Alvarion has signed a $75-million deal with Canada's rural broadband provider Barrett Xplore to deploy a WiMAX network across the country. The deal also includes the option of migrating to TD-LTE in the future.
The deal represents Canada's first nationwide network plan, and Alvarion will be deploying its 4Motion end-to-end system along with devices and professional services. Barrett, already a rural broadband player, will use WiMAX to target new service areas and incorporate new service options, such as VoIP, to existing subscribers.
In July, an Alvarion executive said that the TD-LTE ecosystem will likely advance in the next three to five years and include the WiMAX spectrum bands and therefore Alvarion will support both WiMAX and TD-LTE on its platform. All major WiMAX vendors now sell base stations that have the ability to deploy WiMAX and upgrade to TD-LTE technology as it matures.
Alvarion's shares jumped 21 percent on the news. In May, Alvarion announced a loss in the first quarter and said it would downsize its workforce as it struggled with delays of numerous large projects. The company has a $100 million WiMAX deal with U.S. rural operator Open Range Communications, but the service provider's future looks bleak. Last month, The FCC dealt a blow to Open Range by denying a request from MSS operator Globalstar for a 16-month extension to come into compliance with the commission's rules regarding the Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) of Globalstar's satellite system. That means Globalstar's ATC authority has been suspended, leaving its lease partner, Open Range, without spectrum and likely without funding to roll out WiMAX services to rural communities.
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