Broadband Briefs for 1/8/10
• Clearwire to launch 1st metropolitan 4G network in Spain
By Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week
Clearwire says it is expanding its WiMAX network in Malaga, Spain. The mobile 4G service, called Instanet, will cover the city’s entire metropolitan area and nearly 600,000 people.
“Clearwire is excited to bring to Malaga residents, businesses and visitors an Internet experience similar to what they’re used to having at home or the office, anywhere in the metropolitan area or on the go,” said Gilberto Sánchez, managing director of Clearwire Spain. “The commitment of local government, along with the region’s status as a technologically savvy and cultural hub, makes Malaga a natural fit."
The service can be purchased with or without a service contract and does not include usage caps. Home 4G Instanet service plans start at €29.90 ($42.92) per month.
Malaga will be the first metropolitan 4G network in Spain and Clearwire’s first 4G network in Europe. Last year, Clearwire announced its plans to launch mobile WiMAX in Seville and Malaga, Spain. The company tapped Alvarion and ZTE for the network deployments.
• ACA advocates for USF access
By Brian Santo
The American Cable Association is arguing for continued access to Universal Service Fund money for communications service providers with 100,000 access lines or fewer. The plea was made in a formal filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
"ACA agrees with those who believe that USF reform is needed to bring program costs under control and finance the new mission of providing support to operators that would provide broadband to consumers in unserved and underserved areas," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew Polka said. "However, ACA does not believe that cutting off small voice carriers that receive the lion’s share of their revenue from USF mechanisms cold turkey would, as some have suggested, serve the public interest.”
• Wi-Fi Direct makes its pitch at CES
By Mike Robuck
While 3-D has had a commanding presence at this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Wi-Fi Alliance has been pitching “Wi-Fi Direct” as a new technology that will break up wireless network bottlenecks.
According to a story in Business Week, Wi-Fi Direct allows smartphones and other devices the ability to connect to one another instead of through a Wi-Fi network or hotspot. A single hub device that supports Wi-Fi Direct acts as the hub and allows users to share their media content between devices.
According to a press release from late last year, the Wi-Fi Alliance expects to begin certification for this new specification in mid-2010, and products which achieve the certification will be designated Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct.