Clear fires up LMDS

Days after signalling that it won't be trying to build a mobile network, Clear has switched on the first customers on its broadband LMDS network.

Days after signalling that it won't be trying to build a mobile network, Clear has switched on the first customers on its broadband LMDS network.

The company's first LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution Services) customers, in Penrose and New Plymouth, have begun using the new fixed wireless service designed for high-volume voice, data and Internet traffic.

Clear is using both the lot of 28GHz spectrum it bought for $800,000 in February 1998 and a another block in the 26GHz range that is has purchased from Denver-based Formus International - which bought the bulk of the spectrum on offer in 1998, but made no use of it.

Clear announced last week that it would not bid for mobile spectrum in this month's radio spectrum auction, but would instead concentrate on exploiting the spectrum rights it already has.

Clear using equipment and expertise provided by Alcatel. The technology is being used to extend Clear's business communications network.

The initial customers are Dimond Industries in Penrose and WINZ in New Plymouth. Clear says the equipment has taken just a few weeks to be installed, configured and commissioned.

Cleae's general manager of network and service development Guy McKee says the two sites are using LMDS initially for high-speed Internet access. Clear plans to release enhanced business services using LMDS in the near future.

Alcatel General Manager Mark Giles says Alcatel is the world's leading LMDS supplier, having already installed equipment for more than 100 customers worldwide.

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