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CLEAR selects technology partner for LMDS rollout

CLEAR Communications today announced it will work with Alcatel to
implement LMDS wireless access equipment as part of its business network
expansion.

The decision follows CLEAR's announcement in March that it is employing
LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution Services) to extend its business
communication services.

CLEAR's General Manager of Network and Service Development Guy McKee says
CLEAR is finalising the implementation plan with Alcatel.

"We are now well advanced in our plan to offer our business customers the
best, most cost effective, commercial wireless technologies from
overseas," he says.

CLEAR is working closely with its parent company, BT, during the planning
and implementation process.

LMDS is a fixed wireless technology that delivers high-quality data, video
and voice services.  The dish-type antennae, which are dinner-plate size,
can be rapidly installed with minimal disruption at the site.  CLEAR is
working with local councils to ensure communities are kept informed of the
work.

Alcatel's New Zealand General Manager Mark Giles says: "Alcatel's LMDS
network solution is the ideal broadband wireless solution.

"It allows businesses to experience and reap the benefits of high-speed
data communications without having to wait for costly infrastructure
improvements."

Mr Giles says Alcatel's recently-completed acquisition of Newbridge brings
a combined strength to the project, which includes very significant local
support.

What is LMDS?
Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS) is a broadband wireless
communications system that delivers reliable digital two-way voice, data
and Internet services. The term "Local" indicates that its signals operate
in the local area. "Multipoint" means it is beamed out to a number of
destinations, rather than earlier microwave technologies which operated
point-to-point. "Distribution" means it delivers a wide range of
telecommunications services. While LMDS is technically and commercially
significant, customers notice no difference in day-to-day use.  LMDS is
rapidly emerging as a key access technology in the US, Canada, Asia, South
America, Europe and Australia.

What are the advantages of LMDS?
For the customer, they are manifold. Because it is a multipoint
technology, the costs of LMDS are shared over numerous customers and it is
therefore a cost-effective access technology. That means LMDS will give a
whole new band of businesses a choice of telecommunications supplier, and
a wider range of data-intensive business solutions. LMDS can also be
rapidly installed with minimal disruption at the customer's site.  For
CLEAR, LMDS offers the potential to bypass the existing monopoly-owned
local loop and to serve a whole new bracket of business customers
directly.  LMDS is also a broadband technology, which means CLEAR can
deliver the entire range of its emerging portfolio of business
telecommunications solutions, including the new breed of Internet-based
services.

Does LMDS finally solve New Zealand's telecommunications competition
issues? For business customers in the areas served by CLEAR LMDS, the new
technology will mean they have a choice of supplier for the first time.
For the majority of telecommunications users, including virtually all
residential users, there will still be only one supplier, however. Genuine
competition across the board must await the outcomes of the ministerial
inquiry into telecommunications.

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