Clear, Formus to trial wireless telecomms

Wireless telecommunications trials offering voice, data and video services for customers outside areas with fibre-optic networks should be under way by the end of the year. Clear Communications and Formus Communications, the two holders of high-bandwidth radio licences in New Zealand, are planning to trial LMDS wireless tele-communications in the North Island.

Wireless telecommunications trials offering voice, data and video services for customers outside areas with fibre-optic networks should be under way by the end of the year.

Clear Communications and Formus Communications, the two holders of high-bandwidth radio licences in New Zealand, are planning to trial LMDS (local multi-point distribution services) wireless tele-communications in the North Island.

Clear has chosen Canada-based Nortel to supply LMDS equipment for a 20-customer trial in the North Island. Nortel, which already supplies much of Clear's network and switching equipment, has just announced it will buy networking company Bay Networks for $US1.9 billion, and has also set up an enterprise data networking division.

Clear's acting general manager enhanced services, Julia Dol, says the trial will show how LMDS will interface with the telco's core network and look at performance with a range of voice and data applications.

"Another objective will be to confirm robust grade of service levels for LMDS in rainy conditions, as well as market acceptance of the new technology."

Meanwhile, US telecommunications company Formus Communications says it is on track to start a commercial trial of its high-bandwidth integrated voice, video and data technology in Auckland by the end of the year.

Ron Buckman, general manager of Formus' New Zealand operation, is in the US confirming which vendor the Denver-based company will use here. In the US Formus has been trialling equipment from California-based Stanford Telecom but is also understood to be interested in technology by German digital audio broadcast equipment manufacturer Bosch.

The Denver-based carrier will use the five lots of 28Ghz radio spectrum it bought for $2.6 million at February's Ministry of Commerce auction to deliver LMDS (local multi-point distribution services) such as high speed Internet access.

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