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Is anyone familiar with Clearwire?

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  • Is anyone familiar with Clearwire?

    I received an ad in the mail today saying that Clearwire is now available in my area. Is anyone familiar with this service? I am currently on a cable modem but would change to a wireless modem if it would improve my up/down speeds, etc. What are the advantages and disadvantages of switching? I may just have the service installed on one of my computers and see if I like it. I hope someone can give me more information on the company.
    Here's their webpage:
    www.clearwire.com
    I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

  • #2
    I have nothing constructive to add.

    But I have been pondering for the past 3 minutes... if the companies name is.. Clearwire ... and they exclusively offer wireless broadband ....
    if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Floydr47
      I received an ad in the mail today saying that Clearwire is now available in my area. Is anyone familiar with this service? I am currently on a cable modem but would change to a wireless modem if it would improve my up/down speeds, etc. What are the advantages and disadvantages of switching? I may just have the service installed on one of my computers and see if I like it. I hope someone can give me more information on the company.
      Here's their webpage:
      www.clearwire.com
      I've heard of different "wireless broadband solutions" for the home, and here are some things that were discussed in the early days when it was offered:
      * "Waa-Waa. My wireless connection gets really slow when it rains." (May not longer be a problem. Maybe different frequencies are being used.)
      * "Waa-Waa. My house is not line of sight, so my signals gets bounced off of a building, and link quality changes during the day." (again, providers may not do this anymore, or may have other solutions.)
      * "Waa-Waa. When they set it up, I had my computer in the living room, but when I moved it to the bedroom, I have problems with [reception||extra_wires]" (Some solutions required an antenna on the house, and other just used an antenna in the house attached to the computer or card, but if the antenna is indoors or on the computer, calibration was required for the location in the house when it was initially setup. Not an issue anymore?)

      These are *old* issues people reported. Maybe today, these issues have been resolved, or are not as bad as people were making them out to be.

      I think I some areas, "CableModem" push around 2-6 Mbps, but I have not checked recently. That is much faster than many "wireless broadband ISP solutions for the home" have been IIRC.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TheCotMan
        I've heard of different "wireless broadband solutions" for the home, and here are some things that were discussed in the early days when it was offered:
        * "Waa-Waa. My wireless connection gets really slow when it rains." (May not longer be a problem. Maybe different frequencies are being used.)
        * "Waa-Waa. My house is not line of sight, so my signals gets bounced off of a building, and link quality changes during the day." (again, providers may not do this anymore, or may have other solutions.)
        * "Waa-Waa. When they set it up, I had my computer in the living room, but when I moved it to the bedroom, I have problems with [reception||extra_wires]" (Some solutions required an antenna on the house, and other just used an antenna in the house attached to the computer or card, but if the antenna is indoors or on the computer, calibration was required for the location in the house when it was initially setup. Not an issue anymore?)

        These are *old* issues people reported. Maybe today, these issues have been resolved, or are not as bad as people were making them out to be.

        I think I some areas, "CableModem" push around 2-6 Mbps, but I have not checked recently. That is much faster than many "wireless broadband ISP solutions for the home" have been IIRC.
        Thanks Cotman, I am not at all familiar with wireless broadband, but I knew some of you guys would be. I just wanted to check it out before I invested my hard earned green. I think I will check into it for a laptop...and yeah, my cable modem (Motorola Surfboard 4200) gets right around 4 Mbps, so you're right on target.
        I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have heard many of the same issues as Cot has mentioned.. so I would be skeptical. Of course, it has been a while since I have heard anything new about it, so things might have changed since then.
          Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Floydr47
            I think I will check into it for a laptop...and yeah, my cable modem (Motorola Surfboard 4200) gets right around 4 Mbps, so you're right on target.
            Way back when, the support for residential service was NOT mobile. You get the service to you house and that is it. Driving around town was a no-go and unsupported. Verify the terms of your contract to make sure you can use it with your laptop like you think you can.

