Houston taps Alvarion for municipal wifi

Municipal wifi is moving ahead in Houston. Yesterday, the city announced that it has chosen Alvarion to deploy a citywide 4G municipal network. The network will increase the city’s ability to provide more municipal services online, improve public safety support and better traffic management.

According to the city’s municipal wifi plan, the new network will provide for remote control of 2500 traffic intersections and 1500 school zone flashers allowing traffic safety managers to remotely improve safety and congestion. Much of the city’s network will also shift from T1 connectivity to WiMAX and facilities with no connections will now have access to the WiMAX network.

The plan also includes free access for more than 300,000 low-income residents.

Alvarion has been running a “smart city” pilot in Houston for just over a year. The pilot project utilized the company’s BreezeMAX Extreme 3650 WiMAX 16e solution in a sample area and after the tests were deemed successful by city officials the project moved forward. Houston has $5 million in grants and will use $1.4 million in capital funds to complete the project. The network can reach download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and is now spread over 60 towers, each providing a two-mile coverage footprint.

“High-performance was a major priority in selecting the solution that would best meet our current and future needs,” commented Justin Ewald, Chief Wireless Broadband Network Engineer with the City of Houston. “The fact that our IT operational team now has the ability to maintain and tweak the network anytime and in line with our changing needs, from a central location, makes this a win-win situation for both our residents and our employees.”

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