Yesterday I had an incredible experience. I logged on and connected my PC to the first mobile WiMAX demonstration network in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It was an incredible moment that left me wanting more, left me wanting to remain out in the Gold parking lot across the street from the convention center, driving around in the first WiMAX “hotspot” cars where I had the equivalent of a suite at the Wynn – luxury broadband while being driven around connected to a WiMAX mobile broadband network. It was truly Broadband-to-go. And it was wonderful. Intel, Clearwire and Motorola worked hard to put the WiMAX network together – it covered ~20 square miles. We streamed video in and out (sent images from a dashboard camera back to the booth – a sort of roving real time traffic reporter), internet audio, made Skype calls, surfed the web, played video from YouTube (all at the same time), while I sent real time instant messages and email updates back to my friends and colleagues about the globe (and answered all of my unanswered emails). This was the most fun I’ve had at CES in a long time. Compare this to my experience when I came in on Sunday. I arrived at my un-named hotel to find only wired broadband in the living room portion of my room…chained to a desk (this is a relatively new hotel too)….no Wi-Fi and my 3G connection would never connect – I had email to reply to and work to get done before Monday morning so I sat at the desk feeling constrained wishing and waiting for WiMAX. For a connection that I could upload large powerpoint files, send home a few photos of my daughter sleeping on the plane, and make a quick change to my flight reservation (and instant message with my colleagues to get the latest news before the show). Hurry up WiMAX….we’re waiting.
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