"The explosion of broadband data usage in South Africa and internationally is creating an ever-growing set of coverage and capacity challenges that cannot be addressed effectively by any single technology," says Winston Smith, MD of Alvarion in South Africa.
The same is true for all types of wireless broadband networks from tier one mobile carriers to wireless internet service providers, enterprises, governments, municipalities and private network operators in various vertical markets.
"The subscriber numbers and uptake of broadband for wireless users is much higher than in cabled options in South Africa, and this trend is set to continue into 2012," says Smith. "The solution to under-capacity is to employ multiple complementary technologies which can be optimised for various types of networks and applications."
Interference a huge challenge
In line with this multi-technology approach, Alvarion recently signed an agreement to acquire Wavion, a leader in carrier-grade WiFi applications. With interference as one of the biggest challenges in deploying WiFi, Wavion's solution provides better cover, higher capacity and interference immunity using smart antenna, beamforming and SDMA technologies. "As one of the fastest growing segments in the telecom equipment industry, carrier WiFi is a good opportunity for Alvarion," says Smith.
The advanced WiFi technology provided by Wavion, combined with Alvarion's 4G RAN solution and recently acquired DAS (distributed antenna systems) capabilities, now creates a full suite of capacity and coverage solutions. "Alvarion is fast shifting from a focus on WiMAX-based RAN solutions to a multi-technology wireless broadband provider, and with the inclusion of Wavion in our offering, we will have WiFi as the final component of a complete solution for our customers," concludes Smith.