Market Pilot of Pre-WiMax System Will Take Place in Athens, Ga.
June 7, 2005 SUPERCOMM tradeshow, Chicago — June 7, 2005 — BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) today announced that beginning this August, it will deploy wireless broadband service to select areas of Athens, Ga. with extensions of its wireless broadband service to several Florida cities later in the year.
The new BellSouth® FastAccess® Internet Service will provide Internet access to customers at broadband speeds. The system transmits signals between local radio towers and a small non-line-of-sight desktop subscriber modem that plugs into a desktop or laptop computer, or a local router. The wireless broadband modem transmits data to and from nearby radio towers or tall structures using BellSouth licensed BRS and WCS radio spectrum instead of traditional landline wires. BellSouth has contracted with Navini Networks for their pre-WiMax, Ripwave equipment for this wireless broadband deployment.
“BellSouth's latest wireless broadband initiative is the next logical step after a technical trial,” said Keith Cowan, president – marketing and product management, BellSouth. “As BellSouth's focus continues its shift to broadband and wireless, we are excited about the potential of wireless broadband as an alternative high-speed Internet solution. Wireless broadband complements BellSouth's wireline strategy and aids in our efforts to continuously extend the reach of our broadband service.” Wireless broadband technology is designed to serve as an alternative means of high-speed connectivity in areas such as rural communities, where traditional wireline broadband cannot be efficiently deployed. BellSouth's wireless broadband service will also fill in urban/suburban areas where ADSL may not be available.
In addition, BellSouth will deploy wireless broadband service in Athens, Ga., to meet the needs of a diverse and younger population, including college students. BellSouth will offer students in Athens the ability to suspend their wireless broadband service between May and July, when many leave town for the summer. During that time, students will pay a nominal charge per month to maintain their account and can re-activate service at no charge upon their return to Athens.
“BellSouth's commitment is to the customer,” Cowan said. “We will continue to provide customers with the flexibility they need — and the convenience and low price that they have come to expect from BellSouth.”
BellSouth residential and business customers will be able to choose from various wireless broadband service options, ranging in price, features and speeds. BellSouth has been conducting technical trials using Navini's Ripwave TM system in Daytona and Palatka, Fla. BellSouth has been testing wireless broadband technology since 2000, beginning with the company's first-generation trial in Houma, La.
For more information contact:
Nadine Randall, BellSouth