Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My WiMAX Experiment - Part 2: Teething Pains & 'Mobile Setup'

As I mentioned in Part 1, my intended usage for the WiMAX modem is at my workplace, where I do not have WiFi.  One of my main concerns was with concealment of the modem/router package.  I solved this by strapping the router to the modem, and tucking it between my computer and the cubicle wall.  After work, I place the modem and router in my desk and lock it.

The first day brought to a light a few problems.  One was the choice of router.  That FON router would drop connections often.  I recalled that there was an issue with using this router and the NIT's, related to the power saving mode in the WiFi.  I bought a cheap D-Link router that night, and the router issue was solved.

The other problem I had was with the modem dropping connections sometimes.  It would go roaming for a signal, and take a few minutes to acquire it again.  Some twisting and shifting of the modem proved to be useful in securing a reliable spot to place it in.

Surfing on the first day was good.  I used the 'mobile' versions of most sites that I frequent.  Funnily enough, the ITT site was one of the hardest to switch to mobile since the option is in a drop box at the bottom of the page.  Loading the full site on the Basic connection I had was slow.  Gmail, Google, Wikipedia, CBC News, and more were very usable in their mobile forms, or basic HTML versions. 

I was chatting via GoogleTalk with some friends, and even placed a VOIP call via GoogleTalk.  The call was fairly clear, but would cut in and out frequently.  I need to do some more testing of the VOIP when connected via the WiMAX modem. 

The Portable Internet Basic I had was slow, no doubt about it.  But for access at a fixed remote location, and with the usage of mobile optimized sites, it proved to be very usable. 

Stay tuned for Part 3, where I will discuss actual speeds obtained from speed tests and load times of common mobile sites.

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