DragonWave brings wireless network service to rural U.S. markets

DragonWave Inc. is helping bring mobile services to under-served areas of the United States. The Canadian provider of high-capacity packet microwave solutions announced last week at CTIA Wireless in Orlando, Florida, multiple rural U.S. deployments.

Northeast Wireless Networks, a shared access network operator of 2G/3G and 4G wireless services in rural markets, has selected Dragonwave's high-capacity packet microwave backhaul solution to help it enable 3G and 4G services in under-served markets. Northeast Wireless's first deployments of DragonWave's Horizon Compact and Horizon Quantum will enable greenfield network rollouts in rural Maine and Oregon.

Similarly, DragonWave's products will enable service provider KeyOn Communications Holdings, Inc. to bring mobile services to rural Nevada. Horizon Compact and Horizon Duo high-capacity packet microwave solutions are being deployed to anchor the “middle mile” network components for KeyOn’s stimulus-funded 4G wireless network service rollout to rural homes, businesses and critical community facilities such as healthcare providers. KeyOn received a $10.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award in September, 2010 to provide wireless broadband and VoIP services in qualified rural communities throughout Nevada. Instead of deploying legacy leased-line connections from traditional wireline operators in each of the communities served, KeyOn’s architecture and high-capacity statewide network will allow for aggregation of Internet bandwidth at only a few select fiber points.

"In many parts of the United States, mobile services remain poor-in part because the backhaul connections linking rural cell towers deployed legacy technologies that were not designed to support today's advanced, broadband applications," said Robert Parsloe, Chief Executive Officer of Northeast Wireless Networks. "The DragonWave solution effectively creates 'fiber in the sky', enabling us to offer our customers the most innovative, cost-efficient and secure broadband wireless services without incurring prohibitive operational and capital expenditures."

Northeast Wireless Networks is a Maine-based, rural-focused, "shared-network" carrier, wholesaling cost-effective, wireless broadband services to major telecommunications carriers in markets throughout the United States that have been historically under-served. According to DragonWave, after an evaluation of multiple vendors' solutions, Northeast Wireless selected the DragonWave Horizon solution for its pure-packet performance, scalability, proven reliability in challenging deployment environments and long-term investment protection to deliver carrier-grade wireless links between cell towers and its fiber-based backbone network.

"Our Horizon line of packet microwave solutions has been refined over the years to provide carriers a better backhaul network-one that is more reliable and scalable, that is IP-optimized and that results in minimal lifecycle costs," said DragonWave President and CEO Peter Allen. "The Horizon Compact and Horizon Quantum are enabling a leap forward in the variety and quality of next-generation services that our carrier customers can bring to traditionally under-served markets."

Jonathan Snyder, Chief Executive Officer for KeyOn Communications, said DragonWave's reputation and experience led to their selection by KeyOn. “Our engineering team valued the fact that DragonWave offers a comprehensive, flexible family of solutions that enables us to deploy the optimal solution for every link allowing us to both remotely dial up and dynamically adjust our capacity levels as necessary. DragonWave’s support throughout the project has been excellent, and we look forward to continuing to work with their talented engineering team throughout the network deployment.”

KeyOn hopes to introduce services community by community across Nevada beginning early in the second half of 2011. When the network is complete, nearly 100,000 people, 5,500 businesses, and 850 critical community facilities across the state will be able to access nextgeneration, 4G broadband services.

“By offering innovative new services similar to those available in urban markets, KeyOn’s
network will stimulate economic development and job creation as well as transform the quality of life for Nevada’s rural population,” said Peter Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of DragonWave.

DragonWave Horizon products operate in both licensed and unlicensed radio frequencies between 6 and 60 GHz.

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