is a good effort but I felt it is
more concerned with the past, present and short-term future rather than medium or long-term future needs and goals. The roadmap (section 9.0, which actually defines the milestones according to the policy document) is 1 page out of the 42 and barely a few lines at that. The roadmap looks like more of a wishlist than a plan; it needs more substance.
>> ‘Spider blog’:http://spiderisat.blogspot.com/2004/11/pakistans-broadband-policy-draft.html
p. Of course, wimax might just turn out to be a ‘non-starter’:http://www.wifinetnews.com/archives/004479.html.
h4. related links
h4. more reading
* ‘HSDPA – Mobile Broadband’:http://www.abiresearch.com/reports/HSDP.html :: HSDPA is the next step for GSM cell phone technology, following up the 384 Kbps speeds of UMTS with the promise of 3 Mbps on your mobile phone or handheld.