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Wireless Continues Gains In Latin America

Wireless technologies continue a steady pace of adoption throughout Latin America, as the region extends telecommunications services to rural areas that have never been served, and carriers seek to tap pent up demand for advanced services among consumers and businesses in metropolitan areas.

In Honduras, MultiFon and UTStarcom Inc. announced the first live commercial call over MultiFon's new wireless network. The network uses UTStarcom's iPAS solution, a wireless, local loop-based technology. The first call over the network was made by Honduran President Ricardo Maduro.
MultiFon announced that it will deploy the technology this year in high-demand areas of Tegucigalpa, followed by San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Initially, MultiFon said it will be providing 150,000 lines.

As part of the network launch, President Maduro personally delivered the first MultiFon iPAS phone in Tegucigalpa to a resident who had been waiting for telephone service for more than 10 years. The Honduran government said that it already has received 200,000 more requests for telecommunications services.

And in Colombia, Orbitel S.A. ESP announced that it has received all deliveries for an Airspan Networks Inc. Internet access services network.

Based on Airspan's WipLL platform, Orbitel's new network will connect residential and business customers in five of Colombia's largest cities to Orbitel's data backbone network. Orbitel has been using WipLL since 2003, and reports that its system has been able to compete on a cost and performance basis with fixed wireline solutions. Orbitel expects to work with Airspan to deploy WiMAX technology in the near future.

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