You’ve enjoyed the freedom of Wi-Fi Internet access, you must have also experienced the limitations of Its range. Multiple Wi-Fi hotspots and repeaters may solve this problem to some extent. But logging in and out as you transit wireless zones, is no fun at all. So we have to make do with CDMA 1X networks and wireless data cards. ButWiMAX technology holds the promise of affordable broadband Internet access. WiMAX networks are steadily being deployed across the country It’s just a matter of time before wireless network access becomes omnipresent (like cellular networks).
Companies like Aircel and VSNL have invested heavily in wireless infrastructure. Last year Aircel Business Solutions launched WiMAX services in Chennai, Aircel has ambitious plans to extend this network coverage to 44 cities in India by the end of this year. Tata Groups company VSNL is also serious about wireless access for the enterprise sector. It is setting up 2,000 base stations across the country at a cost of Rs 450 crore. Their objective is to provide wireless services to enterprise customers across 120 cities and towns across the country- This is expected to be available by 2009.
The state-owned BSNL said it is conducting WiMAX trials of up to 10 Mbps. During his visit to India last year, Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett announced Intel’s WiMAX pilot proiect in the town of Baramati (near Pune). Intel is working with Aircel and the Government of Maharashtra on this pilot project, It will use the 3.3 GHz spectrum that spans six kilometers which will bring WiMAX access to four towns. Barrett said. “WiMax is an inexpensive way to cover a large area and is ideal for rural towns, which have limited access to other infrastructure1.’
At the Broadcast Asia 2007 [June) exhibition in Singapore, the government of Singapore unveiled an ICT master plan simply named iN (intelligent Nation) for 2015. It will set up a network of wireless and wired components to ensure broadband access, anywhere, anytime. Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Singapore’s minister for Information. Communications and the Arts informs that the wireless eSG program has already been implemented in December 2006 and there are more than 3,400 wireless hotspots in the city state, with another 1,600 being added by September When completed in 2012, the extensive wireless network in Singapore will be capable of speeds of at least 1Gb/sec. This is as efficient and as reliable as superboost wifi in the market.
Wireless access Will be available both to enterprise customers and end-users The enterprise applications will include e-mail and logging in to company networks (via a VPNI. For consumers, public wireless networks usually meant net access in cybercafes and airports. But there is potential for many innovative services.
In Singapore, for example, i-Fi hotspots (called Buzz Pods) will soon be available at SBS Transit bug terminals. The eye-catching buzz pods are equipped with digital displays that offer the latest news headlines; they are also Wi-Fi enabled. While waiting for the bus to arrive, commuters will be able to surf the Internet to access news, make free calls using Voice-Over-Intern et-ProcotoI (VOIPI, access location-based information-all within the vicinity of the buzz pods at the bus interchanges. The buzz pods will also have a payment facility called TeleMoney. This offers a convenient way to top up prepaid phone cards and gaming cards.
WiMax also presents many useful applications especially in far-flung and remote areas. BSNL, for instance, has plans to connect 80.000 villages with wireless broadband. Besides serving as a communications link, the medium can also be used for education and healthcare (telemedicine). Using video conferencing, a teacher in a small town could conduct class for a school in a remote village. A doctor could impart his services to more villages with minimum travel.
Intel is prophesying affordable WiMax CPE (Customer Premise Equipment and WiMax laptops for 2008. With the establishment of the mobile WiMax standard in future. Web surfing and e-mail through WiMax enabled portable devices will be a boon for commuters.
So now it won’t be necessary to wait for the next Wi-Fi hotspot to come by, for wireless will be absolutely everywhere •