Commercial WiMAX networks springing up

WiMAX networks are being deployed in a variety of countries and the rush is on to ensure to provide Internet using this new wireless technology.

The first commercial WiMAX network is set to be deployed in Austria with the first phase completion scheduled for September 2005.

WiMAX Telecom GmbH, a subsidiary of Swiss WiMAX Telecom AG, announced that Alcatel won a contract to supply turnkey WiMAX technology for the Austrian telco.

Alcatel will supply WiMAX Telecom with its end-to-end WiMAX solution including the base stations as well as the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).

“Having a reliable partner for our Austrian deployment provides us with the best starting point in our international roll-out strategy, as we also plan to introduce WiMAX solutions in Slovakia, where we recently gained a WiMAX license,” said Dov Bar-Gera, chairman of WiMAX Telecom.

Kent, a county in the UK, has also just announced that their 6 month WiMAX pilot project is now a fixed feature.

Telebria, a UK telco, recently announced that they will now be able to offer high-speed broadband access to up to 50 000 homes in the Swale area of Kent.

This new offering, called Skylink, will offer speeds of up to 10Mbps covering a distance of 32km’s from the base station according to Silicon.com.

Whilst WiMAX networks are popping up all over the globe, the success of this technology is not a sure thing.

IDC, an IT and business analyst house, reported that whilst voice over WiMAX may be making in roads into the market, mobile over WiMAX is not a sure thing.

The delay in providing mobile WiMAX is due to a lack of hardware and concerns regarding the spectrum.

The wait could see 3.5G taking the lead in Europe especially considering the fact that WiMAX chipsets cost more than 3G, 3.5G and WiFi.

South African providers are currently making plans to begin testing this service.

Telkom announced that once they have the license from ICASA, the South African communications regulator, they will begin investigating the use of WiMAX for their customer base.

The mobile providers are also anxiously waiting in the sidelines to begin experimenting with this technology in the hope of possibly of setting up a WiMAX network.

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Commercial WiMAX networks springing up