7/26/2005 - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN) and Bushcom Wireless Broadband Communications PTY Ltd. announced that Bushcom recently signed up its 3000th customer in its broadband wireless network utilizing Wi-LAN's VIP and Libra products. The network, by far the largest of its kind in Australia, is being used to provide high-speed data and voice services to residents of rural towns and villages. Wi-LAN announced the initial $6 million purchase order for this network in January 2005, and approximately half of the order has been deployed to date. The deployment is supported by HiBIS, the Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme of the Australian Government's Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.
"It is very gratifying to see our huge broadband wireless network, which was still in the planning stages only six months ago, providing service to rural communities that is equivalent in quality and bandwidth as those found in the major capital centers," said Michel de Florenca, Managing Director, Bushcom. "When we first began discussing this network with Wi-LAN we knew we would need a supplier with very solid and reliable products, and an extremely dedicated and responsive support infrastructure. We have been very pleased with the networking skills of the Wi-LAN team and the performance of the equipment; Wi-LAN's products combined with their commitment to our success have been outstanding."
HiBIS has now registered 35 ISP's since the scheme was launched in April 2004. There are currently more than 34,000 customers connected to HiBIS broadband services and about 12 per cent are wireless. Bushcom is the largest wireless ISP in the system.
HiBIS is an initiative of the Australian Government providing registered Internet service providers (ISP's) with incentive payments to supply higher bandwidth services in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia at prices comparable to those available in metropolitan areas. ISP's that register with HiBIS can receive an incentive payment for each registered HiBIS service provided to an eligible customer. Providers are able to use these incentive payments to reduce the price of existing broadband services like satellite or to roll out new broadband infrastructure like ADSL or wireless local loops, where consumer demand might otherwise have been insufficient to justify such investments.
"Bushcom's entrepreneurial drive and organizational abilities, combined with the Australian Government's foresight and funding, have made this network deployment possible," said Chris Beadle, Vice President, Global Sales, Wi-LAN Inc. "There is clearly a huge appetite for wireless broadband communication infrastructure in Australia, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Bushcom to expand their network to serve rural communities across the continent."
Wi-LAN's market-leading broadband wireless solutions, utilizing the technologies and high-quality products of the Company and its partners, provide broadband Internet access, Voice-over-IP, data network extension, wireless data backhaul, telephony backhaul, and wireless hot zones. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless solutions also feature an all-inclusive 2-year parts and labor warranty and are supported by 24/7 customer service. As well, customers who deploy Wi-LAN's Libra MXTM WiMAX platform system receive guaranteed protection from Wi-LAN's Continuity Program(TM), which guarantees customers a seamless and economic transformation to WiMAX compliant networks when WiMAX Forum Certified(1) equipment becomes available, expected in early 2006. To learn more about Wi-LAN's product offering, go to www.wi-lan.com/products or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bushcom Wireless Broadband Communications PTY Ltd.
Bushcom is a provider of cost effective and reliable broadband communication and has developed a robust platform from which it offers broadband services throughout Australia. A combination of satellite and wireless technologies enable Bushcom to deploy cost effective and reliable broadband communications solutions wherever they are needed. The Company's true IP networks can reliably deliver voice, videoconferencing, VPN connections, remote security, video on demand, e-learning and e-health applications.
Bushcom has deployed satellites, wireless and voice networks across Australia. The Company delivers secure, robust and future-proof broadband networks and has a vision of implementing long term, equitable communications platforms throughout regional, rural and remote Australia and the world.
About Wi-LAN Inc.
Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, offering businesses, including telecom service providers, and government enterprises effective, economic and secure wireless high-speed communications solutions. Wi-LAN specializes in high-speed Internet access, data network extension, wireless Voice-over-IP, and wireless data and telephony backhaul, utilizing its high quality products and industry-leading technologies. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless solutions feature an all-inclusive 2-year parts and labor warranty and are supported by 24/7 customer service.
Wi-LAN believes its portfolio of patents, including its core W-OFDM patents and 17 patents and patent applications acquired from Ensemble Communications in May 2004, are necessary for the implementation of devices using the IEEE 802.16 WirelessMAN Standard (1) and the ETSI BRAN HiperMAN(1) standard (the WiMAX Forum(1) standards). As well, Wi-LAN's W-OFDM patents are believed to be required for the implementation of devices using the IEEE standards 802.11a and 802.11g (the 2nd generation Wi-Fi Alliance(1) standards), and the ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2(1) standard. Wi-LAN licenses its patented technology and has executed non-exclusive W-OFDM license agreements with semiconductor and broadband wireless equipment companies.
Wi-LAN is the chair company of the OFDM Forum and a charter member of the WiMAX Forum (www.wimaxforum.org). Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at www.wi-lan.com.
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