PRODUCTS > iBURST > SUPPORT > FAQ

How do I find out if my area is covered ?

Which devices are supported by the iBurstT system e.g. laptops, desktops, handhelds ?

Which operating systems does the iBurst system support ?

How can I share my iBurst connection with others ?

What is unique about the iBurst system ?

Where does it work (what is the coverage) ?

How do I find out if my area is covered ?

How fast is it ?

How does the iBurst service improve productivity ?

How does the iBurst service compare with 2.5G/GPRS ?

How does the iBurst service compare with WiFi (Wireless LAN, 802.11) ?

How much power will the iBurst modem use on my laptop ?

Can I use an external antenna with my iBurst user terminal ?

How does the iBurst service compare with other wide-area wireless broadband services?

How does the iBurst service compare with 3G ?

What is the range of an iBurst base station ?

How do you send outgoing email on the iBurst network ?

How can my MTU settings in some cases improve iBurst performance ?

Are iBurst drivers available for the new Mac OS (version 10.4)?

Are iBurst drivers available for the new Mac OS (version 10.4)?

How can I share my iBurst connection with others?




How do I find out if my area is covered?

You can check you coverage here.

Which devices are supported by the iBurstT system e.g. laptops, desktops, handhelds?

Initially the iBurst service will be available via an iBurst "Access Card" (PCMCIA) for laptops and desktop modems for fixed setups.

It is also anticipated that the iBurst service will soon be available to Pocket PC (PDA) devices via the iBurst Access Card. In future iBurst communication will be available via compact flash cards and also embedded in devices.

Which operating systems does the iBurst system support?

The iBurst system works with Windows 98 SE, XP and 2000. It also works with Mac version X or later and Linux.

 

How can I share my iBurst connection with others?

It is possible to use the desktop modem to provide a broadband link to a local network which may be a traditional wired LAN or a wireless LAN using an 802.11 access point.

With this configuration it will be possible to have multiple devices sharing a single iBurst connection. Due to the likely increased usage there will be a premium charged for this mode of operation over a typical single user account.

What is unique about the iBurst system?

The iBurst system combines the three characteristics of:

  • High speed
  • High mobility
  • Low cost

Previously there have been several technologies that provide one or two of these (e.g. DSL: high speed, low cost but low mobility; 3G: High speed, high mobility but high cost) but iBurst is the first technology to provide all three.

 

Where does it work (what is the coverage)?

The coverage of the service is expanding over time as we carry out our rapid rollout of the service. The iBurst service will be commercially launched with coverage of the CBD and northern suburbs of Johannesburg as well as establish coverage in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

How do I find out if my area is covered?

Select the "Coverage" link.

 

How fast is it ?

Under ideal conditions the iBurst system can download (data to you) at up to 1 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload (data from you) at up to 345 kilobits per second (Kbps).

The degree to which these maximum speeds are attained depends on the quality of the signal which is influenced by several factors:

  • The distance you are from the nearest base station
  • Whether there are obstructions between you and the base station
  • How many other people are connected via your base station
The speed at which you are traveling

Additionally, the speed of access is greatly influenced by all the normal Internet factors such as the speed of the server you are communicating with and the speed and usage levels of the links that the communication is going over.

How does the iBurst service improve productivity?

The iBurst service improves productivity in many ways including:

The mobility of the system means that you can be fully productive no matter where you are, whether in the office or out in the field. You need not waste time returning to the office to perform transactions or update data, all facilities are at your finger tips no matter where you are at the time.

Similarly, the mobility of the iBurst service means that there is no downtime, except when you want it. If you commute for long periods, iBurst can keep you fully productive for this period, freeing up time in their day for other activities,

A high speed connection to your company network and the Internet dramatically broadens the amount of information and services you can call upon in the field. A laptop used offline with only local data to work with cannot help in unforeseen circumstances. For example, if you are visiting a client and cannot find their office, you can look at the client's web site to check the address and go to an online mapping site to get a map to direct you to the location.

 

How does the iBurst service compare with 2.5G/GPRS?

2.5G and GPRS are terms used for the data service delivered over standard mobile phone networks. These are significantly slower (20 to 30 Kbps) and more expensive than the iBurst service.

How does the iBurst service compare with WiFi (Wireless LAN, 802.11)?

WiFi is an extremely useful technology for providing localized wireless connectivity for a group of related users. In the scenario of an office or a home environment it is ideal.

