BigAir launches fixed WiMax network

Broadband speeds to 100Mbps

BigAir Group Limited last week announced Melbourne's first metropolitan 802.16d fixed WiMax network is fully operational.

The BigAir WiMax network includes the famous Eureka Tower in Southbank, the tallest residential apartment building in the world, making this site also the tallest WiMax base station in the world offering unprecedented wireless coverage across Melbourne and surrounding areas.

BigAir's technology, which is supplied by Airspan Networks, has the ability to reach locations that wireline services cannot reach in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

This is due to the ability of WiMax to establish a wireless connection over distances of 20km or more so it is not necessary to deploy costly fibre or SHDSL to reach under serviced suburban areas, according to Jason Ashton, BigAir CEO.

He said this successful WiMax deployment enables a larger wireless footprint per base station and is faster, more efficient and more cost effective than competing proprietary wireless network operators.

"BigAir expects that over time this will further improve gross margins and reduce capital expenditure," he added.

Since early October BigAir has been delivering WiMax services to a growing number of SME and corporate customers in the Melbourne Metropolitan area.

"BigAir can now provide Broadband services to businesses frustrated with the current limitations of fixed line options in Melbourne," Ashton said.

"BigAir is currently the only national telecommunications carrier operating a wireless network compliant with the WiMax Forum published profile for fixed WiMax (802.16d) at 5.8GHz, allowing delivery of services that are more reliable, higher in quality and with greater coverage than other proprietary wireless services".

The BigAir wireless network is comprised of multiple base stations that cover the majority of the Melbourne Metropolitan area allowing businesses to achieve Broadband speeds from 2Mbps to 100Mbps.

BigAir's 100 per cent ownership of its last mile network allows uptime of 99.99 per cent, anywhere within the coverage area.

Mean time to repair (MTTR) is above industry average and faster than most wired Internet connections (BigAir MTTR 4 hours). Because BigAir owns its own network it bypasses Telstra exchanges and other providers which keeps latency and availability comparable to expensive fibre links.

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Sandra Rossi

Computerworld

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