Italy Shows That WiMAX Isn't "Just Like Wi-Fi Only Better"
15/11/07 - Robert Horvitz
Rapallo is a seaside community of 34,000 people on the Italian coast east of Genoa. According to the Wikipedia, Ezra Pound lived there in the late-1920s and 30s, and it is where Friedrich Nietzsche conceived his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Rapallo is also the home of Andrea Rodriguez, a 44-year-old developer of communications software. Rodriquez wants at least one-third of Italy's WiMAX spectrum at 3.5 GHz reserved for license-free use by not-for-profit networks built by local public authorities and community groups. His online petition "WiMAX Libero!" has already gained over 120,000 signatures. In no other country have so many individuals expressed support for a band dedicated exclusively to license-free community networks.
But despite Rodriguez's petition and its impressive popular support, Italy's ministry of communications recently announced plans to auction licenses for all 150MHz of the available WiMAX spectrum in January 2008.
Mixing their metaphors slightly, WiMAX Day said the ministry "had to jump through numerous hurdles" to get the rules approved. That suggests behind-the-scene political pressures, which could explain why the resulting rules have some controversial features.
Several potential bidders note that it is unclear if the licenses allow for mobile use. If they do, then the regulatory agency AGCOM says further unspecified technical restrictions may apply. That increases uncertainty about the value of the licenses and the cost of the needed infrastructure.
Meanwhile, NGO Anti-Digital-Divide complains that the number of licenses is too small to ensure sufficient competition among licenseholders and the auction rules guarantee that the highest bidder wins: there will be no comparison of different promises of quality of service, deployment speeds, bandwidth prices to end users, no consideration of past performance, etc. [segue...]
20 novembre 2007
WiMax (libero?) in Italia
L'amico Robert Horvitz, di Open Spectrum, mi ha gentilmente inviato il link a un suo recente articolo dedicato alla situazione italiana del WiMax. L'argomento in realtà riguarda le coperture di aree municipali per l'offerta di servizi wireless ai cittadini. Robert fa giustamente osservare che in tale contesto non si deve pensare al WiMax come diretto sostituto o addirittura come un upgrade di Wi-Fi perché il primo verrà implementato in un regime di licenza per il quale le municipalità non sono affatto attrezzate (in senso legale). E' immaginabile che i singoli comuni partecipino alle gare per la concessione di licenze? Horvitz nutre parecchi dubbi. Riporto qui l'inizio del suo articolo invitandovi a proseguire la lettura sulla testata online W2i: