Thursday, June 25, 2009


Italy Unwired by Alvarion WiMAX

Alvarion announced today an agreement with Italy telecom operator Aria to deploy Mobile WiMAX throughout Italy. The network will be at the 3.5 GHz frequency to offer broadband services to all 21 regions in Italy using Alvarion’s 4Motion Mobile WiMAX solution.

Italy’s 58 million highly-dense population makes WiMAX the most economical and high-performance technology says the company. Alvarion’s 4Motion is an advanced and field-proven solution for delivering innovative WiMAX services for a range of broadband applications in rural, suburban and urban environments.

Aria currently holds nationwide WiMAX licenses at the 3.5 GHz frequency bands in Italy. By using Alvarion’s Open WiMAX solution, Aria will be able to meet the growing demand for broadband services in the country.

Mobile WiMAX is usually implemented on the 2.3 or 2.6 GHz band, so this network is somewhat unusual. Almost all licenses for 3.5 GHz spectrum in Europe currently restrict usage to fixed or nomadic services (not mobile). Few countries allow the spectrum to be used for mobility services, and other countries are in various stages of planning to open the frequencies for such usage.

Aria S.P.A., founded in 2005, has become one of the most important Italian Wireless Internet Service Providers. In January 2008, Aria won the auction of 3.5GHz radio frequencies in all Italian regions.

Telecom Italia (TI) and Aria signed an agreement to collaborate over WiMAX distribution, enabling the companies to extend access to broadband services in areas not yet reached by ADSL-based services. The agreement grants Aria the right to use TI’s 3.5GHz band frequency allocation in nine central and southern regions of the country (Abruzzo, Umbria, Lazio, Molise, Puglia, Campania, Basilicata, Calabria and Sardinia).

In return TI will be able to supply its own customers with WiMAX services via Aria’s nationwide ‘white label’ wholesale offering. TI is Italy’s foremost broadband network, with 36 million subscribers and more than 7 million domestic broadband connections, according to research by Hoover’s.

Although Alvarion did not release the dollar value of the deal, market sources estimate it at $20 million, over three years. Alvarion has signed six contracts since the beginning of the month. The company has an orders backlog of over $100 million.

Alvarion, Open Range To Build 17 State Net

Alvarion, the world’s leading provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband solutions, today announced it was selected by U.S. broadband wireless operator, Open Range Communications, for the nation’s largest Rural Utilities Service (RUS) funded deployment spanning 17 states, 546 rural communities, and reaching up to 6 million people. With this new broadband wireless network, Open Range will begin offering state-of-the-art 4G services to un-served and underserved customers across rural America in the fourth quarter of this year.

Under the terms of the contract, expected to be more than US$100 million over five years, Alvarion will provide radio access equipment, customer devices (CPE) and systems integration.

Some of the unique attributes available through this “always on” wireless broadband network include:

  • Simple and instant service activation
  • Voice and data capabilities
  • WiFi for connectivity to existing PCs
  • Highly secure network communication

Based on Alvarion’s WiMAX Forum Certified 802.16e BreezeMAX solution, the new Open Range 4G network, will give millions of rural Americans wireless broadband services where they live and work.

“Open Range’s unique business model focuses on delivering wireless high-speed Internet and voice services to un-served and underserved communities,” said Open Range founder and CEO, Bill Beans Jr.

Alvarion was the first WiMAX equipment supplier to receive USDA acceptance as well as “Buy American” status from the USDA RUS for two of its BreezeMAX base stations in July 2008. Both RUS and “Buy American” designations are required for operators requesting federal funds from the Rural Broadband Access Loan program for the purpose of purchasing and deploying broadband systems.

Alvarion offers a complete line of RUS-accepted solutions with “Buy American” status using a range of unlicensed, semi-licensed and licensed frequencies. Alvarion says you can build your rural wireless network using 3.65, 5.3, 5.4, 5.8, 4.9, 2.3 or 2.5 GHz and qualify for funding by using RUS-accepted Alvarion solutions if you are currently working on projects to bring wireless broadband access to rural communities or have plans to develop such projects.

Within the next five years, Open Range intends to serve 546 communities with portable and eventually mobile voice and Internet services, making its services initially available to approximately six million people. In addition to portability, they will offer a minimum speeds of 1.5 Mbps down and 512 kbps up for less than $40 per month with voice less than $30 per month, including unlimited nationwide calling.