When I first read the specs on wimax, I thought it would revolutionize internet connectivity in the developing world. It should do the same in the US but the current cell phone companies have a vested interest in slow evolution.
But in actual fact, wimax has been for me mostly a disappointment. There was I glimmer of blazing wimax. I was right next to a tower, and had borrowed a USB dongle. The performance, in a rural seaside community on the island of Mindoro, was as fast as I’m used to connected to fiber optic cable in NYC.
So I’ve done some research. The wimax service, called “Smart Bro”, has an interesting tiered structure. For $25 a month, home users can get unlimited, always on data service at 1Mbaud/sec. The USB dongle, I borrowed, is their premium service which costs $100 initial outlay, and then $.50 per hour for 10Mbaud/sec. (currently the descriptive url for the tiered service can be viewed at http://www1.smart.com.ph/bro/products/unlimited-home-broadband/ by clicking on “compare all products” on the left column).
The school where I was working to set up a school server had a business account which seems to be getting about 2mb/s. I don’t know what the business connection costs. One or two Mb/s seems slow — but it’s so much better than nothing!