However, it does not work well with wide area, public communications access. This is firstly due to its range of up to 100 meters, limiting it generally to one premise such as an office or a café.

Authorizing users for access is another impediment. Due to the haphazard way WiFi public access points are being deployed, allowing for a user to identify themselves and pay for the service is proving to be a severe challenge for service providers and results in great inconvenience for the user.

In contrast, iBurst has much greater range and thus blankets entire metropolitan areas so the customer can expect coverage where they are rather than have to seek out hotspot locations. Billing is centralized and standardised as the network is being run and coordinated by one company for the entire country.

 

How much power will the iBurst modem use on my laptop?

The iBurst modem power usage is comparable to that of a WiFi device. Power consumption is dependant on the following factors:

  • Level of activity - there is less power consumed when the system is idle
  • Direction of data - there is less power consumed receiving data than sending it
  • Signal strength - there is less power consumed when within good coverage

Can I use an external antenna with my iBurst user terminal?

Only WBS's recommended external antenna from a supplier approved by WBS should be used. This ensures that they comply with requirements of the iBurst system.

 

How does the iBurst service compare with other wide-area wireless broadband services?

At launch the iBurst service will be the only mobile wireless broadband provider in South Africa.

Other wireless broadband providers in the market only offer fixed services. This means that their customers cannot be on the move while connected. Further, their base stations cannot hand-off users to balance load between them.

In addition, due to the iBurst technology and the frequency it operates at, you can expect better coverage at greater distances, even indoors, than the other services at a higher data rate.

How does the iBurst service compare with 3G?

3G is the mobile data service for the next generation of mobile phone network. Whereas 3G primarily builds on a voice platform, iBurst is an optimised data platform designed as an end to end ip network. Due to the extremely high spectral efficiency of iBurst, it can be offered in a cost effective fashion.

 

What is the range of an iBurst base station?

An iBurst base station's range extends from approximately 3 km in built up or hilly areas with lots of clutter, to approximately 13 km in ideal conditions such as water or flat land.

How do you send outgoing email on the iBurst network?

Subscribers can send emails by setting the SMTP server or outgoing mail server in the email program (e.g. MS Outlook or MS Outlook Express) to smtp.wbs.co.za

 

How can my MTU settings in some cases improve iBurst performance?

MTUs are specially critical when users are using iBurst connectivity on a networked environment with routers and firewalls. Since iBurst is based on PPP, default Windows MTU settings of 1500 cannot be used, and should be adjusted, even if problems are not experienced, to optimise iBurst connectivity. Correctly set MTU will prevent and/or avoid packet fragmentation, causing packets to be dropped, resulting in degraded connectivity.

Symptoms of incorrectly set MTUs:

  • Inability to browse certain content intensive sites, e.g. www.microsoft.com, www.hotmail.com, www.vodacom.co.za
  • Extremely poor upload connectivity
  • Slow download performance

To set your MTUs on MS Windows 2000/XP based platforms, you can download DrTCP from:


http://www.dslreports.com/front/DRTCP021.exe
Alternatively, use search engines on "Download DrTCP" for many other DrTCP sites.

Quick instructions:
If user is connected directly to UTD (USB or ethernet) or UTC PCMCIA modem, set the "Dial Up (RAS) MTU" to recommended value. If user is using alternative means to connect to modem, e.g. wireless 802.11x access point router, or UTP to router, select the appropriate adapter on "Adapter Settings" and set the MTU. All other fields on DrTCP window should be left unchanged. Once MTU is set, click "Save" and reboot machine.

The recommended MTU for iBurst is 1352.

Are iBurst drivers available for the new Mac OS (version 10.4)?

Please note that the current iBurst drivers for the UTC are not compatible with the recently released MacOS X version 10-4.

Kyocera and Arraycom are aware of the situation and will make an update available within the coming months.

Subscribers are advised not to upgrade to Mac OS X 10-4 at this stage.

 

How can I share my iBurst connection with others?

It is possible to use the desktop modem to provide a broadband link to a local network which may be a traditional wired LAN or a wireless LAN using an 802.11 access point.

With this configuration it will be possible to have multiple devices sharing a single iBurst connection. Due to the likely increased usage it is suggested that subscribers use one of the higher end packages ( e.g. 6 GB or 9 GB) or buy additional bandwidth as required.