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Alvarion powers pay-per-use Wi-Fi in Alaskan oil camps

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Ice-road truckers and other workers across Alaska's North Slope are gaining broadband connectivity via Alvarion's Wi-Fi network equipment, which is being deployed by Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative (ASTAC), a member-owned telephone utility cooperative.

"Wireless broadband is critical to the well-being and morale of remote workers and residents in the rural communities we serve. Alvarion's solution has changed the way we deliver Internet services," said Jens Laipenieks, ASTAC manager of sales and business development.

The operator is using Alvarion's carrier-grade Wi-Fi base stations, which operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz unlicensed band, to deliver pay-per-use Internet service at petroleum industry exploration and production camps located in the Deadhorse-Prudhoe Bay region. Wi-Fi is particularly well suited to these roving camps, which are not good candidates for traditional fixed-line solutions.

"In a region of Alaska that truckers can only access in the winter via ice roads, providing reliable solutions plays a critical role in helping the workers and business to communicate and thrive," said Chris Daniels, Alvarion vice president of sales, North America.

Using Alvarion's equipment, ASTAC is also exploring new service capabilities such as managed services and Wi-Fi offloading for its business and consumer customers. ASTAC also provides local and long distance calling, Internet access, wireless voice and data services and 700 MHz licensed spectrum, providing reliable connectivity off the wired network.

Alvarion was a pioneer in the WiMAX space, but the vendor's fortunes reversed with the slowdown in large deployments of WiMAX as wireless operators such as Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) turn their attentions to LTE, meaning rosy predictions of a WiMAX chip being embedded in every mobile communications device are unlikely to ever come to fruition.

To broaden its product portfolio, Alvarion acquired Wi-Fi vendor Wavion in 2011. In May 2012, Hezi Lapid, Alvarion's president and CEO, said the company was exploring a variety of options for its WiMAX business.

Alvarion's board last month approved a reverse split of the company's ordinary shares in a ratio of 1:10, to be affected automatically on April 1, 2013. The reverse split is intended to increase the per-share trading price of Alvarion's ordinary shares to satisfy the $1 minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on the NASDAQ Global Market.

For more:
- see this Alvarion release

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