Clearwire Corp. is predicting a range of mobile applications for WiMax to help the haggard business traveler or busy family on the move.
The capabilities of a WiMax network sending data at 2Mbit/sec. to 4Mbit/sec. downstream to a moving vehicle include sending music, streaming video and Internet access, Clearwire officials said. Voice-over-IP phone calls are also possible, and with the right application, a user will be able to find several nearby restaurants on a Google map, then click on a phone number to make an in-vehicle call to make a dinner reservation or order takeout.
Such Clearwire applications were shown to reporters in a well-equipped van during WiMax World in Chicago recently. The vehicle passed by eight different WiMax antennas in the citywide Xohm network, which is being built by Motorola Inc. and due to go live before the end of the year. The vehicle was driven at speeds of about 35 mph and never dropped connections during a 15-minute test.
The accompanying video shows the vehicle and the entire test as seen from the interior with a passing view of the WiMax antennas on a building on the south side of Chicago. The van was equipped with two ruggedized PCs equipped with Samsung air cards. Clearwire technology marketing representatives Tim Schallberger and Todd Lewellen described the applications during the ride.
After the trip, the video clip continues briefly to show an ordinary laptop sitting on a table top that is equipped with a Samsung card, which demonstrated a speed test over the Internet. The downlink speed exceeded 3Mbit/sec. via one of the Motorola WiMax antennas located a quarter of a mile away.