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ZDNet UK then took a laptop and Easy-ST terminal out into the field. Well, a car park rather than a field, but it was around 900 metres away from the base station.
With three FTP processes going (two down, one up), the system managed a fairly impressive download speed of 10Mbps and upload of 600Kbps.
Lightley attributed the speeds to fixed WiMax’s use of FDD, which uses two frequencies to provide an uplink/downlink duplex channel. Mobile WiMax, on the other hand, will use a system called TDD, which uses one frequency and relies on quick swapping between uplink and downlink to provide a seamless connection.
TDD is economical on spectrum, but requires some additional synchronisation of the base stations, perhaps by GPS, to remain in step.
Airspan then took us to a house in Stratford-upon-Avon where a couple of its Pro-ST terminals have been installed, about 1.3km from the base station.
The terminals convert WiMax to Wi-Fi, and tests within the house using a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop worked very well.
Switching between two Wi-Fi access points involved a handover of 0.2s (although this would be longer with encryption) and no packet loss.
Lightley said the team was "pleasantly surprised in terms of indoor coverage" of the WiMax signal, even through double-glazed windows.