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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