Open Range Communications will rely on WiMAX equipment supplied by Alvarion for a deployment spanning 17 states, 546 rural communities, and reaching up to 6 million people. Service should be turned on in the fourth quarter of this year.

Alvarion said the five-year contract could be worth more than $100 million. The company will provide Open Range with its BreezeMAX network equipment, as well as with CPE.

Open Range is a startup company that was established to bring wireless services to rural markets. The company was seeded with $100 million from One Equity Partners (OEP), the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. In March, 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP) approved a $267 million Broadband Access Loan for Open Range.

While the company is providing similar services as Clearwire, Clearwire is targeting major markets only.

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