This field trial is a significant step toward satisfying growing demand in The Netherlands for access to advanced broadband Internet services from any location. The trial has been designed to test several applications in the framework of the "Smart Homes" project, which is subsidized by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affaires and is designed to improve the overall welfare of the community by leveraging advances in telecommunications technology in three critical areas. Those areas are videoconferencing/telemedicine for welfare and care; video surveillance for security; and broadband Internet access to enhance general communications.
The WiMAX pilot network was deployed by Alcatel-Lucent in January in the southwestern part of the country and complies with the latest mobile WiMAX standard - IEEE 802.16e-2005. WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and it is a flexible technology designed to provide broadband wireless access to users in wide coverage areas. This technology enables people to access high-speed, high-quality broadband wireless services wherever they are and wherever they go, making it truly "Universal Wireless" broadband access.
"The deployment of this WiMAX pilot network plays a key role in accelerating the realization of the Smart Homes project. Very soon, our existing broadband customers will be able to enjoy broadband services no matter where they are as they travel around the country", stated Mirko Mensink, Director Strategy from Casema. "We selected Alcatel-Lucent because its solution complies fully with the WiMAX Rev-e standard and because of its demonstrated commitment to provide operators with the most advanced solutions to help them meet their customers' needs. The facts that Alcatel-Lucent's solution is available now and can be easily integrated into our network were also important factors in our decision."
Alcatel-Lucent provided a complete WiMAX solution that operates in the 2.5 GHz frequency band, including base station equipment, wireless access controller, operation and maintenance centre, customer premises equipment (CPE) - including WiMAX fixed CPE and Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) cards for laptop computers - to deliver Internet broadband access when on the move. Alcatel-Lucent also provided its advanced WiMAX engineering expertise and integration services.
"This field trial with Casema further illustrates Alcatel-Lucent's commitment to WiMAX as a key element of its universal broadband access strategy", stated Luc Defieuw, Vice President Benelux and Scandinavia from Alcatel-Lucent. "WiMAX has the potential to give people access to cutting-edge and useful broadband services, no matter where they are and innovative service providers like Casema are leveraging that potential to better meet the needs of their customers."
Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX solution integrates state-of-the-art advanced antenna technology such as "Beamforming" that enables better indoor penetration of the radio signal while reducing the number of radio sites needed to provide coverage - in some instances by as much as 40 percent. "Beamforming" is an Advanced Antenna Technology (AAT) that ensures that radio power is where the WiMAX terminals are, adjusting the beam automatically as the terminals move around the coverage area. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent proposes fixed and nomadic terminals from various CPE partners in a global end-to-end offering. This is part of Alcatel-Lucent's Open CPE policy, which aims at promoting an open device ecosystem and ensuring customers have the widest possible range of interoperable end-user devices.
Casema has about 12.500 miles of cables in the ground, which are used to provide over 1,4 million households with radio, (digital) TV, Internet and telephony. Thanks to its modern cable system, it has become a leading supplier of network services and entertainment. Casema is active in and around cities such as The Hague, Amersfoort, Utrecht, Amstelveen and Breda. Under the name Casema Zakelijk, the company also provides network services to businesses. Casema's list of services include radio and television, digital television, internet via the cable, telephony, IP-television, pay-per-view, data communication, video-on-demand. Casema is a member of VECAI, the trade organisation for Dutch cable companies. In addition, the company is part of EPN and ECCA, the European association of cable operators.
Alcatel-Lucent is among the world's leading WiMAX vendors, with more than 40 operators worldwide deploying its WiMAX equipment. More company news is available in the VMW April 2007 article Europe's largest research network Géant2 delivers flexible networking based on Alcatel-Lucent's intelligent optical solution.