Intel Demos WiMAX (With Video)

Posted by at 5:05 pm on February 11, 2010

While the super flu is not fun, a super fast wireless network is.   If you are road warrior or someone that hates having to drink a cup of Joe to access to your e-mail when out of the office or away from home, there is a new 4th generation networking standard called WiMAX which just might make your day.

Just about a month before CES got underway, Seattle’s WiMAX network turned on.   In the Seattle area, Clear.com, runs the network but you can get access to it by purchasing the service from Comcast and Sprint.   I found this new 4G service to work very well around Kirkland, Seattle, Mercer Island, Redmond, and Bellevue. Averaging around   5.3Mb/second for downloads and upload speed of 1.1Mb/second in some areas those speeds would hit 12Mb/second for downloads and just shy of 2.0Mb/second for uploads. In short, much better speed than you would get in almost all of the public hotspots around the area. (My tests were based on using www.speedtest.net)

In Las Vegas during CES, I found it to be a life saver.   Most of the hotels and other public networks fail under the demand of all of the people needing to be on the Internet during CES.   Clear’s WiMAX network did slow down a little as the show went on during the week but was it still very fast.   Beside saving me extra fees for the hotel’s very slow Wi-Fi network, it also allowed me to be on the show floor more since I could file anywhere I could sit down.

Tim Sweeney of Intel Demos WiMAX

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What Makes It Different from Wi-Fi and Cell Modems

WiMAX is a cousin of the Wi-Fi which may of us use in homes and laptops today. Instead of covering an area the size of a house or an office, WiMAX is designed to cover a city or large area. This also makes it perfect for bringing broadband to rural areas where offering DSL or cable Internet to is just too costly.

In most cases you will need to get a WiMAX modem, but some of the newer laptops are getting WiMAx modems built-in just like what has been done in the past couple of years with cellular modems.

When compared to cellular Internet service, WiMAX has better speed. Plus with most of the WiMAX plans there are no bandwidth usage limits, unlike cellular where it is common for most data plans to have a 5GB usage limit and/or fees for going over 5GB a month.   WiMAX gives peace of mind you going to find a huge over limit change on your bill.   With the faster speed, you can do things like play high action video games and video conferencing which rarely work well on 3G cell data services.

If you are a road warrior, a real estate agent, in construction or any other type of job where getting access to your mail and other data is a must – you own it to yourself to looking in the availability of WiMAX in your area.

Disclosure: After CES Intel informed that I won an Atom based netbook from them in a contest they held in conjunction with Foursquare during CES.

1 Comment for “Intel Demos WiMAX (With Video)”

  1. […] out Doug on Twitter and his consumer technology blog TakesOnTech, where he just shared his exprience with WiMAX and a video shot at the Intel booth during […]

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