            [Added content:]
            "Clearwire uses a state-of-the-art wireless modem that can be plugged into a desktop computer, laptop, or local network. It works by transmitting signals to and from nearby cellular towers instead of using a traditional phone line. That means you have the flexibility to set up the modem anywhere in your home or office — upstairs or downstairs, inside or outside. Plus, your Clearwire connection is always on and always secure."

            Red Alert! "Always Secure" ?

            Other note: It appears as though they claim to use cell phone network, so roaming coverage may be possible. However, driving while on a networked computer will likely have worse performance than voice on a cell phone. Speed does seem to be an issue with cell phone systems. The Max Throughput seems to me to be "under ideal conditions"

            Many of the issues I outlined above are not as much of a problem on the cell phone systems as they are with other long-distance wireless solutions from ages ago.
            Last edited by TheCotMan; July 5, 2005, 18:22.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TheCotMan
              Way back when, the support for residential service was NOT mobile. You get the service to you house and that is it. Driving around town was a no-go and unsupported. Verify the terms of your contract to make sure you can use it with your laptop like you think you can.

              [Added content:]
              "Clearwire uses a state-of-the-art wireless modem that can be plugged into a desktop computer, laptop, or local network. It works by transmitting signals to and from nearby cellular towers instead of using a traditional phone line. That means you have the flexibility to set up the modem anywhere in your home or office — upstairs or downstairs, inside or outside. Plus, your Clearwire connection is always on and always secure."

              Red Alert! "Always Secure" ?

              Other note: It appears as though they claim to use cell phone network, so roaming coverage may be possible. However, driving while on a networked computer will likely have worse performance than voice on a cell phone. Speed does seem to be an issue with cell phone systems. The Max Throughput seems to me to be "under ideal conditions"

              Many of the issues I outlined above are not as much of a problem on the cell phone systems as they are with other long-distance wireless solutions from ages ago.
              Yeah, I saw a red flag with the "Always Secure" also...but I just wrote it off as sales pitch BS. I shouldn't have many problems with the service as the town I live in only has a population of about 100,000 and sometimes it looks as if there are as many cell phone towers as people around here...Thanks for your info.
              I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Floydr47
                I received an ad in the mail today saying that Clearwire is now available in my area. Is anyone familiar with this service? I am currently on a cable modem but would change to a wireless modem if it would improve my up/down speeds, etc. What are the advantages and disadvantages of switching? I may just have the service installed on one of my computers and see if I like it. I hope someone can give me more information on the company.
                Here's their webpage:
                www.clearwire.com
                Newbie to the board here. I thought this might be somewhat useful info!

                I just added Clearwire as a service at the place I work. We are at a place of extreme need for internet service, and I have been looking into the best solution for a while. After looking around, I felt that Clearwire was the best "now" solution. We are going to look at cable for the future, just because the bandwidth is so much higher, but that's going to take much more networking to get our entire campus sharing. As it is, we signed up for three accounts, wich got us three modems (one for each building). We will now build three networks, each of which has their own internet connection. It will be a slightly more expsensive monthly cost (vs. going with one Comcast acct), but when you add the cost of the cable co. construction to get internet access to our main building, and the cost of networking to the other buildings, I think that this will be a great short term fix.

                That being said, I don't think I would sign up for Clearwire at home just yet. I have Comcast cable internet service, and I live in an area where there are not many other users of the service. I get on average 5mbps down. So I'm very happy with the service.
                I just don't see paying apx. $20 less for 1.5mps down (CW advertised). I'll wait until they open up the speeds!!!
                I will let you know how well the service works for us at work once we get a couple of our networks running on it!

                peace
                Last edited by raziael; July 15, 2005, 22:42.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Clearwire

                  Clearwire provide fixed wireless access to users using IPWireless hardware. This equipment uses a UMTS TDD (time division duplex) technology in the licensed 2.5GHz band.

                  Service.

