NCR Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Wireless Broadband Network (3/1)
Thursday, March 01, 2007 | Comments
The National Capital Region (NCR), which includes the District of Columbia and 18 other jurisdictions in Virginia and Maryland, will be the first in the nation to establish a public-safety regional wireless network at 700 MHz. NCR has competitively selected Alcatel-Lucent as its equipment infrastructure vendor to deploy the new Regional Wireless Broadband Network (RWBN). It will provide a seamless interoperable, redundant wireless broadband network of networks with the capacity to transmit video, data, and voice communications with peak speeds of nearly 5 Megabits per second (Mbps) using only a paired 1.25-megahertz channel. The contract is a five-year indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a potential value of up to $110 million, allowing the region to purchase the equipment and services as funds are available. Included in the contract are core networking equipment, base stations, microcells, PDAs, AVL modems, and network operations services. Alcatel-Lucent will deploy 1x EV-DO Revision A (Rev A) equipment with initial phase delivery by March 31. Subscriber devices will be capable of roaming onto the commercial networks when a user leaves the RWBN footprint. The RWBN will use a portion of the 24 megahertz currently assigned to wideband communications in the 700 MHz public-safety spectrum. The NCR has been awarded a waiver of a part of current Part 90 rules by the FCC to enable broadband operations in the band. Alcatel-Lucent teamed with AnyData a manufacturer of CDMA modems, and Qualcomm, which provided the reference design for 700 MHz capable CDMA chip sets, for the contract. A day earlier, Alcatel-Lucent announced a suite of CDMA products for the 700 MHz spectrum optimized for public-safety applications. The newly merged firm said the technology has numerous public-safety applications, including secure, high-speed access to critical information and the ability to share multimedia data, images, and video from any location, push-to-talk services to establish easy communication between groups such as first responders, and critical location-identification services. It also will enable applications such as access assurance, which guarantees specific users network access during times when network traffic may be high due to an event such as a natural disaster. Specific products available to support public-safety networks include the CDMA Modular Cell 4.0 compact and radio network controller, the firm said. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent is developing the necessary operations and network management software needed to support public-safety services, including authentication and encryption capabilities.

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