Dublin to be covered with wireless internet services


29 Mar 2004

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National Toll Roads subsidiary Irish Broadband has signed an infrastructure deal with a US network equipment manufacturer that will enable it to deploy multi-megabit wireless broadband services across 100pc of Dublin.

The deal with Navini Networks’ will see Irish Broadband deploy the company’s Ripwave product line, one of the world’s first next generation non line-of-sight wide area wireless broadband networks on a 3.5Ghz frequency.

The rollout will begin by covering 100pc of Dublin and provide easy access to multi-megabit wireless broadband services for residential and small business users in the capital city.

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Navini Networks delivers patented wide area wireless broadband technology that delivers multi-megabit speeds to internet customers up to eight miles from a base station. Its Ripwave products consist of a desktop modem, or PCMCIA card, a base station and an element management system that operates in various licensed and unlicensed frequencies.

Investors in Navini include Alcatel, Intel, Sanmina, Austine Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Granite Ventures and Sternhill Partners.

“Irish Broadband is totally focused on broadband. Our goal is to step-up our product line and services so affordable broadband will be available to the majority of Irish citizens,” stated Paul Doody, managing director of Irish Broadband.

“We’ve been working with Navini on trials using 2.4Ghz Ripwave gear. Based on these trials and that Navini has clearly demonstrated positive momentum in terms of customer deployments around the world, we are expanding our footprint by offering services utilising licensed spectrum,” he added.

In January Irish Broadband revealed that it will be hiring 60 new workers on the back of demand for its services. It will recruit staff across several areas including technical, engineering, administrative, sales and marketing. Irish Broadband was recently awarded seven licences to provide wireless broadband services to 80pc of the population of the country.

Irish Broadband, which is a subsidiary of the public infrastructure developer National Toll Roads, has had a licence to operate wireless broadband networks since July 2002. In November last year, the company was awarded seven licences to provide wireless broadband Internet access in the 3.5GHz band in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Drogheda and Dundalk. Its service is currently available to domestic and business customers in Dublin and the network will be widened to incorporate Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Drogheda and Dundalk by the middle of this year.

By John Kennedy