[LINK] Work on Next Generation Wireless in Canberra

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Nov 27 12:15:06 AEDT 2010

Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> On 24/11/10 8:32 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
>> ... It seems to me that the differences between fixed and wireless technology
>> are reducing and it may not be worth having a separate fixed wireless infrastructure...
> "Fixed" and "mobile" is something of an arbitrary distinction ...

Yes, some of the "fixed" wireless products are a matter of marketing,
rather than technology. Some telcos will sell you a desktop wireless 
unit which uses the mobile phone network, but which you are only 
permitted to use at one location. An example is the Virgin Home Phone 

But some of the technologies are genuinely fixed, requiring manually 
positioned directional antennas, others cannot handoff between base 
stations so there is a break in communication if you move the unit. Some 
versions of WiMax will not work when the units are moving at more than 
100 kph. But I have used a GSM phone for Internet access at more than 
200 kph on the Eurostar train: <http://www.tomw.net.au/2000/uk/>.

In any case, what is clear is that the National Broadband Network is 
intended as a fixed service. This is a major flaw in the project's 
conception. The NBN is a Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) network, but 
almost all the customers will be using a wireless link to connect their 
devices in the home, so it could be better described as Wireless To The 
Customer (WTTC). This will require ad-hoc retrofitting of femtocells to 
provide the wireless service the customers want. It would be better if 
the system was designed with this requirement in mind.

The NBN Co. Business Case Summary does not address the issue of mobile 
access, apart from one reference to "smartphones" in Chart 4.

ps: I provided a HTML version of the NBN Co. Business Case Summary: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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