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Cellular VoIP Network Launched In Syracuse

TCM Mobile based its network on the unlicensed 2.4-GHz spectrum band to avoid the heavy costs associated with licensed wireless technology.

After more than four years of development, a group of Israeli scientists and engineers has unveiled a VoIP cellular telecom technology that it hopes to eventually deploy widely in the United States.

Their company, TCM Mobile, announced this week that its test network is up and running in Syracuse, N.Y.

Based on the unlicensed 2.4-GHz spectrum band, the TCM network has been planned to take advantage of the free spectrum band, because it would avoid the heavy costs associated with licensed wireless technology spectrum.

"We started five years ago," company president Haim Yashar said in an interview. "We decided to come to market with an entire system." TCM has developed the various pieces of the network from its basic components to handsets to base stations and on through network calibration.

"There have been many logistic challenges," said Yashar. "Now that we've built a large area network, we must now drive test it." He said the Syracuse installation has been working perfectly.

The network technology has patent protection, according to TCM literature. The proprietary technology was entirely built internally, and the proprietary radio network covers access, backhaul, and amplifier base stations, as well as the architecture and design of the network. Handsets have Wi-Fi capability, although Yashar said they have features unique to the TMC network. The company also developed network monitoring and testing tools, and various location-based services are included in the network.

Yashar said TCM has been self-financing and is not seeking additional financing. "We are a technology company," he emphasized. He added that TCM is "in negotiations with several potential strategic partners/service providers both in the USA and Asia."

From the beginning of TCM's research, the company's developers have bet that the unlicensed 2.4-GHz band would enable them to develop a low-cost solution. The company said it has solved interference and roaming challenges. Yashar said the technology lends itself to excellent use in rural areas.

"TCM uses its own infrastructure," said Yashar. "Due to the small, compact size of its base stations, TCM Mobile installs its equipment on building rooftops, sides of buildings, even lampposts, and can use towers where needed, such as in more rural, wide-open outdoor areas. TCM can use existing Wi-Fi hotspots as a complement for improved 'in-building' coverage."

The Syracuse network and the technology are in full compliance with FCC requirements, Yashar added, noting that TCM Mobile's location-based solution meets and exceeds E-911 emergency calling requirements.

TCM Mobile's chairman is Joseph Rubinstein, former CEO of Koor USA and former president of Israel Investors Corp.

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