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AT&T Plots WiMax Trial

AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) is planning a trial of "WiMax-compliant" equipment in Atlanta in the fourth quarter of this year.

The new trial will follow on from a successful test of so-called "pre-WiMax" equipment involving a "handful of users" in Middleton, N.J. "It's been working very well," says Sanford Brown, VP of access product management at AT&T.

AT&T isn't revealing much about any of the material details of the Atlanta trial, other than its "much larger scale" than the New Jersey test. Brown couldn't reveal anything about the size of the trial, the number of users, or the equipment that will be used. "We're using multiple vendors," he says.

But Brown is keen to talk about the focus of the trial and what AT&T will learn from it. AT&T's main focus is enterprise users and the veep says the company will be testing Internet services, private data networking, and voice over IP.

The network will help AT&T learn, "what it's really going to take to design and build one of these things," Brown says.

AT&T's initial testing of WiMax-like technology has opened the company up to the possibility of providing more applications and services than straight enterprise data access. Brown says users are interested in applications such as resilient networks -- using a wired and wireless network to provide connectivity if one of them fails -- temporary networks, video, and mobility services.

It shouldn't be any surprise that AT&T is bullish on WiMax after its CTO's recent comments on the technology (see Eslambolchi: WiMax Booming ).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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