Clear chooses Alcatel for LMDS

Clear Communications has chosen Alcatel as supplier for its LMDS service in New Zealand, set to be launched in two initial sites next month.

Clear Communications has chosen Alcatel as supplier for its LMDS service in New Zealand, set to be launched in two initial sites next month.

The eventual choice was made rather simple, since the last two suppliers in the race were Alcatel and Newbridge – and Alcatel completed its acquisition of Newbridge late last month

LMDS (local multipoint distribution service) is a wireless technology providing broadband links to businesses in a localised area. Its multipoint character means a single antenna at Clear’s end of the link can communicate with multiple users concurrently, as opposed to technologies like fibre and microwave, which are strictly point-to-point.

International experience with the technology was a major part of the selection criteria, says Clear spokesperson Rochelle Lockley.

In particular “both [Newbridge and Alcatel] had worked closely with British Telecom [Clear’s owner] installing LMDS in Europe”.

The first LMDS site on the Clear network is scheduled to go in next month. This is likely to be in Penrose, Auckland, with one other site in either Tauranga or New Plymouth quickly following. Clear has large customers ready to go in all these locations, Lockley says.

Thereafter the LMDS network will be rolled out progressively over several months, with the implementation schedule dependent on customer demand.

Telecom has no current plans to implement LMDS, having plenty of copper-wire for DSL and fibre to get broadband coverage into most areas, says Warwick Davenport, Telecom manager network strategy and architecture.

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