Thursday, June 10, 2004

Dialup powered WiFi

I am trying to convince SMC (one of the major vendors of WiFi equipment) to sell one line of their WiFi AP in Pakistan that they have now stopped making because of very low demand in US. It's called SMC7004AWBR. The said WiFi AP has a dialup port so that one can connect it to a dialup ISP and extend that dialup connection via WiFi in and around the office/home space.

With broadband almost pervasive in NA, almost 100% of all WiFi routers assume a broadband connection and hence come with an Ethernet interface. If you want to use such an AP here in PK and aren't lucky to have a broadband at home/office, the only way to get going is to run a machine, connect it to an ISP and run some proxy/NATing software that keeps on breaking every now and then.

Apple makes an AP called Apple Airport that comes with a built-in modem and you just need to plug an RJ11 to the device to extend the dialup internet over the air in your home/office. The price of Airport is an mood tripping $450.

In Pakistan, where WiFi has arrived before broadband, WiFi APs with dialup support can get a lot of buyers and I am trying to explain just this to SMC. If they get the point (and the right numbers), we might have a good product that all of us can use at our places.

8 comments:

KO said...

Thats a great idea.. but instead of going for WiFi over dialup, perhaps it's a better idea to push for cheaper DSL and use normal wifi routers. I recently ordered one for 28 dollars a few months ago, and now they're as low as 15 dollars for a 802.11b router.

Till bandwidth prices go down, perhaps DSL packages at 56K modem speeds should be introduced. I would get one in a snap for the reliablity, and the hope that once prices go down I could get true broadband over my existing connection.

Zunaira said...

You've heard Cybernet's started offering DSL. Prices from 6K and onwards. Know anyone who's tried it? I've heard Supernet's started their DSL as well but TM could offer more on this.

Given cybernet's dial-up history with me is extremely unimpressive, I'm not sure whether to dig in or out.

We are thinking of a Broaband shoot out cover for August.

KO said...

Well, I just recently (20 days back) asked Cybernet for their prices... they were horrendously expensive, so I got WOL DSL instead. So far so good - much superior to WorldCall, but then its a lot more expensive.

KO said...

Always look forward to news on broadband (at least till it finally arrives). But please don't call 128K or 256K connections broadband! I think the definition of broadband is somewhere around 300K plus.

Zunaira said...

[chuckle] 300K?? Obviously, you are an optimist among us *raises her glass to KO as she reconnects to cyber@40.0kbps, going down to 38 back to 40 back to 38...

KO said...

If you're using dialup in a office, the office telephone exchange always chokes/kills/slows dialup.

Zunaira said...

DSL at work (which some times behaves worse than dial-up). Dial-up at home--broadband ain't knocking in my area for another century from what I hear.

Anonymous said...

Hmmms .... Dialup APs are good , as far as the apple air port extreme or regular edition is concerned , i'd like to say , dont buy it , if you don't own a mac thats because the AP is configured with Apple Airport Admin Utility thats only avaialble for MACs, yes they boast about windows compatability , but they never mentioned you could configure it through windows. did they ? ;) . Anyways regarding the dialup wifi from smc , have you checked the signal strength ? most APs being sold in Pakistan ( majorly linksys & Saneo ( or something )), have a crappy range , don't expect them to work anywhere out of the 500m range, and that too will only hold connection if the signal strength is 80% or more. I've got an AP from Cisco , its just super cool , patch it with a small directional antenaa and i can use internet @ services club --> right infront of my house :p. anyways .. have you looked into netgear products , they seem to be really good!

cheers

~uppal
uppal@linux.net.pk