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Alcatel-Lucent To Build Mobile WiMax Network

The telecom company's first North American WiMax network will be built for Craig Wireless in Palm Springs, Calif.

Drawing on its experience in rolling out mobile WiMax networks at international locations, Alcatel-Lucent reported that its first North American WiMax network will be deployed in Palm Springs, Calif.

To be built for service provider Craig Wireless, the 802.16e-2005 (Rev-e) network contract will include base stations, wireless access controllers, and an operation and maintenance center.

Struggling to regain its footing in recent quarters, Alcatel-Lucent has been turning to WiMax for a future revenue stream; the company claims to lead the worldwide WiMax infrastructure market, pointing to its more than 70 pilot deployments and 22 commercial contracts signed in the past year.

"This is our first commercial deal for WiMax in North America," an Alcatel-Lucent spokesman said Tuesday. "We're only doing Rev-e, and some [WiMax] contracts will transfer from fixed WiMax to mobile WiMax in the not too distant future." The Palm Springs network will operate in the 2.5-GHz spectrum band.

"The Alcatel-Lucent solution will enable us to hit the ground running in our new Palm Springs market and seize immediate opportunities," said Boyd Craig, president and CEO of Craig Wireless, in a statement.

In its WiMax deployment, Alcatel-Lucent will rely heavily on beam forming technology, which helps service providers reduce the number of radio sites by as much as 40%; multiple input, multiple output technology is also utilized to improve the strength of radio transmissions.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide network design, planning, installation, and optimization for the end-to-end integration of the network, the company said.

The Alcatel-Lucent spokesman noted that the company is getting increased interest in mobile WiMax from emerging markets where there is no or little wired copper infrastructure; the wide area wireless technology can leapfrog older telecommunications infrastructures.

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