BCL picks technology for wireless network

BCL will use DS-CDMA, a proprietary technology provided by US-based Airspan, for the wireless service it plans to deploy throughout provincial New Zealand.

BCL will use DS-CDMA, a proprietary technology provided by US-based Airspan, for the wireless service it plans to deploy throughout provincial New Zealand.

The service, which has been tested in Taranaki and Southland, will enable TVNZ's broadcasting arm to provide wireless capacity on a wholesale basis to Telecom and other carriers.

BCL spokesperson Sue Hamilton says BCL put out an RFP (request for proposal) last year and selected Airspan after considering the candidates' suitability for New Zealand's terrain, its robustness and other criteria.

Grant Stepa, Airspan Australia's country manager, says despite DS-CDMA's name it is different to the CDMA1x that powers Telecom's cellular phone service. "DS-CDMA is wireless DSL -- it's a proprietary implementation of CDMA optimised for fixed wireless."

The DS-CDMA devices, approximately the size of an A4 piece of paper, will be fixed to houses in areas to get the BCL service. The device is set up differently to roaming CDMA networks.

"We take advantage of all the things you remove when you don't roam," says Stepa. With DS-CDMA, the same latency and quality of service as a copper phone line can be achieved, he says.

DS-CDMA has nothing to do with Qualcomm, which owns many CDMA patents, including those to CDMA1x and W-CDMA, the latter currently being tested by Vodafone and Walker Wireless in Auckland.

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