Merry Christmas to one and all!

We're taking a bit of a break to be with our loved ones over the holiday, and we hope you are too. A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, and we'd like to pass along a heartfelt "Thank You" for your readership. We'll be back posting again tomorrow once we can burn off some of the egg nog!

WiMAX and XM Radio are not playing nice together

With WiMAX becoming the talk of the global town in terms of soon-to-be wireless broadband everywhere, the collective wireless broadband industry expressed, um, utter dismay that XM Radio's land-based repeater systems were operating at power levels outside the norm (hence, interference maybe?) as well as 19 of the repeaters operating outside of the scope of the FCC permit XM Radio has for land-based repeater systems.

The repeaters help augment the satellite radio signal where taller buildings and other objects block the satellite signal, and are mostly used in large metro areas with a decent amount of teller buildings and such.

Although there are no immediate concerns to the wireless broadband industry -- as it just now plans for service rollouts -- XM Radio will be under the microscope and auspices of WiMAX companies until it gets the situation under control -- and quickly.

Clearwire in a tizzy over 2.5 GHz spectrum re-use from community college

It goes like this: Clearwire signs lease with Peralta Community College last December to lease its 2.5GHz radio spectrum so that it can offer its wireless broadband Internet service. Then, all of a sudden, Peralta cancels contract without notice and Clearwire gets miffed -- and asks judge to block that action.

Peralta Community College, located around the San Francisco area, says that the lease stipulated that Clearwire would give a major cash infusion or key equipment to the college, which is has not done -- hence, the lease was terminated for that reason. Ok, who is telling the truth, here?

Why DirecTV and Echostar's Possible WiMax Is Great For Competition

Competition is good - it lowers prices, spurs innovation, and keeps providers on their toes at all times. It's not longer that hard to change providers, whether it be cellular, paid-TV (name your flavor), or even home phone service (woo hoo, whoo hoo that tune. The winner is, "Vonage"). This is truly an era of competition in the telcom world, and we're all connected at the hip to it.

*When* Murdoch's DirecTV and Ergen's Echostar finally do decide to offer more than standard TV entertainment (in all it's MPEG-2 glory), it will be a watershed day for U.S. consumers. The satellite TV industry has been very successful at getting the cable TV industry off its laggard arse with new and improved service (Digital, VOD, etc.). Like stated above, competition is good (and fierce as a white tiger). Consumers can jump ship and this keeps providers (more deliverers than content producers) sweating.

So, the "battle for the bundled home" could heat up soon. I mean, DSL used to be $49.95 a month, then it fought cable modem service in the ring, got beat up a bit, and changed its tiers fashionably and its prices drastically ($14.95!). Yikes! That's cheaper than a week's dry cleaning bill for most people. And your two-piece suit doesn't give you precious megabits per second (but you look fly, dontcha?).

In This Corner, Flarion - In That Corner, WiMax ... Fight!

With 802.16e being ratified almost two months ago, when will we begin to see WiMax equipment like PC cards and WiMax-capable laptops? Enough with 802.11g already, gotta have over 100 megabits/second while cruising down the strip. 802.11g just brings down the reason to even start the car in the morning. Well, ok - I can give manufacturers a little more than two months to get customer equipment on shelves (real or virtual). But, wait a minute...

What is Qualcomm doing with the Flarion technology they bought for quite a sum last year? Could Flash OFDM could push WiMax aside as a WAN truly-mobile, high-speed data solution? Qualcomm makes a killing with license fees (since they haven't sold consumer equipment since selling the handset division to Kyocera), but do they stand to march all over the new 802.16e mobile WiMax standard with OFDM in some flavor (like orange or grape, for example)? To sell extremely-heavy content (bandwidth-wise), one of these contenders needs to stand up and fight the good fight. I don't think it will be a TKO at all.

Efforts Underway to Bring Wireless Access to Rural New England

The rest of rural northern New England seems to be in stride with Maine's ambitious plan to bring broadband wireless acess to remote locations across the region. An exmaple of an initiative to do so is a group of companies banded together under the Cloud Alliance, who are working to bring wireless services to areas that most high-speed Internet service providers would normally overlook, especially in parts of Vermont and northwestern Massachusetts. The government is also providing some grants for other projects to get this region hooked up, so there definitely is momentum to get the area on the same technological track as the more populated locations.

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