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Space needle broadcasting WiMAX-class broadband
Posted: 05-May-2005 [Source: Speakeasy]

[Speakeasy, along with Intel and Alvarion, announces the deployment of the largest of its kind WiMAX-class service in Seattle. The Space Needle is one of five points beaming wireless Internet signals over a 5-square-mile area of Seattle. The 6MB service is available for $800 per month.]

Seattle -- Beaming from the Space Needle and other buildings in downtown Seattle, Speakeasy announced the largest of its kind WiMAX-class service, marking the first time that a true, high-density, point-to-multipoint broadband wireless service will be deployed in a large metropolitan U.S. city. Seattle is the first among several major cities in which Speakeasy will roll out their fixed wireless broadband service for businesses. Today, businesses are constrained by the limitations of legacy telecom companies' "last mile" choices from telco switching stations to businesses. Speakeasy's wireless broadband service provides a much-needed alternative, enabling businesses to receive secure, cost-effective, high-speed fixed wireless connectivity at any location in their wireless zone, installed in days versus weeks.

Speakeasy, an active member of the WiMAX Forum, has formed strategic relationships with Intel Corporation and Alvarion to create a state-of-the-art deployment to validate and define the future of WiMAX service for technology, coverage, scalability, application compatibility, and customer demand. The service uses Alvarion's base station and end user hardware, which is very compact and easy to install. Alvarion's state-of-the art wireless antenna and radio are small and can be affixed outside windows or indoors. Intel and Speakeasy are working together to promote cost-effective technology that supports IEEE 802.16-2004. By joining together with Alvarion and Intel, Speakeasy has combined the most advanced technology available to create a WiMAX-class deployment that lays the foundation for a true WiMAX future.

"Alvarion shares Speakeasy's vision for using wireless broadband in large cities - especially in cities with difficult terrain such as Seattle. This deployment is a precursor to true WiMAX services," said Amir Rosenzweig, president of Alvarion, Inc. "Combining our state-of-the-art hardware with Speakeasy's industry-leading network creates a template for major U.S. cities as we together lead the market to WiMAX."

Speakeasy chose Seattle as the first site for its WiMAX-class service deployment since its challenging combination of weather, terrain, bodies of water, and dense building skyline make it one of the most difficult deployments of wireless communications in the country. Success in Seattle will not only mean easy adoption in other, less challenging geographies, but will also demonstrate to the industry that WiMAX service can be deployed in the most treacherous of wireless environments. The Space Needle, along with other selected sites including the Westin Building, will beam secure and scalable broadband to thousands of business locations in Seattle's urban core.

Speakeasy Wireless Broadband Service Advantages:

* Highest Density Network - With a multi-cell overlapping coverage environment, Speakeasy is providing a high density WiMAX-class deployment by providing a larger addressable market, higher reliability and Quality of Service for business customers. The close proximity of each base station provides higher through-put per subscriber and greater dependability.

* Near-Line of Site & Non-Line of Site - For the first time near-line of site and non-line of site installations are possible with Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technology. In addition, Speakeasy's WiMAX-class service network is completely independent of the incumbent phone company network and provides a resilient alternate connection for businesses.

* Longer Distance Data Transmission Range - Unlike WiFi (the technology used in homes, offices, airports and cafes that allows users to connect wirelessly from their laptop computers within 150 feet of an antenna), WiMAX-class base stations deliver broadband Internet connections through fixed antennas that send and receive signals across entire cities at distances of approximately two miles per base station.

* Bandwidth Flexibility - The service's bandwidth levels can be flexibly assigned to upload and download, so that businesses can tailor their service to fit their usage patterns. This can translate to savings for businesses that upload high content volumes, as compared to wire line broadband technologies like T1 or fractional DS3.

* WiMAX Economics - In addition to the technical and operational learning Speakeasy will gain, the Seattle deployment will serve as a proof-center for wireless broadband industry on issues such as pricing, service levels, installation time, customer demand and acceptance for equipment, and overall customer experience.

* Outdoor or Indoor Installations - Using Alvarion's single, small wireless antenna and radio, business customers will receive pure IP broadband data transmission.

With the addition of the Space Needle site, the network is entering final deployment. Speakeasy is taking customer orders beginning today and will bring customers online in early June. Speakeasy's service will allow an unprecedented percentage of customers in the downtown core, including the Belltown, Lower Queen Anne, Central Business District, Pioneer Square and Lake Union neighborhoods, to have reliable access to wireless broadband at total connection speeds as fast as 6MB. Installation is quick and affordable and, with an annual contract, rates begin as low as $500 per month for the 3MB total connection and $800 per month for the 6MB total connection.

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