Startup #83 – True Wireless Networks

I used to work for a major computer/PC/Server/etc. manufacturer based in central Texas (you can guess which one) and I was always amazed at how little forward thinking was being done with regard to product leveraging.  Granted, it no doubt takes plenty of time and energy to manage the logistics of manufacturing 1200 PCs an hour, and I realize it’s a little difficult to change the path of a freight train when the tracks have been laid.  That said, the opportunities to completely dominate and own different market segments that are right there ready to be had were vast….and almost always ignored.  Instead, it was just more PCs and servers rolling off the assembly line as market share eroded and stock price declined.  Sigh.

One of the things I thought of when working there that couldn’t have been more ripe for the taking was the idea of a True Wireless network.

Startup # 82 – True Wireless Networks

I actually think this is a really good idea and would have “saved” it for myself except for the fact that I know even less about mechanical engineering then I do software engineering.  Toss in that the money it takes to market and produce a piece of hardware is substantially more then it is to get some good code, and I’ll toss this idea out to the masses.

When I was selling computers for the aforementioned company, we experienced a period where we received bonus money for every Broadband card we could get added in to a laptop.  Verizon and T-Mobile were trying to get hardware in to our computers so that they could provide wireless broadband service.  My thinking is “Why limit it to an individual laptop?”   Why not make a wireless router that is truly wireless?  Instead of plugging in to an internet connection at a home or coffee shop, why not have a piece of hardware powered by a 6 cell or 9 cell battery that connects to the satellite broadband signal and then redistributes it to a short range area, just like a wireless router.  Effectively, it would be the same thing as the wireless router in your home except it wouldn’t be plugged in to a power outlet or the wall.

Setting the device to have security options would make it appealing for folks doing group-work in a public place.  Similarly, the uses in remote areas (think: medical facilities in the developing world) are vast.  While WiMax and city-wide Wi Fi may be on the horizon in some places, there is definitely a 10-20 year window of opportunity for providing this type of broadband.

Sure, the satellite broadband companies might balk.  But the leverage of a major manufacturer (Cisco, Dell, HP, etc.) saying, “One of you is going to get to serve signal to these devices that we’re going to spend a lot of time and money bringing to market” would be great enough that someone from AT&T, Verizon, etc. would blink and say, “We’re in.”

No cables.  No wires.  No anchors to the wired world.  True Wireless.

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4 responses to “Startup #83 – True Wireless Networks

  1. you are right…hardware requires alot but very still a great idea. at last i have someone who agrees with me that wireless should truly be wireless.

  2. Just wanted to point out that Clear (Sprint/Clearwire) rolled this out in the last year. This is what I use in the Austin area for my home, office, and travel connectivity. I like it better then an in-office DSL.

    Hope you are doing well Kevin!

  3. Hey man, good to hear from you! You definitely got this one, nice job. I have a few friends working for Clearwire here in Seattle, it’s definitely catching on in a big way.

  4. Some Palm phones also have this feature. I wouldn’t be surprised if this caught on in a big way.

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