Dekal Wireless: Broadband for the Masses
When Dekal Wireless quietly launched on the scene in July 2010 with advertisements in Jamaica’s Sunday Newspaper and very little fanfare, but offering so much more than what was on the table at the time. Digicel 4G Broadband, based on the WiMax 4G Fixed (IEEE 802.16a) and WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d,e) Protocols, stole all the show with their brash advertising, store retrofitting and pre- announcement hype, only to be swamped with traffic and thus complaints from customers, who discovered that their service, initially getting speeds of up to 10MBps best effort, is now cruising at speeds far below that of even CLARO 3G. Dekal Wireless, who Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network is powered by Internet connectivity provided by Fiber Optic T1 wholesaler FLOW, is quietly adding on casual browser accounts, as its service only has a range of one (1) km from each RBS (Remote Base Station) Antenna but still maintains its speed of 10MBps best effort since the day it launched – much to the dismay of Digicel 4G Broadband.
A little History
Founded by a partnership between former businessman Wayne Chen of the now defunct Super Plus supermarket chain and the Lee’s family, their branding of their product as “Super” Wi-Fi may be jumping the gun a bit, as albeit running the IEEE 802.11n Protocol capable of maximum speeds of 300MBps, far faster than Digicel 4G Broadband, they nonetheless would have to provision a lot of T1’s to be capable of offering that speed to the consumer. Guess all that advertising added too much traffic onto their Network and thus Digicel 4G Broadband has bitten off more than they can chew, a wonder in the Telecom world, as advertising to sell Wireless Broadband is so ill-advised. Still, Digicel 4G Broadband can achieve speeds of at least 120Mbps, if they were to upgrade to the soon to be ratified WiMax 2 Protocol and provisioned the T1’s necessary to achieve this speed.
Digicel 4G Broadband has the incentive, especially as FLOW has gone 100MBps for Residential Customers and CLARO has accepted the challenge and has decided to go LTE (Long Term Evolution), a 4G technology that is a cousin of the WiMax 4G Fixed (IEEE 802.16a) and WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d,e) Protocols used to power Digicel 4G Broadband capable of 172MBps, albeit neither technology is fully ratified as 4G officially by the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations body responsible for certifying Telecommunications technology with the blessing of “3G” or “4G”. To be considered 4G by the ITU, both WiMax 2 (IEEE 802.16m) and LTE have to use Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing, effectively the same signal multiplexing inherent in Wideband Code Division Multiple Access, a descendant of CDMA Networks and speed capability demonstrable in achieving 100MBp and higher, a criteria neither of these technologies can achieve when the 4G Data Network is loaded to capacity. So how does the Dekal Wireless experience compare to Digicel 4G Broadband? Also, are there other Wi-Fi networks soon to come online in Jamaica? The following few lines will surprise you.