WiMax launched in Sydney and Melbourne

Brisbane operational by year's end

Wireless provider BigAir Group Limited (BigAir), has launched Australia's first major Metropolitan WiMax networks, deploying Airspan Networks' 5.8GHz MicroMAX base stations.

These networks, being deployed in Sydney and Melbourne, will be the country's first commercial WiMax service offerings.

BigAir has already commenced upgrading its existing Sydney network to WiMax and intends to switch on its Melbourne WiMAX metropolitan network next month.

The company has also targeted its Brisbane WiMax network to be operational before the end of the year.

After conducting a six month extensive technical trial of proprietary wireless, and WiMax technologies in the 5.8 GHz band, BigAir selected Airspan as its supplier for its rollout of fixed WiMax services for business customers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

BigAir CEO, Jason Ashton, said it is the only Australian carrier currently offering fixed WiMax services in the metropolitan markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

"We plan to continue to expand our WiMax network to other areas across Australia in order to offer leading services to businesses frustrated with the current limitations of fixed line options," Ashton said.

"WiMax will allow us to offer, symmetric, business grade broadband at speeds of up to 30 Mbps today with far greater range and reliability than is currently available with proprietary wireless systems.

"In the very near future we will offer even higher speeds as WiMax technology evolves."

The Airspan WiMax equipment selected by BigAir contains high performance Intel WiMax chipsets in the CPE products that BigAir is deploying.

Airspan's Asia Pacific president, Henrik Smith-Petersen, said the company is gaining traction with its MicroMax 5.8GHz products.

Airspan Networks provides wireless voice and broadband data systems and solutions for the fixed and mobile WiMax and Wi-Fi markets, including Voice Over IP (VoIP).

The Company has deployments in more than 100 countries with more than 400 operators.

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