Monday, June 9, 2008

My WiMAX Experiment - Part 1: Background

I have been eagerly awaiting the N810 WiMAX Edition since news of it
surfaced last year. The N810WE would offer true mobility - a pocket
computer coupled with the excellent bandwidth that WiMAX delivers.
Canada is one of the few places in the world that has an existing WiMAX
network, albeit of the 'Pre-WiMAX' variety. Rogers and Bell offer
'Portable Internet' and 'Sympatico Un-Plugged', respectively. Both are
resellers of Inukshuk's WiMAX network.

After thinking about the N810WE more and more - a thought occured to
me. Did I really need to wait? My two main usage locations for my N800
are at home, where I have WiFi, and at work, where I don't. The reason
I wanted the N810WE was to be able to use it at my second location -
work. My company has a restrictive internet policy, and no WiFi.

Could I not then sign up for Rogers Portable Internet, and use that
service at work? Sure I could. I had my doubts - what would the
reception be like? What if I don't like the service? I don't really
want to spend $100 on a modem that I may not use for that long. How
would I hide a modem and WiFi router at work?

I found a used modem on craigslist - they were asking $50, but they
accepted my offer of $40. I was in business! That night, I spent about
20 minutes on the phone with the Rogers salesperson. They offered me a
deal on the Portable Internet Basic - $19.95/month and no activation.
The price was good for 12 months, and there was no contract. At the
most, I would be out one month of service, and would have to unload a
modem I bought for $40. Pretty low capital outlay for an experiment in
WiMAX. I had a spare FON router lying downstairs doing nothing useful -
time to put it to use and see what this WiMAX thing is all about.

Within 15-20 minutes, the modem had aquired its signal and registered
itself onto Rogers' network - a one time procedure for new modem
activations. The modem showed 3 bars of service, and I logged onto the
FON AP. I was in business!

Stay tuned for the second part of My WiMAX Experiment: First Days
Teething Pains and 'Mobile Setup'.

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Steve said...

How did you manage to talk Rogers into $20/month with no activation fee for WiMAX? That's a great deal.

EIPI said...

That is the promotion price they had at that time.