Russian Into WiMax

1:40 PM -- Of all the news announcements that crossed EuroBlog's desk today, one stood out -- that Russian service provider Comstar United Telesystems JSC (London: CMST) is building out a significant mobile WiMax network in Moscow.

It didn't stand out because of the technology, location, or carrier, though, as Russia is regarded as a potential WiMax hotspot and Comstar had already pinned its wireless broadband badge to the WiMax mast. (See Comstar Plans Russian WiMax and Maravedis Reports on Russia.)

It stood out because Comstar's vendor partner is Nortel Networks Ltd. , which gave its WiMax strategy something of a revamp earlier this year when it threw its lot in with Alvarion Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR). (See Comstar Does WiMax With Nortel and Nortel Flunks WiMax.)

Comstar plans to deploy more than 160 Nortel BTS 5020 802.16e base stations during the first phase of its rollout, supported by access services gateways, customer premises kit, and supporting business and operational software, all provided by Nortel.

The BTS 5020 is a mobile WiMax (802.16e) base station that's based on Alvarion technology and which is now being co-developed by the Israeli specialist and its new buddy Nortel.

The deal gives Nortel come hope that it can still be a player in the WiMax world, though it will need to land a few more deals before it can attain any decent bragging rights.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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