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Large WiMAX Network Slated For Canada

A WiMAX wireless broadband network covering 8000 square miles of southeastern Alberta will be rolled out in 2006, equipment vendor Nortel and a Canadian governmental body said Wednesday.

The network will cover a large area in rural southeastern Alberta, according to the Alberta Special Areas Board (SAB) and Nortel. SAB and Nortel said they were teaming with a new wireless ISP, NETAGO, to provide the service. In addition, the network also will serve the Alberta government.

"This WiMAX network will support our goal of bridging the digital divide through affordable broadband wireless Internet services to users located in rural areas of Alberta," Jay J. Slemp, SAB's chairman, said in a statement.

The network will operate in the 3.5 GHz portion of spectrum. It will provide access at speeds between 1 Mbps and 3 Mbps. In addition, Nortel said the equipment that will be used for the initial fixed access deployment is easily upgradeable to mobile WiMAX when that technology is available. The mobile WiMAX standard, 802.16e, is expected to be ratified early in 2006 with non-certified equipment available shortly after that.