WiMAX buzzes off Buzz.

The Buzz Broadband CEO has labelled their deployment of WiMAX in the Hervey Bay region a “miserable failure”.

The CEO described problems which are generally common with wireless technologies in poor environments, such as packet loss, low speeds, poor signal, and high latency.

The network is an Airspan supplied network, and Freeman (Buzz CEO) has been previously praising the technology, however, that praise seems to have disappeared at this year, he has labelled their specific deployment a failure.

I believe WiMAX isn’t the solution for all areas. That’s easily understood because you simply cannot expect wireless from one side of a mountain to work on the other. You would build it ontop of the mountain. I’m not saying that has happened here of course, but I suspect there might be solutions to their coverage issue by fixing deployment areas.

It remains uncertain what spectrum they were using for their network, which could also be a contributing factor to the failure. 

The company has dropped WiMAX and now will head towards “TD-CDMA” technology, which provides similar service to the WiMAX standard, with assumably better penetration due to a different frequency, and also a wireless DOCSIS network, which much like Telstra’s Cable network, allows speeds of up to 38Mbps in a 3.5Ghz spectrum range.

Internode have previously praised their very own Airspan deployment, claiming 6Mbps at 30KM with a constant speed, and Simon Hackett himself has backed the technology.

OPEL is the key subject here. With 1 deployment showing it works ‘exceedingly well’, and the other being a ‘miserable failure’, will we see similar results with OPEL? Miserable Failure + Exceedingly Well = “Normal Service”? Probably not, it’d be similar to what happens today, there will be blackspots, but the blackspots it fills and fixes will likely outweigh those that fail.

I’m not sure if WiMAX is a complete failure, or Buzz usage of the technology was the failure. Just the same like WiMAX is a complete success, or Internode usage of the technology was the success, without that detailed information, it’s hard to form a true conclusion.

I also am unfamiliar with the Hervey Bay surrounds, but I guess that they could also have interfered with the technology, if there wasn’t plenty of planning.


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