Re: TECH: wireless gets real

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 08:15:28 MDT

>From: Samantha Atkins <>
>> 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.

What "last mile" problem? We're allowed only to do extremely local
telephone service, and the system we've installed and run is
optimal for that.

When we're allowed to do something else, we'll build something

Since we're also the company that introduced cellphones in the U.S.
we know a thing or two about wireless, and the numbers aren't
there. We keep looking at it every day though.

We looked long and hard at Iridium, and at the others.

>> 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.

Any independent connection is refered to as a port, a cell tower
for example can only handle so many calls at once, so many "ports".

We look at high speed wireless everyday, and talk to our customers
everyday, we have the curves plotted for every available technology
compared to what people have said they're willing to pay, and the
curves are nowhere near close.

We'll keep watching....


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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