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Japan's Okinawa Islands Get WiMax For High-Speed Links

The hundreds of hilly and scattered islands of Okinawa, along with the Japanese Prefecture's frequent position in the pathway of typhoons, were long thought to have precluded the widespread deployment of broadband there. That was before the advent of WiMax, however.

WiMax provider Alvarion reported Monday that its BreezeAccess VL WiMax technology has been deployed on the Okinawa islands of Tokashiki, Zamami, and Aka along with future plans to roll out the technology across the region.

The WiMax deployment is being installed by NTT West Corporation Okinawa Branch Group and Tzvika Friedman, Alvarion president and CEO, said the success of the Okinawa deployment will serve as a catalyst for larger deployments in Okinawa and throughout Japan. He added that traditional landline networks are too costly for broadband deployment in many regions of Japan, opening the way for WiMax's wide area wireless technology.

Alvarion's VL at 4.9 GHz product features OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology, which has a reach of more than 30 kilometers and high capacity of 54 Mbps. The robustness of the network enables carriers and ISPs to over triple play bundles to customers.

"Okinawa's hundreds of hilly and spread out islands make using wired infrastructure for broadband extremely expensive and impractical," according to a statement from NTT, which noted that the WiMax network had been successfully tested in field trials during typhoons.