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Trial UK WiMAX network built for testing CCTV and mobility applications

MLL Telecom : 10 July, 2009  (Application Story)
MLL Telecom and Alvarion complete building trial WiMAX network in the UK for demonstrating the technology on public safety applications, CCTV surveillance as well as enterprise mobility
Alvarion and MLL Telecom, Alvarion's partner in the UK, have announced that the Mobile WiMAX network built for the UK's Mobile WiMAX Acceleration Group (M-WAG) has been used to test a wide variety of applications for consumer, business and local government market segments.

Established in 2007, M-WAG is a consortium of companies formed to create a WiMAX ecosystem in the UK to showcase the WiMAX business case in anticipation of Ofcom's auction of the 2.6 GHz spectrum which is expected to take place during 2010.

The pilot network in Maidstone went live in July 2008 with the support of Maidstone Borough Council and has been used to trial a number of different applications such as mobile data, mobile VoIP and mobile video streaming.

An open day for those wishing to visit the network and talk to M-WAG members is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 22 July in Maidstone.

MLL Telecom, an M-WAG member, was responsible for the design, integration and management of the WiMAX network and used Alvarion technology to deliver the service.

"The success of this trial shows the maturity of WiMAX technology," said Eddie Minshull, CEO of MLL Telecom. "We have been proactively managing the network on a 24 x 7 basis and found it to be extremely stable. With the right sort of planning and design expertise WiMAX is now ready for mainstream use."

Alvarion's Mobile WiMAX BreezeMAX base stations have been positioned in the centre of Maidstone and communicate with different end-user devices including Alvarion Indoor CPEs (customer premise equipment), laptops equipped with Mobile WiMAX PCMCIA cards, USB Dongles and digital cameras and encoders.

Individual member companies of M-WAG are running a number of different trials over the network together with end users from various market segments:

Public safety trial: EADS Defence and Security, together with Kent Fire and Rescue Service, tested the use of Mobile WiMAX for delivering real-time video between an incident scene, a mobile command unit and the Headquarters control room. The trial validated the use of real-time visual communications that can be set up on the go improve the decision making capability of a first-responder service.

CCTV trial: Bluenowhere, a wholesale WiMAX network operator supporting local government applications, in conjunction with Maidstone Borough Council, demonstrated the capability of WiMAX to replace 3G and fixed CCTV connections in a cost effective manner to provide 24/7 IP-based video surveillance services on a fixed and mobile basis. Also piloted was the use of WiMAX to save costs in building inspection and for live data capture by the community safety team.

Mobile worker trial: Bluenowhere worked with Maidstone Borough Council whose employees have also been using the network via PCs with indoor modems and laptops with PC Cards and USB Dongles whilst out of the office. This has been so successful that they have insisted on using the dongles in the office instead of the fixed connection.

The results of these trials will be documented in a comprehensive report by Mott MacDonald, an M-WAG member.

"As evident from our many commercial Mobile WiMAX deployments around the world, the technology is here and ready in the UK as well," said Zeev Strahl, regional director from Alvarion. "M-WAG has brought together several leading companies across the telecoms and media industries to build a state of the art Mobile WiMAX showcase in the UK. The results of these trials will show unique capabilities of WiMAX necessary for multiple market segments in UK."

Kerl Haslam, Chairman of the Mobile WiMAX Acceleration Group, said: "The members of M-WAG have successfully shown the capability of WiMAX to deliver a range of applications in a number of different markets. Through the trials M-WAG has proved the business case for local government and business services."
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