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1/20/2006
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Wisconsin Getting Wireless Broadband Network

A high-speed wireless broadband network using Alvarion Ltd. gear and technology is being rolled out in Wisconsin by TDS Metrocom, as the two firms begin eyeing wide regions underserved or not served at all by broadband.

A high-speed wireless broadband network using Alvarion Ltd. gear and technology is being rolled out in Wisconsin by TDS Metrocom, as the two firms begin eyeing wide regions underserved or not served at all by broadband.

The TDS application, initially rolling out from the Madison state capital, uses Alvarion's BreezeACCESS VL solution. It operates in the 5.8 GHz band, can reach up to 12.5 miles and can deliver wireless Internet services at symmetric speeds of up to 4Mbps, according to the firms' announcement this week.

Carlton O'Neal, Alvarion's vice president of marketing, said the TDS network is an example of the general type of wireless broadband network that could be used to address 20 percent of the nation that is underserved by Internet services, particularly in rural areas.

"There are still tens of millions of potential customers who aren't hooked up to (high speed) Internet service," said O'Neal. "We see many other TDSes out there."

The Wisconsin service has successfully passed field trials in Appleton, Wisconsin, about 100 miles north of Madison.

"We have adopted broadband wireless in our network strategy to allow us to completely eliminate our reliance on the incumbent local exchange carrier (< a href=http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=ILEC&x=17&y=11 target=_blank>ILEC)," said Ben Goth, TDS Metrocom product manager, in a statement. BreezeACCESS VL also offers OFDM non-line-of-sight connections, as well as encryption and support of 10 and 20 MHz channels and automatic clear channel selection (ACCS) via a built-in spectrum analyzer.

In noting that Alvarion has a broad offering of wireless broadband solutions ranging from non-WiMAX and pre-WiMAX to WiMAX, O'Neal said the range isn't as important as capacity in setting up wireless broadband networks.

"The user doesn't know the difference," he said, noting that users are just looking for a high-speed connection for Web surfing.

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