Thursday, February 19, 2009

Airspan Well Positioned to Extend Market Leadership in U.S. Rural Broadband Networks

Original Article - CNN Money

Complete WiMAX FCC and RUS Certified Solutions Available Today

Airspan Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AIRN), a leading provider of broadband wireless access networks, publicized today the availability of the industry's most complete FCC and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) certified lineup of fixed and mobile WiMAX Base Stations and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) for the U.S. rural market. This announcement follows the just-signed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that has placed significant emphasis on rural broadband. RUS approval is obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, affirming Rural Development acceptance and "Buy American" status of equipment. Airspan is among a select few WiMAX equipment manufacturers with this coveted "Buy America" status.

"Airspan has been recognized by leading WiMAX industry analysts as the market leader in rural America," said Declan Byrne, Airspan's Chief Marketing Officer. "Following the recent legislation, many of our existing customers are positioning our WiMAX equipment to the grant and loan-making authorities of the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture. In addition, we are working to bring together an industry-leading consortium of operators, systems integrators and grant-writing and loan-application partners to assist rural operators in attaining funds from the stimulus legislation, and to deploy broadband networks in a targeted and timely manner."

Airspan has been serving rural America for several years already, with broadband wireless equipment deployed in 43 states. Airspan is currently providing equipment to the largest 3.65 GHz rural network in the country being deployed by FairPoint Communications in New England. Airspan has RUS approved and FCC certified products ready to deploy to help rural residents and businesses get connected. Supporting bandwidth-intensive services such as high-speed Internet access, Internet telephony (VoIP) and video streaming, Airspan's WiMAX solutions allow for an easy, quick and affordable deployment of a broadband network.

"Wireless broadband is an ideal technology for rural America," commented Declan Byrne. "Whereas other technologies such as cable and DSL require digging trenches and laying down cables to reach these remote areas, which can be very costly and time consuming, WiMAX base stations can be easily set up to service a rural and dispersed subscriber base with immediate connectivity. We are aligned with the stimulus bill's broadband intentions of reaching rural and underserved Americans quickly with quality connectivity."

"Broadband for the rural market will be a key focus in the next 12-18 months, and WiMAX in 3.65 GHz will be a leading technology choice due to the recent deregulation of the frequency and the economic characteristics of WiMAX," said Emmy Johnson, Founder & Principal Analyst of Sky Light Research. "Equipment vendors that have successfully demonstrated their ability to provide a strong wireless product offering will benefit the most. Sky Light's quarterly market share research, in conjunction with Synergy Research Group, shows that the 3.65 GHz WiMAX market demonstrated triple digit growth in the first nine months of 2008, with Airspan leading the market at more than 30 percent share."

Earlier this week 650 mainly rural television broadcasters decided to move ahead with the transition from analog signals to digital signals despite a government approved delay. "We are encouraged by this decision, made by approximately one third of the total 700 MHz broadcasters, which will allow our current customers who hold this valuable spectrum to quickly deploy our WiMAX equipment in this band," continued Declan Byrne.

J.J. Stutler, CEO of Stutler Technologies, a Kansas-based wireless integrator, added, "Airspan has been a valuable partner for Stutler in the last few years and we have made great progress in reaching rural America. The stimulus package reserves $7.2 Billion for rural broadband, all of which must be allocated by September 2010. We believe WiMAX is one of the only technologies that can reasonably and cost-effectively reach the dispersed and low-density population areas targeted by this bill. We are looking forward to assisting current and future customers with this growth."

Airspan joined the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) recently. OPASTCO is a group of hundreds of independent carriers providing voice and data services in rural areas that are often expensive to serve due to difficult terrain and low population density. These innovative service providers use a variety of technologies, including WiMAX, to extend broadband to customers in hard to reach communities.

Airspan successfully passed FCC compliance tests for its 1.4 GHz solution earlier this week. "This continues to underscore Airspan's unique and complete offering of WiMAX solutions. Airspan now has solutions for 700 MHz, 1.4-1.5, 3.65, 4.9, 5.4, and 5.8 GHz frequency bands, and is the only WiMAX vendor covering all of these bands," added Byrne. "We have welcomed the tremendous customer response for our solutions and urge interested local exchange carriers to contact us via our North American sales offices. The legislation's intent to rapidly distribute broadband assistance is evident and Airspan is ideally positioned to bring operators the necessary spectrum, certified equipment, deployment partners and grant-writing expertise in a timely and successful manner."

Operators seeking to deploy wireless broadband in rural United States should contact Airspan at 561.893.8687 or email For more information on Airspan's rural broadband WiMAX solution, visit

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