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.

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