WiMax (IEEE 802.16) promises better than 10 miles service radius with higher bandwidth, better encryption, and better Quality of Service (QoS) management than WiFi. Deployment cost is estimated at $10/person for better than 90% coverage in most countries, depending on population distribution, terrain, weather, and other issues. However, there are no large WiMax deployments yet, even though some are planned or in early trials. Some in the industry claim that it is too soon for any country-wide rollouts due to immaturity of the standard and its implementations in products.
Do we have any WiMax experts?
Make sure you decide in advance what kind of internet access you will have in the schools. If you will use a wireless access point make sure to test it and in particular test it with the number of XOs which will be using it to connect to the internet. This is a list of APs http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Wireless_Access_Point_Compatibility that have been tested. However, as of this writing all these tests were for a single XO. Try e-mailing the server list to get the latest on what is working in schools with many XOs.
See also the school server section. Determine where the school server will sit (e.g. in the school or over a Wireless LAN or WAN from the school). Make sure you track the BW between the XOs and the XS and between the XS and the internet.
Decide if you will use mesh networking. If so (I believe that OLPC assumes people will use that) make sure you have a school server and decide if you will use an active antennae (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Active_Antenna_Reprogramming) or a wireless AP.
Mesh connectivity is a very active area of development so stay close to the latest test results: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Test_Config_Notes#Wireless_.26_Network and make sure you share questions and results with the devel and server lists.
Gregorio 08:58, 2 May 2008 (EDT)