Re: TECH: wireless gets real

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 01:38:37 MDT

Brian D Williams wrote:
> >From: Samantha Atkins <>
> >>Brian D Williams wrote:
> >>It's that considerable "sufficient investment in infrastructure"
> >>that's the sticking point. The low ball figure I see is about
> >>250 billion dollars. Whoever puts that up is going to want a
> >>substantial return on investment, then of course there's
> >>maintenance.
> >Huh? That figure is sufficient for several manned missions to
> >Mars or for setting up an effective Solar Power Satellite
> >alternative. What takes that kind of money to provide universal
> >wireless connectivity?
> 250 billion is the lowball figure just to rewire the U.S. with
> fiber.

I question that. First though, fiber doesn't have anything
necessarily to do with wireless. Most phone centers now are
connected by fiber afaik. It is the "last mile" problem that
remains. For that local wireless might be one viable
alternative. Others could include an Iridium style program
(expanded and better run), high altitude low power targets to
bounce signals off of (large light planes, blimps, something
else). In none of these cases does it look like any quarter of
a trillion dollars is needed.

> You want worldwide Universal wireless connectivity? For how many
> people? The whole world?
> Lets see there are about 6.2 billion people in the world, if we
> could do this for $1000 a port (we can't get even close to that)
> you're talking 6.2 trillion dollars. The real figure to build such
> a system is probably considerably more.

What "port"? Maybe we are speaking apples and oranges? I am
talking about the cost to deliver reasonably high-speed wireless
connectivity world-wide. I am not including the cost of the
terminals used to take advantage of that capacity.
- samantha

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