Open Range Communications, a Colorado based rural wireless network operator, has signed a five year agreement with Alvarion for WiMAX equipment that could reach $100 million. The deal provides the equipment necessary to build Open Range’s broadband wireless network, which spans 546 rural markets, across 17 states, covering 6 million people.
Open Range secured funding through the RUS Broadband Loan program for the build out. Under the terms of the deal, Open Range will use Alvarion’s 802.16e BreezeMAX® solution, which utilizes an all IP architecture for radio access equipment, customer devices (CPE) and systems integration.
Details of Open Range’s product portfolio are a little sketchy. They’ve been on record for some time saying they will offer broadband Internet access at a minimum of 1.5 Mbps download and up to 512 kbps upload for less than $40 per month. They also plan to offer unlimited national voice services for less than $30 per month. “Open Range’s unique business model focuses on delivering wireless high-speed Internet and voice services to un-served and underserved communities,” said Open Range founder and CEO, Bill Beans Jr.
Open Range joins a growing fraternity of new carriers including DigitalBridge Communications and Stelera Wireless, all of whom offer (or plan to) WiMAX in rural markets. Rural WiMAX ‘s stock appears to be growing and may reach even higher heights, thanks to the broadband stimulus program. News like this is good for rural WiMAX stakeholders. Significant deals like this contribute to a healthy rural WiMAX ecosystem – an ecosystem that will be required to sustain rural WiMAX service providers over the long term.