RUS Funding for 700 MHz


Airspan Networks, a leading provider of broadband wireless solutions, today announced that its WipLL 700MHz broadband wireless access system has been accepted by the Rural Utility Service (RUS) for purchases under the RUS Broadband Loan Program.

Airspan’s WipLL system provides a low-cost, high-performance point-to-multipoint IP-based Broadband Fixed Wireless (BFW) Access solution. WipLL provides wireless local-loop (last-mile) connectivity designed to deliver high-speed data, Voice over IP (VoIP), and multimedia services to residents and businesses.

Airspan launched the product 18 months ago in North America, and says more than 40 network operators in the USA have installed WipLL products in their networks. Now that WipLL qualifies for RUS funding, it will address a larger US market, including rural operators who have successfully applied for RUS funding.

Besides the WipLL Broadband Access solution, Airspan offers an end to end solution for varied broadband wireless access applications, including its newly launched AS.MAX family of WiMAX base stations, backhaul solutions and customer premises equipment.

The 700 MHz band is a new and developing broadband wireless access market. Recently in the U.S., the FCC reassigned spectrum recovered from broadcast television operators in the UHF band. In total, 734 licenses have been awarded to 117 separate licensees with nationwide coverage. Many of the winning licensees are incumbent telecommunications operators in rural areas where it is often costly and difficult to offer conventional wired forms of broadband access. In addition to the U.S., 700 MHz opportunities are emerging in developing nations around the world.

Here are the 700 Mhz frequencies we’re talking about. Aloha Partners owns most of them. Reliable service requires licensed bands, and 700 MHZ travels 3-4 times further than 1.9 GHz cellular, penetrates buildings better, resists multipath with OFDM, and can use IP all the way. Since fewer “cells” are required, costs can be lowered and/or coverage increased.

The RUS program was established by the US Government to support deployment of broadband services in the rural regions in the United States that have difficulty in obtaining broadband data telecommunications connections and to close the digital divide gap. Under the program, the minimum rate-of-data transmission must be 200 kilobits/sec in the customer’s connection to the network, both downstream and upstream.

On March 4, 2005, the Rural Utilities Service(RUS), announced funding for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee program. For FY 2005, no less than $2.157 billion in loans is available, $2.032 billion for direct cost-of-money loans, $46 million for direct 4-percent loans, and $79 million for loan guarantees.

Municipalities, city and local governments, state universities, school districts, and agencies in the state of Oregon are part of the Oregon Cooperative Purchasing Program (ORCPP) that can take advantage of discount prices.

Related DailyWireless stories include The 700 Mhz Club, Vyyo Adds 700Mhz Modem, Fixed Vrs Mobile WiMax, Airspan Announces WiMax Products and The WiMax Procession.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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