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Pipex trumpets WiMAX success

UK wireless broadband licensee, Pipex Wireless, said Wednesday it is on track to roll out commercial services in 2007, following successful testing of WiMAX technology.

Pipex Wireless, a joint venture between the Pipex ISP and Intel, recently completed the latest phase of its 3.6GHz WiMAX trial in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, in partnership with kit supplier Airspan Networks.

Using both indoor and outdoor antennae powered by Intel Rosedale chipsets, Pipex claims WiMAX can deliver near symmetric services in most environments at “typical broadband” speeds.

Internal antennae have delivered speeds in excess of 2Mbps up and down at a range of 1.2km from the base station with no direct line of sight. External antennae have achieved speeds of 10Mbps down and 9Mbps up at 1.2km from the base station. Pipex has also trialled longer range external antennas, which have achieved 6Mbps down and 4Mbps up at a range of 6km from the base station.

The company intends to roll out additional trial deployments later this year and roll out new services in several major metro areas in 2007.

Mike Read, chief executive of Pipex said in the next stage the company plans to undertake commercial trials delivering end to end WiMAX services to a number of local authorities and live customers.

Airspan and Japanese PHS operator Yozan grabbed the attention of the WiMAX community earlier this year with the announcement of a plan to attach wi-fi access points to 100,000 poles belonging to the Tokyo electricity grid. Airspan will be rolling out a parallel 802.16e Mobile WiMAX network as soon as the equipment is ready and the spectrum available. The equipment manufacturer is carrying out trials of the kit at the Stratford-upon-Avon field test for Pipex.

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