                  UMTS used in this manner can be considered analogous to an ATM CBR (constant bit rate) service, thus unlike users receiving broadband via the polite phy's like 802.11 can expect stable Quality of service characteristics.

                  The per subscriber bandwidth and link contention are really up to the specific provider, they will deploy whatever they think is financially viable and attractive for a given area.

                  Security

                  Because of the deployment in licensed bands the network is fairly unlikely to suffer DoS from jamming attacks (at least it wouldn't take very long for the FCC cart you and your hardware off in the paddy wagon for transmitting where you are not licensed to transmit), also unlike a 802 series PHY's the user has no easy access to Layer 2 of the stack. the user end of the interface presents you with very little with regard to Radio Resource functionality (you basically get a access to a Layer 3 pipe to throw things down )

                  UMTS uses a WCDMA modulation, the provides for some inherent security, however to effectively brute force the modulation anybody with a RF digitiser (ie Aeroflex Digitizer ), a fairly high speed high capacity hard disk based recorder (UMTS uses a 3.84Mcps carrier so to capture you need to sample above the nyquist rate at around 12Msps, that's 3MB/s at 14bits per sample!) plus a code domain analyser, could then despread and demodulate the channels retrieving raw data. You would then need attempt to decrypt the DataStream from a user. If you knew the downlink code used for a user and had managed to reprogram a UMTS UE (client equipment) to despread codes other than its allocated code then the need for digitisation and retrospective decode would not be necessary however code allocation occurs in a ciphered channel with very few conversations occurring under the code, so breaking the encryption and deriving the channel code would not be trivial)

                  UMTS does include per packet integrity checking and a stream cipher implemented in a fairly robust manner. A good analysis can be found at Nyberg-2004 )

                  So although the Clearwire claim of 'Always secure' is clearly marketing hokum. I would argue that save for state actors, vulnerability will originate from the malware and poor security configuration of the client PC's connected to the interface, rather than the air interface itself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I used to work for a wireless broadband ISP here. We never intended to compete with cable or DSL. Wireless offers a solution for people outside of the range of traditional broadband providers who would only have the option of dial-up or sattelite, which is really laggy. If you can get cable, stick with that.
                    the fresh princess of 1338

                    What did I do to make you think I give a shit?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheCotMan
                      Other note: It appears as though they claim to use cell phone network, so roaming coverage may be possible.
                      Mmmm... Not so sure about that. Having read through the bumpf, it looks as though they're just locating their antennas on the cell towers, not actually using any of the cell networks' wireless protocols for data. This makes a lot of sense, since cell towers generally provide decent radio coverage over a given area and have underutilised backhauls capable of bringing a pretty decent amount of data to a switching centre.

                      However, driving while on a networked computer will likely have worse performance than voice on a cell phone. Speed does seem to be an issue with cell phone systems. The Max Throughput seems to me to be "under ideal conditions"
                      Yeah, one of the big issues I can see with this system is how it would handle handoffs between cell sites - particularly if you're streaming a lot of data. Cellular handoffs work well because you're moving data at lower bitrates (typically 9600 baud to 14.4Kbps) - so any loss in the latency between handoffs is minimal and easy to correct for. Trying to do that at 512Kbps becomes iffy, though, since the potential for loss is a lot greater.

                      I checked their California coverage listing, and going by the towns they've got coverage for it looks as though they're aiming at the rural / semi-rural market. Which makes a lot of sense: these are places that the telcos and cable companies have traditionally ignored.

                      The claim they make as to being more secure becuase they operate in a licensed band and use the OFDM protocol is pretty damned ridiculous. It's all radio; it can all be intercepted. Someone needs to fire whoever's writing their copy. There's some other stuff in their FAQ I've got issues with, but this is about it for now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skroo
                        Mmmm... Not so sure about that. Having read through the bumpf, it looks as though they're just locating their antennas on the cell towers, not actually using any of the cell networks' wireless protocols for data.
                        And people thought I didn't made mistakes. :-)
                        I admit it is my fault. Thanks for getting the correct information out there.

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