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Re: [tlug] WiMax for mobile internet?

2013/1/23 Ian Lawrence Barwick <>:
> 2013/1/23 Pier Fumagalli <>:
>> On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM, Ian Lawrence Barwick <>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi all
>>> I'm looking at upgrading my ca. 2009-era Emobile USB dongle to WiMax.
>>> Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with this?
>>> I'm planning to get a portable wifi version, so presumably Linux
>>> compatibility will not be an issue.
>>> My main concern is coverage - Emobile has been very reliable even out
>>> in the sticks, how does WiMax measure up?
>>> Thanks for any comment
>> At the office we have people with both LTE (EMobile/Softbank) and WiMax.
>> Coverage is definitely better on LTE, especially because it drops down to 3G
>> when faster connectivity is not available. WiMax is spotty, still,
>> unfortunately.
> Good to know, thanks.
>> I'd recommend an EMobile LTE, works great and it's really fast.
> I'll look into it. My ISP (Asahinet) had a special offer on Wimax,
> hence my initial interest.

AsahiNet very kindly loaned me a Wimax device (Uroad SS10) for a few
days which I've just returned.

- It is somewhat faster than my existing HSDPA-based Emobile dongle
  (approx 500KB/s vs 450KB/s downloads, tested using a server located
   in Tokyo; uploads much faster - approx 350KB/s vs 75KB/s)

- WiMax signal at home is "orange" (i.e. middling) despite being (just) within
  the 23ku and having excellent conditions for the reception of wireless signals
  of all kinds. The signal improves to "green" closer to the
  local station; I didn't notice much difference in speed between "green" and

- WiMax on the move in an above-ground train within Tokyo was fine

- WiMax signal underground is very hit-and-miss; on the Tozai Line between
  Takadanobaba and IIdabashi, signal was available in the station and
  apparently sometimes between stations, but not at all within the
underground part
  of Iidabashi Station or any of the Yurakacho line towards the Ginza area;
  also not in Meiji Jingumae station

- The Wimax wifi device does not seem to work so well with either of my
  MacBook Pros in its default settings.; doing a simple speed test (scp of a
  large-ish file from the above mentioned server), I get a maximum download
  speed of around 65KB/s;  no matter what location I try from.  On an
old netbook
  running Linux I got around 500KB/s.
  I've never had any wireless issues with the Macs before; changing
  the SS10's wireless mode to "11g only" (default: "11b/g/n mixed") seemed
  to resolve the problem.

- I didn't get a chance to test it outside the 23ku area, but it
wouldn't surprise me
  if the signal get spottier the further away one gets from urban areas

Conclusion: WiMax is faster than Emobile  HSDPA, especially for uploads, but
the difference is not all that mindboggling. Signal coverage is OK,
but it's been
easy enough to find places where it is not available; in all cases Emobile did
work. As I've hardly had any problems with Emobile reception (only place
outside of actual tunnels I recall it not working recently is on a bus
somewhere above
Hakone), I'll stick with Emobile HDSPA for now, and maybe look into some sort
of LTE option.


Anyway thanks again to Asahinet for the loan of the Wimax device, much

Ian Barwick

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