Towerstream Switches to Alvarion 3.65 GHz  

Alvarion today announced commercial availability and FCC authorization for its 802.16e BreezeMAX 3650 base station and customer premises equipment.

“BreezeMAX 3650 leverages the same mature and field-proven Alvarion 802.16e Open WiMAX technology chosen by many operators around the world,” said Adlane Fellah, Senior Analyst and Founder of Maravedis.

The BreezeMAX 3650 supports self-install CPE, with advanced antenna technologies, including MIMO, maximizing capacity and coverage.

Metro WISP Towerstream has completed a trial using Alvarion 3.65 GHz WiMAX gear, and is planning a major market rollout reports Telephony Magazine.

Towerstream’s wireless backhaul services in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Dallas have all used pre-WiMAX equipment from Aperto Networks and Alvarion, most in the 5.8 GHz unlicensed frequencies.

Towerstream plans to use Alvarion 3.65 GHz gear going forward in all new deployments.

Towerstream won’t retire any of its current equipment, but the ISP will now use WiMAX gear on its T-1 replacement services. For larger companies, Towerstream will continue to use dedicated point-to-point links supplied by DragonWave and Ceragon Networks.

Towerstream’s new 3.65 GHz gear requires all operators to register their equipment in the markets they deploy in. While competitors may use the same spectrum, they must to do it in coordination with one another, creating an unlicensed band with some protections to its users.

While Towerstream’s Mobile WiMAX supports mobility, it’s unlikely they will offer a mobile service said CEO Jeff Thompson. Thompson said Towerstream trialed Redline fixed WiMAX gear in Boston, but wasn’t satisfied with its performance.

Unlike licensed spectrum, 3.65 GHz is shared by multiple providers. While managing point-to-multipoint links without interfering with neighbors is feasible, crisscrossing mobile signals would not, said Ashish Sharma, vice president of corporate development for Sprint.

Several vendors aside from Alvarion have optimized their licensed 3.5 GHz WiMAX kits for the U.S. band with little additional development costs.

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