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More Equipment Coming For WiMax

Alvarion Ltd. today disclosed details on self-installable, WiMax-ready customer-premises equipment, and Aperto Networks said yesterday that it has conducted internal interoperability testing of its equipment.

As equipment vendors began to discuss real products for WiMax, the idea of wide-area, high-speed wireless networks becomes less of a vision and more of a reality.

Alvarion Ltd. today disclosed details on self-installable WiMax-ready customer-premises equipment, which it says will be available for customer trials later this year. And Aperto Networks said yesterday that it has conducted internal interoperability testing between equipment it has developed based on chipsets from Intel and Fujitsu.

Alvarion's BreezeMAX Si is based on the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard for fixed WiMax and the Intel PRO/Wireless 5116 broadband interface chip, which is designed for high-quality wireless broadband. The equipment is self-installable and is meant for indoor use, which means it can drive adoption of WiMax in homes and offices, according to Alvarion.

Alvarion has a grand vision for WiMax. Once WiMax equipment is certified and hits the mainstream, 30% of the world's broadband connections will be done using the technology, predicts Carlton O'Neal, a VP of marketing at Alvarion and a member of the WiMax Forum, an organization formed to promote and certify WiMax equipment. "As WiMax becomes a mainstream technology it will be used by phone companies, cable companies, mobile wireless carriers, utility companies, enterprises, and many more," O'Neal says.

Alvarion already offers a portfolio of pre-WiMax products. Alvarion first introduced its BreezeMax 3500 outdoor customer-premises equipment and base station equipment a year ago, which have been deployed in over 30 countries already, says O'Neal. BreezeMax offers speeds of 20 megabits per second and is designed primarily for Internet-service providers, carriers, and private network operators; customers include British Telecom, Millicom, Iberbanda, Telmex, and Verizon.

Alvarion's new product comes on the heels of other WiMax-related announcements from telecom carriers. BellSouth Corp. said earlier this month that it will deploy a wireless broadband service to some areas of Athens, Ga., this August and will expand the service to several unspecified cities in Florida later this year. In May, AT&T began testing of a WiMax-type service using technology from Navini Networks in Middletown, N.J., and Sprint plans to conduct trials of WiMax as equipment becomes available.

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