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On a hill just to the west of Stratford-upon-Avon, wireless network vendor Airspan is working with broadband provider Pipex to test Airspan's AS.MAX WiMax system on a farm and the surrounding areas.
ZDNet UK went along to see the technology — which is being pitched as a major competitor to next-generation 3G networks such as HSDPA — in action.
Airspan is conducting its tests on 3.5GHz, although it has licences to use spectrum between 3.5-3.7GHz.
Product marketing manager Stephen Lightley explained that the company also had a 4.9GHz licence and could use 5.8GHz if telecommunications regulator Ofcom was informed first.
"When we have 5.8 systems available we’ll bring them up here," said Lightley.
The site has already been used to test equipment for the Urban WiMax system in Westminster, and Yozan’s WiMax deployment in Tokyo.
At the heart of AS.MAX is the MacroMax base station. This one is using DSL supplied by Pipex.
It contains a Forum-certified 802.16-2004 fixed WiMax chip, although it is soft-upgradeable to the 802.16e mobile WiMax standard.
Lightley highlighted this upgradeability as a key strength for WiMax in its fight against the rise of HSDPA (or next-generation 3G), especially as HSDPA will beat mobile WiMax to the marketplace.
The large size of the base station is due to its built-in power amplifiers.