BellSouth launches fixed wireless in Athens, Georgia


BellSouth has launched a pre-WiMAX service in Georgia, becoming the first major (regional bell) phone company to launch a fixed wireless service. 384 kbps down and 128 kbps up “Wireless Lite” package costs $30, while Wireless Ultra (1.5 mbps down/ 256 kbps up) costs $40 a month. Wireless modem costs $100. BellSouth sees fixed wireless as a way to cover the 20% of its footprint where it cannot offer DSL as yet. Athens is a University town and can attract students who don’t care much for landlines. BellSouth is going to introduce the service in some Florida towns as well, mostly in way-sub-urban areas.


Paul G

I believe the official term is ‘nomadic’- you can move it with some hassle, but as stated, no handoff. Handoff makes it portable, fast-handoff (>60mph) makes it mobile.

Any idea on what Navini’s latency is nowadays? This is always ignored in the press until customers eventually bitch and moan as with Unwired in Australia-

Jesse Kopelman

Ok. Before the end of the year, all the “pre” guys will be certified, so this won’t be an issue. Then we will get to haggle about mobile pre-WiMax until the end of next year.

DG Lewis

Actually, the BellSouth Athens trial isn’t really fixed wireless, as the Navini Ripwave external modem (and pretty much every vendor’s current-generation CPE of this type) is basically the same form factor as an 802.11 wireless router, and is also available in a PCMCIA card — call it portable rather than fixed. You can pick it up and take it with you, though there’s no handoff. If you don’t want to use the W-word, the generic term to those skilled in the art is Broadband Wireless Access, or BWA.

Om Malik

its either wimax or fixed wireless. nothing more nothing less. sorry for being pig headed about it

Jesse Kopelman

Why not just replace fixed wireless with pre-WiMax? I think that is really more what you meant. BTW, I believe the vendor is Navini.

Jesse Kopelman

BellSouth is not the first major phone comapny to do this. Both Sprint and AT&T did so in the 90s. I’m pretty sure some of the Sprint deployments are still in service, too.

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