Mobile Pioneer on Google WiFi & MuniWireless

Marty Cooper, one of the pioneers of cellphone business is not the retiring sort, and speaks his mind. At Broadband WorldWide Conference in Madrid, Spain he said that the concept of free wireless in the cities supported by advertising is a disruptive idea, but warned that building wireless infrastructure in cities like San Francisco is not going to be either cheap or easy. He sees fatal flaws in Google’s plan to blanket the city with WiFi access points that would provide 95% outdoor and 90% indoor coverage.

We need to be careful here to separate the business and technology issues. I don’t believe it is possible to ‘blanket’ a place like San Francisco with Wireless LAN, and certainly not with the 300 access points per square mile Google is suggesting. I calculate they will need more like 3000 AP’s per square mile. They are clearly a great company, but I suggest they need a few lessons in wireless propagation.

He is not alone. Others are pegging the total cost of Google WiFi in San Francisco at about $250 million. The irony of his comments is that Intel has partnered with his company Arraycomm, for building smarter WiMAX antennas. At the same time, Intel is highly vested in WiFi and Muni-Wireless. But as I said, Marty is not shy to speak his mind.

Read More @ EE Times.


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