Selasa, 02 November 2010

WiBi: 3G enabled wireless hotspot that promises to give rural folk the internets

British startup Deltenna have started shipping their first run of “Wireless Broadband Enabler” devices, or WiBi for short. The concept is one you’ve heard of before. Take a 3G modem, connect to the wireless network, turn that signal into WiFi so that a wide range of devices can easily connect to it, and that’s it. However unlike the units we’ve seen in the past, that are battery powered and portable, the WiBi is a monster that’s meant to sit on your desk. Deltenna doesn’t say what makes their device special, other than the fact that it has 4 anteenas inside that automatically configure themselves to achieve the highest possible speeds and minimal amount of interference. Last month their invention won the “Best of British Mobile Technology” award, citing results that show the WiBi is 3x to 5x faster than a USB dongle where it was tested. The firm says it can be up to 30x fasters in areas of ultra low signal.

Now all of this sounds good … until you hear the pice. It’s going for 425 GBP or roughly $680. That’s a lot of bones. In Ireland it’s going to be a little cheaper, 300 EUR, but that’s still $420. If you’re in the sticks and you need to access Facebook then this might be your only solution. If you’re wondering as to why I even bothered writing up this story, it’s because devices like this will be used in the future by many of us, even city dwellers. Old copper infrastructure has limits, and installing fiber is expensive, so going wireless seems like the best choice. We’ve already seen a small ISP in Central Oregon opt to install HSPA+ to service their customer base, instead of digging up people’s front lawns and laying cable. From my interview with Frank Miller, CTO of BendBroadband: “Activation per home runs about $400 depending depending on the customer’s location. In an urban environment, activation runs nearly $1000 per home using cable.” So not only is wireless easier to install, it’s cheaper too.
[Via: T3, ISP Review]

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