Nation-wide Free High speed WiMAX for United States

A few months ago, a friend (who requested to rename nameless) forward me a website called M2Z. It was already covered by GigaOM, and Tom Evslin.

It was a application for 20Mhz of spectrum on the 2.1Ghz (2155-2175Mhz), nation-wide to roll out a free high speed broadband wireless access in United State (see their application). Before you write this off as another wannabe, this is brain child of Milo Medin, founder of @Home in 1995, and John Muleta, the former head of FCC’s Wireless Telecommunication Bureau. The backers include the top names on Sandhill Road, Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Charles River Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.

Their goal is to provide 512kbps wireless broadband to 33% of the US population by 3rd year, 66% in the 5th year and 95% by the 10th year. Looks like they are giving ClearWire the competition they need.

But an email conversation with the unnamed friend recently remind me about this proposal as well as some of the questions I had.

1. Why 2.1Ghz? I can understand that 2.3Ghz and 2.5Ghz is practically gone in United State but still, 2.1Ghz is reserved for 3G expansion for many countries. I think they are going for a uphill battle.

2. 20Mhz, is probably just sufficient for a decent wireless broadband roll out. Some would even argue we need 40Mhz to be safe, using 10Mhz channels on n=3 configuration with 1 channel on reserved.

3. I suppose 512kbps is probably the reasonable speed they can do on 5Mhz channel (given they are asking for only 20Mhz). But could you possibility imaging we still using 512kbps 10 year from now? But then again, having broadband is better than no broadband at all for many parts of US so maybe they have a case.

Anyway, good luck to M2Z. I hope they got what they asked for (or better, more than what they ask :-)

ps: I am willing to bet they have a higher chance after Bush leave office. :-)

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