Well what is WIMAX? You may have heard of Wi-Fi hotspots jumping up all over the place at Airport, Coffee Houses, Libraries and the like. Wi-Fi basically gives you wireless Internet access in these places and is usually provided FREE by the business owners (Airlines Coffee Shops etc).
Just about all of the latest Laptops are Wi-Fi capable and all you need is an access code from the business to get these services. These are very popular with business executives and road-warriors (sales people).
However they have a limited range of about 30 metres.
Officially known as IEEE 802.16, WiMax has a range of up to 45 kilometres and at speeds of up to 70 megabits a second. This service has been around for a number of years but because of the set up cost being in excess of $25,000 it has not been able to take off.
But it is set to become one of the greatest choices for Real Estate Agents because of backing from industry giants, Intel, Nokia and Alcatel.
What will you need to make it work?
The first thing you will need is broadband internet access into your office, this can come from a variety of suppliers in the form of fixed line ADSL or even Wireless, which most agencies already have.
The next thing you will need is a base station and a pretty good firewall. Once you have this all you will need is devices such as capable Laptops (Intel Centrino) or PDA/Mobile phone.
You give the access to how many users you want whether at home or from work as long as they are within 45 kilometres of your office they will have access to email and web. Things like doing property reports, appraisals, uploading images from cameras and even your own telephone exchange will all be possible in the future.
The great thing about WIMAX is that users do not need direct line of site to the base station. This means as long as you are within range you can get access either sitting still or roaming.
I would think by the end of 2004 the total set up costs for this will be around the $2000.00 mark!
So if you hear the word WIMAX you should get excited!