Verizon Experiments With Wireless Broadband

Verizon certainly seems to be one of the more aggressive carriers when it comes to testing out new technologies. The latest is a very small wireless broadband trial in Grundy, Virginia. They're using equipment from Alvarion, which makes it pretty clear that if this works out, they'll offer WiMax when it's available. The interesting part, though, is that they're apparently using unlicensed spectrum at 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Generally speaking, companies in the wireless industry have been insisting that no major player would dare roll out WiMax in unlicensed spectrum -- which could make this experiment even more worth watching to see if the unlicensed spectrum part causes any problems. In some ways, if it works, it may do more damage for Verizon, by making it clear that unlicensed spectrum is just fine for WiMax, making it tougher for the big carriers to point to the licensed spectrum they would use as somehow being more reliable and making it easier for smaller players to insist they can do just fine with unlicensed spectrum. Of course, the opposite could happen if Verizon can show problems with the test every time someone heats up a frozen dinner in their microwave.

Filed Under: wimax


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  • identicon
    EV, 26 Aug 2004 @ 3:33pm

    unlicensed wimax

    the wimax forum itself will only certify equipment in the 2.5, 3.5 and 5.8 bands. so that means that if its 2.4 GHz its not wimax. It could be based on the 802.16 spec but its not wimax unless it is certified. Verizon also holds 2.3 gHz spectrum (WCS band). Perhaps they now intend to use that for mobility. Verizon so wanted more 1.9 GHz spectrum but they did test beamreach equipment in that 2.3 GHz band. Then again, testing of 5.8 GHz equipment might be a factor of convenience. it is unlicensed and hence easily available for tests.

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