Friday, October 21, 2005

Start with a WiMax network

Moscow start-up Start Telecom has signed a contract with Siemens to build out a WiMax network for Telephony, Internet and VPN services using Siemens' SkyMAX solution.

The services will be offered at speeds of up to 75 Mbps and could well be a start of a trend for comparably lower cost and less intrusive communication services.

Many people have predicted that emerging nations will bypass the wired telephony stage and go straight to wireless. The thinking was that it would be GSM or CDMA mobile services. Now the likelihood is that they will adopt WiMax or WiFi solutions.

WiMax is ideal in rural areas as the Base Stations can deliver service in the 25-30 Km radius range. The 360 degree footprint with no issues with line of sight will always be cheaper than laying cables in a point to point model. The additional, and faster, service offered by Wireless IP will mean that GSM or CDMA solutions are less attractive; especially as the availability of VoIP handsets increases (although cost is a factor).

The recent announcement by MIT on their design for a laptop under $100 makes WiMax a real alternative for many nations taking their first steps into the wireless world.

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