Welcome to the wireless West

5 Nov 2007

A wireless metropolitan network delivering high capacity broadband will extend from Cork to Donegal by the second quarter of 2008 under the development of Ennis-based company AI Bridges.

The first part of this ‘Metro-Ethernet’ from Cork Airport to Limerick and Clare has been live for the past two months and it is hoped by AI Bridges that it will be in Galway, Mayo and Sligo by early next year, and through to Donegal sometime in the second quarter of 2008.

The rollout of this new network is expected to increase AI Bridges’ staff from six to 10 by the end of next year as additional engineers are taken on.

Kevin Hayes, managing director of AI Bridges, said the service gives both broadband service providers and organisations in rural parts of Ireland the opportunity to have their own private broadband network, regardless of geographic location and without high infrastructure costs.

“The future rollout of broadband in Ireland lies with such next-generation networks,” said Hayes.

While AI Bridges initially focused on wireless broadband services for corporate customers it has moved to regional service providers in the last year or so due to the rollout of rural broadband networks.

Rather than supplying broadband services to end users, the company aims at supplying a network which has its own product offerings like converged voice, data and telecoms products as well as managed services.

“Say, for example, a customer has its operations in Limerick and it wants to connect to another of its offices in Galway where there is not a broadband reach, they can obtain high-capacity bandwidth connections by availing of this wireless network,” said Hayes.

“Because the network is IP-based then the customer can avail of VoIP, video, data, security services over the same connection, there is no need to have multiple connections.

“Essentially users of the network benefit from their very own private broadband network.”

By Marie Boran