New Brunswick-based rural fixed-wireless broadband provider Barrett Xplore (Xplornet) has announced that it has begun upgrading its pre-WiMAX wireless broadband network to mobile WiMAX 802.16e standard using equipment from Alvarion. The deal with Alvarion is valued at CAD75 million (USD74 million) and will see Barrett upgrade or install 1,200 towers across the country to initially deliver speeds over 40Mbps under ideal conditions, the company said; during 2011 speeds will be boosted to over 100Mbps. Service will start in southwestern Ontario and Quebec by the end of the year. Barrett’s existing network is a combination of fixed and satellite services serving over 130,000 customers, and it has also announced that it will add a new generation of satellites starting next year, with the launch of Viasat 1 in April and a second orbiter to be launched by Hughes Network Systems in 2012. The satellites will offer customers in remote areas speeds up to 25Mbps.
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