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Australian Operator, BigAir, Expanding Network With WiMAX Broadband Wireless Solution

10/12/09 - Airspan Networks Inc. (PINKSHEETS: AIRO) announced that BigAir Group Limited (BigAir), an Australian wireless broadband service provider, is expanding WiMAX services across Australia.

Following successful deployments in Melbourne and Sydney, BigAir is continuing to use Airspan WiMAX equipment to expand its service offerings into the Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast markets in the 5.8 GHz and 5.4 GHz frequency bands. BigAir first selected Airspan after an extensive trial in 2007.

Serving businesses throughout the region with voice and data services, the Airspan network enables BigAir to offer reliable, secure and robust connectivity. With a consistently growing customer base, BigAir is helping bridge the digital divide while delivering 4G technology to bandwidth-hungry Australians.

"BigAir has been very successful in serving our customer base," said BigAir CEO, Jason Ashton. "We own and operate Australia's largest fixed wireless next-generation broadband network which now covers the six largest cities in Australia. Utilizing Airspan's solution allows us to offer our customers higher speed, greater reliability and lower-cost broadband services."

In addition to the WiMAX solution, BigAir is using Airspan's FlexNET backhaul solution for higher point-to-point bandwidth requirements.

"We have been very impressed with BigAir's success and growth," commented Henrik Smith-Petersen, President of Business Development for Airspan. "This achievement further strengthens Airspan's global leadership position. Our advanced technology offers the functionality and business model that allows our partner's success. We are especially excited by this growth in Australia. With the largest broadband stimulus package of any country thus far, the Australian government has proven its interest in delivering high-speed broadband services to every Australian. BigAir and Airspan are playing a role in this initiative."

WiMAX technology is expected to play a significant role in Australia's National Broadband Initiative. With a massive $30 billion investment, the network will connect 90 percent of homes, schools and workplaces, and businesses to high-speed broadband over the next 8 years. WiMAX will be especially useful in connecting remote and rural areas.

The Australian business market comprises nearly one million businesses and BigAir's network provides near blanket coverage across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast. BigAir's competitive advantage includes its state-of-the-art WiMAX network which allows it to install business-grade symmetric broadband services at speeds up to 100Mbps and distances up to 30km from its base stations with installation taking just a few hours. Most of BigAir's competitors rely on access to Telstra's copper network which can takes weeks to install a service and often does not deliver fast symmetric speeds. Mobile wireless networks such as the 3G mobile phone networks are also not nearly fast enough to meet the demands of business Internet users in an office environment.

By Robert Hoskins

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