Sunday, March 19, 2006

A brief review of WiMAX websites

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been browsing the following websites -,,,,, and These are the ones I mentioned in my post dated March 03, 2006. Here's a brief summary of my thoughts.

IMHO, if you are new to the world of WiMAX, these two are the best sites to begin with: and The best thing I liked about them was the abundance of news articles. Not only are these articles new, but they are from a variety of sources and report on happenings all over the world. It is hard to choose from between the two since they have different things going for them. has additional information in the form of white papers (from Alcatel, Alvarion, Fujistu, Intel, Redline among others), links to events, and a substantive FAQ. They also provide WiMAX education and training targeted at engineers and management. On the other hand, they have lots of annoying blinking ads on their site, podcast links that didn't seem to work, a few polls but without any indication of the sample size and therefore useless in terms of making any informed conclusion, a job site that had only seven listings, and message boards that seemed languid in terms of posting activity. has a lot of news and no annoying blinking graphics. On the other hand, they don't have any message boards or white papers. is the website of the WiMAX alliance which is a consortium of WiMAX industry companies aimed at promoting interoperatibility standards for broadband wireless access. They too have a lot going in terms of reports, white papers, and news, albeit not as many as the afore-mentioned two sites. If you want to know what companies are working in the WiMAX area, this is by far the most comprehensive site.

The other sites didn't have a lot of features that would make them stand out from the rest. All of them had the annoying blinking ads. didn't seem to like my Firefox browser. I could see Microsoft ODBC errors displayed on the front page. They had a couple of weekly features with no date. However, they do have a long list of vendors. For people looking for that specifically, this is useful. There were no white papers and only a few reports. You had to buy the reports. All news links were pointers to external URLs some of which didn't work. On, the latest article was more than 45 days old. They too had a good list of vendors. There was a listing of books which were simply links to The forums were links to Yahoo groups. This was quite similar to - forums that linked to Yahoo groups, books listings that linked to, and research reports links that were non-functional.

Overall, I think,, and are the best in terms of learning and keeping up with the happenings in the WiMAX world. You could visit the rest once in a while when time permits.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Toronto to go wireless

News just came out that the city of Toronto is going to go wireless. Initially, the plan is to cover downtown Toronto and then eventually, the whole city, in the next three years. This so-called "Municipal Wi-Fi" project is touted to be the largest such project in North America. The plan is to mount WiFi transmitters on streetlights in the city that would form a wireless mesh network.

Commercial wireless service providers are already raising questions about whether the city can do it. Obviously, they don't want the city to eat into their market. The question that I had was whether this could be done better with WiMAX? Given the larger range of WiMAX and the fewer number of transmitters that would be required, would WiMAX be a better alternative? It's much too early to tell. WiMAX is still in its infancy as far as commercial applications is concerned. An entire city adopting WiMAX could still be a few months away. I will cover this topic sometime in the coming weeks.

Wireless shark network?

New Scientist has an article on how scientists have designed a neural implant that could be used to control the brain signals of a shark. It could potentially be used to control the shark's movement and make the shark follow vessels without being "spotted." A whole new meaning to "stealth spies."

I could imagine using a school of sharks. Much like setting up a wireless sensor network. Except in this case, you utilize the shark's energy to power the movement of the "sensor nodes." One practical problem would be in getting hold of a number of sharks and implanting them. Furthermore, there might be ethical issues that would arise in the future once this technology gets on the radar of more people. Nonetheless, it seems like a fascinating use of techology. It remains to be seen how far Mother Nature will let mankind mess with her. Or will Hollywood beat them all to it with "The Return of Jaws - Underwater Spy."

Friday, March 03, 2006

WiMAX web sites

WiMAX is the more popular name for IEEE 802.16. I'll start my blog by listing a few websites that are useful in learning more about this technology and related news. First place to start would be IEEE's own. I found three URLs that all link to the same page:

Apart from this, there is a bunch of industry sites. Here are a few of them:

In the not-so-distant future, I'll try to write up a bit more on these sites themselves and their relative plus and minus points. Stay tuned.