WiChorus scores second packet core deal with Open Range

Newbie WiChorus announced a deal with rural WiMAX operator Open Range Communications to provide its SmartCore platform, the second such deal in less than a week. The company recently scored a similar contract with Clearwire.

WiChorus' platform is a network-neutral intelligent solution that will serve as the gateway to manage, control and provision WiMAX services in the carrier's network.

Open Range Communications has a plan to cover more than 6 million rural Americans with wireless broadband. Open Range hopes will eventually cover 546 rural communities in 17 states. In June, it made a $100 million equipment supply deal with WiMAX vendor Alvarion. Under the five-year agreement, Alvarion will provide radio access equipment, customer devices and systems integration for the mobile WiMAX network.

The operator has said it will offer "Simply Easier"-branded wireless communications, thereby providing a "hyper-connected Internet lifestyle" to rural Americans who may not currently have access to the Internet at all. Open Range promised its offering would provide "always on" wireless broadband with "simple and instant" service activation, voice and data capabilities and WiFi connectivity (presumably through a mobile WiMAX router).

Open Range's endeavors are funded through a $267 million loan from the Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a $100 million equity investment from One Equity Partners, the private equity investment unit of JPMorgan Chase. The company's ambitions take on added emphasis when balanced against the government's $7 billion in broadband stimulus spending.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
Clearwire taps WiChorus for packet core
Alvarion lassos $100M WiMAX deal with Open Range