Wireless Broadband Already Viable for Enterprises, Study Says

Pre-standard wireless broadband services aimed at enterprises are already seriously competing with fixed line products such as T1, a study released Wednesday by ABI Research says.

May 27, 2004

1 Min Read
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Pre-standard wireless broadband services aimed at enterprises are already seriously competing with fixed line products such as T1, a study released Wednesday by ABI Research says.

The study cited two wireless ISPs (WISPs), TowerStream and NextWeb, as offering wireless broadband service that some enterprises could prefer to T1.

"TowerStream is offering 5 Mbps for about $500 per month," Edward Rerisi, ABI Research's vice president of research said in a statement. "Compare that to a T1 service typically offering only 1.5 megabits for about $900 a month. Companies like these offer better pricing, better speed, and fast provisioning to get the service up and running quickly."

There are downsides to this type of service, the study noted. For one, they are based on non-standard equipment. For instance, TowerStream's service, which is offered its service in New York, Chicago and Boston, is based on pre-standard 802.16 (WiMAX) equipment.

The company has said it will upgrade to WiMAX-certified equipment when it is available next year. The ABI study notes that use of fully interoperable equipment will make wireless broadband even more attractive to enterprises.In addition, Rerisi acknowledged that wireless broadband is slightly less reliable than fixed line service.

"They're realizing 99.99 percent reliability instead of the 'five 9s' achieved by T1", Rerisi said. Even at that, he noted, the wireless broadband providers have built a lot of redundancy into their systems to insure reliability.

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