The first public mobile WiMAX network in the UK and Ireland, and the second in Europe, has been launched at the Institute of Microelectronics and Wireless Systems (IMWS) at the National University of Ireland (NUI), Maynooth.
Many trials of mobile WiMAX networks exist around the world, particularly in Asia, but Maynooth will be the only site publishing the results of its experience, making this a unique facility for collaborating with other universities and industries on a global basis.
Mobile WiMax is the next generation of WiMax, improving on existing fixed wireless broadband technologies.
The project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland’s Centre for Telecommunications Value Chain Research (CTVR) and Alcatel-Lucent, allows NUI Maynooth staff, some 6,000 students and other Irish researchers to benefit from ‘always-on’ broadband services, including VOIP services and new, mobile, high-speed data services such as DVD-quality streaming video, fast downloads of very large files and videoconferencing.
Remote access to the university network is now possible for students living as far as 20km away, allowing for the creation of a virtual campus extending to the town of Maynooth and surrounding areas.
The network will also be used to support research activity in Maynooth in the areas of personal communications and sensor networks, as well as allowing the IMWS to develop new applications in the area of environmental monitoring and delivery of location-based services.
Alcatel-Lucent provided NUI Maynooth with a turnkey mobile WiMax infrastructure solution. “As one of the very first deployments of its kind, this project will further enhance our knowledge of WiMAX usage in such environments and, through this partnership, we look forward to discovering new and innovative applications,” said Kevin O’Callaghan, managing director, Alcatel-Lucent, Ireland.
By Sorcha Corcoran
Pictured: Dr Ronan Farrell, director of the IMWS; Tim Wilthshire, head of Wireless Products, Alcatel-Lucent; Simon Loe, technical project manager, Alcatel-Lucent; Profesor Ray O’Neil, vice-president of research, NUI Maynooth