Monday, March 8, 2010

LTE, Wimax and WIFI

I observed this particular trend in India with regards to household. People typically have a PSTN phone at their home provided by the local govt operator (BSNL). Then they use mobile phones from various operators. Though mobile phones are extensively used for communication I observed that people prefer wired telephones to convey important information to the other party whenever possible. Many are very comfortable with using a PSTN line. Though mobile communication is exploding PSTNs are doing very good business too. I was thinking if we could offer more services over wired line it would be big hit in India. At-least my mom would be very happy to talk to her sister over a video phone. VOIP phones?

On a same note I still dont find the wireless internet in India to be great. I recently got a Wimax connection and its kinda bad. First, the connection is costly and next the speeds are bad. More over the webauth makes it worse when there are multiple computers at home. The basic connection setup takes forever and it is really frustrating sometimes. Though companies have been pushing for wimax, end users are really not happy with it, at-least me and my friends are not happy with it. Now I always think how my fixed line (DSL) used to work. Its been a downgrade for me. Similar is the experience with the 3G modems. Worst uplink speeds and during peak hours you hardly get anything. The point here is Wimax and 3G are still not proving to be perfect replacement for the wired connections.

Recently I came across a service provider providing wifi services. The adds display 4G enabled technology and gives away words like MIMO and OFDM. It caught my interest and was wondering for a while what the underlying technology could be. Guess what its our humble Wifi. I was always a fan of WIFI and with latest 802.11n its time to explore the wifi mesh networks. About 3 years back, when I was in college, I happened to listen to a lecture from a professor who came all the way from Israel. The lecture was on Wifi mesh networks and various routing algorithms involved in it. Typically a wifi mesh is formed of multiple adhoc networks. The lecture was quite interesting and we did some experiments with our laptops and could route packets through multiple laptops. It was fun but I never thought it would be commercially launched (college kid, lack of experience :-)) Now when I see the add, it reminds me of the lecture and experiments. 802.11n on the backhaul and supported 802.11a/b/g towards the customer end seems great. Backhaul is powered with MIMO and OFDM which provide high speeds between the nodes can help boost the network performance. But again the network has to be carefully designed and routes to the main node are to be optimally configured. I quite dont know how the network is really performing, should talk to someone who is using the mesh, but I am quite happy to see wifi growing. Imagine if these networks grow then wimax and mobile networks can get in trouble. More over this wifi mesh is seeming to be a lot cheaper than what other technologies are offering.

Just a thought!


Zia said...

I thought WiMAX spectrum is still to be licensed in India!! Who is your service provider?

Santosh said...

Wimax services are provided by Tata Indicom and Reliance here

Rakesh said...

I faced the same problem with Tata indicom!
This happened to me around 3-4 months back!The wired connection was really fantastic, then suddenly there came some optical fibre problem and my internet was remain down for about 1-2 weeks.
Then I decided to switch to wimax, but I didnt disconnected my wired connection and kept pushing them to make my wired connection OK.
The wimax major problem was It was dependent on Line-of-sight and have very fluctuating signal!
Another bad thing was Web-authentication and they were asking for about 3000/- more for static ip while it was free on wired connection.

After their few of the optical fibre optimization the wired line came back and I compared both of them simultaneously. There was a huge throughput issue with wimax connection with same plan on both the wired and wimax connection.
I immediately disconnected the wimax connection and till now my wired connection haven't gone for a single day! I am really happy with it :-).

Wireless Anchor said...

In India, there are already Fixed Wimax services provided by Reliance and TATA. But the networks maintained are truly un-optimized and the backhaul is in such bad condition that sometimes u feel frustrated. The licence to be issued is for Mobile wimax services. Hope the condition of Wimax will be recovered through the issue of BWA license.