GoingWimax catches up with Declan Byrne from Airspan.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your company?
I joined Airspan in early 2008 as Chief Marketing Officer. I have been in the telecommunications industry for several years now. I have previously held key positions in companies such as AT&T Wireless, Netro Corporation and SR Telecom.
I was very excited to join Airspan Networks, one of the pioneers and leading companies in WiMAX technologies. Airspan reaches every corner of the globe and has over 500 customers in more than 100 countries. We have the widest variety of WiMAX solutions operating in 700 MHz all the way up to 5.8 GHz bands.
Our goal is to offer leading-edge WiMAX technologies with a robust and reliable platform at an affordable price point, supporting operator business models.
Well, I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that Airspan is currently involved in some very exciting deployments across the world. We have a large Mobile WiMAX deployment in Mozambique, we are seeing large expansions to Jordanian Umniah and WiTribe, and our U.S. market has been growing steadily as we are seeing more initiatives to reach the rural and underserved regions. For example, in the U.S. market, 700 MHz license holders are beginning to employ their spectrum and deploy WiMAX networks. Airspan is the only company to currently offer a 700 MHz solution.
We are also energized by the activity in the U.S. generated by the Broadband Stimulus Package. The first round of funds availability has produced thousands of applications and Airspan is the vendor of choice for many of these network plans.
How involved will Airspan be with the Missouri and Australian deployments?
Airspan works closely with all customers to ensure that the networks operate seamlessly. The Missouri deployment by Green Hills will be more closely driven by our partner Stutler Technologies. We are, however, working directly with BigAir and are very involved in their day-to-day operations. We have been very proud of the success BigAir has been experiencing and look forward to our continued partnership.
Which of the 3 base station products you offer is most popular? What is appealing about it?
We do indeed have 3 base station suites. Our MacroMAXe, which recently received the WiMAX Forum certification, is an impressive, compact, all-outdoor powerful mobile base station. We have seen a great deal of interest in this product and expect it to be very widely accepted in a number of global regions. This unit offers a truly next-generation, 4G, mobile network allowing users to access triple-play applications while at home, in the office, or on the go.
Our HiperMAX base station is a unique powerhouse that enables both a fixed or mobile platform. This is useful to many operators who are looking to enter the market at a lower cost, establish a customer base and then upgrade (software change only) to a truly mobile WiMAX network.
Our MicroMAXd has been one of our most successful units to date. It operates in the 700 MHz, 1.5, 2.3, 2.5, 3.5, 3.65, 4.9, 5.4, and 5.8 GHz bands. It offers versatility, long range, high capacity and carrier-class features such as VoIP and an advanced frequency reuse system.
We have the right solution for operators everywhere.
Who are your direct competitors and what are you doing to stay ahead of the competition?
There are a number of seasoned WiMAX vendors in the market. However, we have been noticing that the strongest players are the WiMAX pure-players. Many of the larger players such as Nokia-Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent are slowly exiting the field and readdressing their focus to other products.
Airspan stays competitive with one simple plan – offer the best and most reliable technology at the most competitive price points. We have been very successful at maintaining a strong portfolio that meets our customers’ demands.
What is it about Airspan that allows you to serve “under served” sectors in the wireless market?
The underserved and un-served markets tend to be located in either rural or hard-to-reach areas or in developing regions of the world where legacy telephony is often missing, not to mention broadband access.
Airspan perfectly addresses all of these markets with a portfolio of wireless solutions that enables operators to deploy networks with no digging and at a fraction of the cost of typical wired solutions. The equipment is also able to overcome harsh weather conditions and challenging terrain. The inherent value of the Airspan WiMAX infrastructure is that is can reach a broader customer base with high-speed services at a low entry cost and a pay-as-you-grow model.
Are there any new products or services you will be launching in the near future?
Airspan is always working on developing new and improved products. Like Steve Austin, TV’s Six Million Dollar Man, we strive to be “Better. Stronger. Faster.”
As one of the sponsors of the WiMax Forum Congress Americas 2009, will Airspan be speaking or presenting? If so, can you please share with our readers the topic.
Airspan is a Gold Sponsor of the show. We will be exhibiting and playing a key role in the show. We are involved in setting up an on-site Mobile WiMAX network. We have a number of customers who will be presenting at the show and I will be speaking as well. Because Airspan plays such a significant role in the U.S. market, specifically in the 3.65 GHz band, I have been asked to discuss the benefits of the lightly licensed band, how it can work for operators and what we expect to see in the future for the band. I will be speaking on December 1, in Track 1 at 3:15pm. I invite all operators to attend the engagement.