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Alvarion And Digicel To Deploy Wireless Broadband Throughout Caribbean

by Amanda Banks,, London

04 April 2008

Alvarion Ltd., a leading provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband technologies, has announced the signing of a master supply agreement with Digicel Group, the largest mobile operator in the Caribbean.

Alvarion was selected by Digicel as its strategic partner to deploy a WiMAX network throughout the Caribbean region, in a major initiative to be rolled out over the next few years. This follows the successful commercial deployment of its 802.16e system in Grand Cayman in 2007.

As part of the master supply agreement, Alvarion, along with its OPEN WiMAX partners, will provide an end-to-end WiMAX offering based on Alvarion’s Mobile WiMAX system.

“Mobile WiMAX represents a unique opportunity for Digicel to leapfrog current technology to offer a wireless full service portfolio as an attractive alternative to the existing operators’ offering,” observed Mario Assaad, CTO of Digicel Group.

Based on the success of the Grand Cayman deployment, Digicel is moving quickly to deploy WiMAX in additional markets to deliver primary voice, data VPN and residential broadband to both corporate and residential customers.

With an existing operational GSM footprint in 23 markets, Digicel chose Mobile WiMAX as its next-generation broadband technology because of its ability to emulate traditional fixed line services, as well as to enable personal mobile broadband services, using a wide variety of innovative end-user devices.

According to Digicel, the rapid service uptake in Grand Cayman illustrates the current demand for WiMAX-enabled primary broadband services, even in a market with high broadband penetration. Digicel reached double-digit market share after only a few months of operation, fully loading the network, which has recently been expanded to meet customer demand.

The WiMAX 802.16e network in Grand Cayman is enabling Digicel to offer custom-designed service plans for businesses, as well as a consumer plan offering up to 3 Mbps downlink and 1 Mbps uplink throughput and performance.

The wireless broadband connection is being used by consumers in both fixed and portable modes. The small form factor of Alvarion’s residential CPE allows subscribers to take their broadband connection with them wherever they go, paving the way for Digicel to make full use of Mobile WiMAX technology to provide Personal Broadband services in the future.

Digicel currently has more than six million subscribers and operations in 23 markets including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, The Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Turks and Caicos and Trinidad & Tobago. Digicel was granted a license to operate in the British Virgin Islands in December 2007.

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