WiMAX progress in France and Italy

The French WiMAX operator, Atlantic Telecom, has announced plans to double the number of base stations in its network to 600 by the end of 2008. The company has seen subscriptions rise to over 600 orders per month from businesses and individuals. "Since the beginning of the year, we've seen a real increase in demand due to the fact that we deploy networks in areas that are not covered by ADSL," said Jean-Paul Riviere, CEO of Altitude Telecom.

In 2003 Altitude Telecom was the sole winner of a nationwide WiMAX concession in the 3.5GHz band. Meanwhile, Bari in Italy will be the first city to gain WiMAX coverage from AFT-Linkem with a network being launched in June based upon a partnership with local cable TV operator Telebari. The company paid €34 million for a 3.5GHz licence, and estimates that another €50 million will be required to build and launch the WiMAX network in 13 regions across Italy.

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