Not everyone knows yet that fon’s president, Martin Varsavsky writes a frequent blog in multiple languages. While he does not always translate each entry to every language, occasionally English will get the scoop on the others.
Today he writes about taking initial steps to develop a fon-branded dual-WiFi/WiMax router! This is extremely exciting, since it promises far greater range, and potential meshability than 802.11a/b/g. Other abilities could include placing wifi hotspots where there is no wired internet connection available.
There is no word on which part of the world he would make the devices available, nor estimated price, but if this project goes through, we should hear more in the future.
Martin Varsavsky: “WiMax and Fon- Many people tell me that all is well with Fon until WiMax kills WiFi and then we will become obsolete. I think these critics don’t get it. WiMax comes in two flavors, proprietary bandwidth and public bandwidth. Fon is prepared for both. If it comes in open mode Fon is already in conversation with our Fonera supplier Accton to make routers that connect to DSL or Cable and send both WiFi and WiMax signal so we can give those out to Foneros and quickly deploy open WiMax. Also a WiMax enabled fonero will have so much more range! And if it comes in propietary flavor Fon will show operators that there’s a new way to grow a network, that living rooms can be more efficient than rooftops.”
WiMax/WiBro/XMax/UWB are related technologies in the sense that they use, or can be expanded to support wide bands of radio frequencies. This lets them simultaneously send and recieve on many “channels” at once, skipping frequencies which are reserved for other entities, and using a combination of licensed and license-free frequencies. An advantage of spreading the signal out over such wide territory is in increased speed, similar to the advantage of parallel transmission vs serial transmission.
Additionally, the power requirements are so low that this technology may even be allowed to use licensed frequencies without license if it proves that it does not interfere with stronger, conventional transmissions. I have also read that the technology which allows a WB base to separate all the noise from the low-power signal creates a virtual, highly-directional antenna between it and each client. This suggests that each client can use all frequencies at once without interfering with other clients nearby.
Let’s hope this new device has at least one LAN port on it for heaven’s sake! Other suggenstions i’ve written before for El Cheapo V2, if they build it:
- needs built-in PoE (or suppy an adapter) so installation in areas without A/C power is easier.
- needs suction cups on bottom of router to stick it up on the window.
- needs at least one LAN port which can be optionally guarded by fon login page so hotspot can be expanded using additional WAP devices.
- should position the WAN port on side opposite the antenna so it hangs down better.
- supply larger, non-bendable antenna. cheaper with better reception.