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Old 19-01-2007, 20:17   #1
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Wireless Broadband

Ok this appears to be a big leap forward for future cruisers like myself who really need broadband to transmit large data files so they can be bums and do work from the boat. ( I admit that I am planning on being as lazy about this as possible, but if I can write it off as a business expense then it is worth it.) This is not Wifi!

I saw a contractor here in Fort Worth with this up and running in his truck on a job site. Basically what it says..... Wireless broadband access.... Currently limited to specific cities and areas (a lot like cell phone coverage in the mid 80's was.) It's not cheap, Cingular currently says that you have to have a voice package (cell phone) with a minimum of 39.99 and then this is an additional 59.99 on top of that for unlimited access where ever you can get it.

Dell currently is pushing this on thier PC's and you can get Sprint, Verizon or Cingular as providers.

Hmmm good thing I have several years before I need this...

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Old 19-01-2007, 20:24   #2
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check out Wireless Broadband Internet Service Provider: High Speed Wireless ISP
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Old 19-01-2007, 21:19   #3
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We use the cingular card now. works fine but is not broadband.. is better than dial-up though. probably avg 700kbs..
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Old 19-01-2007, 23:35   #4
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"This is not Wifi!"
They are cellular data networks and they've been around for over a decade. The new ones are of course faster but each of the cellular companies claims to have the fastest or best coverage and in reality, each varies widely.
Also, the 'unlimited' packages are very much limited, if you use them to stream movies or for VOIP phones, you will find out that after #-many megabytes in a day or week, they'll throttle your connection or drop you. Great for business travelers within their carrier's service area, not a panacea yet though. WiMax, the incoming "son-of-WiFi" may give them a real run for their money.
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Old 20-01-2007, 06:18   #5
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Have a couple of freinds out cruising full time that use cingular and verizion. Both seem to happy with the service. The couple with verizion reported that on their last trip down the ICW they were, at times, able to use the internet when they couldn't use their cellular. As has been discussed on other threads before, it does one no good off shore, but seems to be a good way to go when cruising coastal in the US.


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Old 20-01-2007, 06:19   #6
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Yup... hellosailor's experience with this is the same as mine. This is probably the first rollout of another new cellular data network offering at a higher speed. I'm not sure why WiFi wouldn't cut it for you? Do you not use it in your house or home office to move large files?

At a typical data rate of 6.5Mbits/s for 802.11b and 25Mbits/s for 802.11g, why would you need anything faster on a boat? It's the internet connection at land that will slow you down below these speed in many cases, not the 802.11 signal.

Also, 802.11n is waiting in the wings and is supposed to average about 200Mbits/sec... this is FASTER than 100Mbit wired ethernet, so um... you're not getting faster than that unless you run gigabit.
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Old 20-01-2007, 11:31   #7
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The issue, I guess, is how widespead the network is.

I work from home, using the net (and the phone) to talk to my bosses in New York and Cleveland. If I had, say, Caribbean-wide Internet, I could work from a boat, make my usual enormous bucks, and still live the live of a seadog.

That's what I'm talking about!

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Old 20-01-2007, 14:02   #8
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If I had, say, Caribbean-wide Internet, I could work from a boat, make my usual enormous bucks, and still live the live of a seadog.
Sat phone is it - per minute rate. Buy 3,000 minutes at a time and it gets cheaper. If you want "always on" then it's only in your dreams.

The trick is how connected can you live with? You can go ashore on most any of the islands and get real broadband at an internet cafes really cheap. You want an arrangement where you only need to be connected for short periods of time or longer periods but less frequent. Any more than that and it's getting into a lot of sat phone minutes.
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Old 20-01-2007, 14:32   #9
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Paul:

At the moment, I think yer right, which is one reason (among many) that I am still anchored to Toronto.

But I hold great hopes for the future of technology. Would you have thought even two years ago how prevalent wireless technology would be today? Next step ... ocean-wide, always-on, links.

Bound to come. Bound to come.

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Old 20-01-2007, 15:22   #10
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Originally Posted by Connemara
Next step ... ocean-wide, always-on, links.

Bound to come. Bound to come.

Connemara
Ahhhh... we can always hope. However, companies go for the $$ in our capitalistic society. There are more people per square mile in deep Alaska than at sea. Those folks (and all other countries, etc...) will have always-on links before any oceans do. I sure do wish they'd pave the ocean with a signal though. Would be nice.
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Old 20-01-2007, 15:33   #11
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Originally Posted by Pblais
Sat phone is it - per minute rate. Buy 3,000 minutes at a time and it gets cheaper.
Globalstar is worse this year than last year for the Bahamas and it was hit and miss last year. They claim they're realigning the satellites and giving "free" minutes but what's the use of the minutes if you can't get through.
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Old 20-01-2007, 15:48   #12
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But I hold great hopes for the future of technology.
The bandwidth of satelites technology is quite limited and they still cost a lot to launch. You and I have no idea how mnay of them it takes just to run the US Military. Just imagine how many it would take for ordinary folks to use it that much too.
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Old 20-01-2007, 19:37   #13
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Sean, 802.11n will have the same problems as WiFi, i.e. the need to find open access points and sharing bandwidth. With the cellular data systems at least IF there's coverage in your area, you don't have to worry about mooching it and the communications are encrypted (IIRC) so there's another less worry. In theory WiMax will allow providers to blanket a large area (5-10 miles radius) with a "WiFi" type system but you can bet you'll also be asked to pay for that in most cases.

Actually satellite voice/data service now are faster and cheaper than cellular was 10-15 years ago, so it's easy to complain but...<G>....Meanwhile, the US is something like 50th in nations in terms of broadband and cellular systems. We're 1/10th the speed at 10x the price of some leaders, thanks to an ineffective government that's allowed the carriers to intentionally build incompatible systems and put nothing back into development. And that's getting worse, apparently the FCC is licensing some huge new chunks of bandwidth, different bands to different vendors, so the equipment will again be proprietary to each system.

Heck, 20 years ago borrowing a 1200bps modem was damn near impossible! But at least, they pretty much all work with each other.
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