Covad Communications Group Inc., announced that it will use technology from Cisco to deploy a wireless broadband test network in San Carlos, California. The test is part of the ‘Concept City’ phase of Wireless Silicon Valley, a project of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network.
Covad’s Covad Wireless business unit, which already serves business customers in San Carlos, will layer a new wireless broadband mesh capability onto its existing fixed wireless broadband service.
Covad Wireless will use the latest wireless equipment from Cisco to create a mesh network, and judge performance, user experience and customer demand during the testing period. Central to the test is creating a repeatable financial and operational model. Following the completion of the test, Covad Wireless will explore expanding the mesh service to additional locations in the region.
Unlike many of the municipal WiFi experiments in other metropolitan areas, the San Carlos test network is an extension of Covad Wireless’ existing, fixed wireless business and benefits from the expertise of Cisco and the participants in the Wireless Silicon Valley initiative.
“The Wireless Silicon Valley strategy aligns well with our goal to expand wireless broadband service in Silicon Valley,” said David McMorrow, General Manager for Covad Wireless. “In the past year, the municipal wireless market has grown and changed dramatically, and Wireless Silicon Valley’s focus on economic development and multiple types of outdoor wireless broadband service is now a better fit for our differentiated approach at entering this market segment.”
Covad Wireless believes, and hopes to validate through this test, that wireless broadband mesh technologies, including WiFi/802.11, can provide a cost-effective extension of its service delivery model by economically enabling services targeted at new market segments, such as:
* Fixed broadband wireless access for the Small Office/Home Office (SoHo) and Very Small Business market segments requiring self installation and competitive market pricing * Nomadic and portable services for vertical market segments such as mobile business and sales professionals and municipal field services * Telemetry services for municipal and select vertical market segments
An Ideal Partnership
“We are very pleased to welcome Covad Wireless as the service provider partner for the San Carlos ‘Concept City’ test,” said Seth Fearey, vice president and chief operating officer for Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and director of the Wireless Silicon Valley project.
Added Covad’s McMorrow, “Covad Wireless has developed a service delivery model that utilizes different wireless technologies to maximize flexibility and meet the unique needs of customers. By using the advantages of each technology within the test network, we plan to leverage incremental value, achieve lower costs, and ensure higher customer satisfaction.”
Covad Wireless operates California’s largest fixed broadband wireless network serving businesses, and views this test network as an exciting opportunity to reach new segments of the business market, such as small business and home office customers, while utilizing its existing infrastructure. The company currently offers fixed broadband wireless access using WIMAX, pre-WIMAX, and LMDS technology to deliver services with data speeds of up to 100 Mbps to over 1,700 business and enterprise customers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The City of San Carlos is already an existing, satisfied customer of Covad Wireless and is able to provide cost-effective access for wireless equipment to poles, rooftops and other locations, and a continuing test base for municipal services.