WiMAX service launched across West Michigan, New Mexico

  • Company that pioneered free Wi-Fi for City of Grand Haven unveils faster WiMAX service today in Grand Rapids and surrounding communities
  • New service expects to compete at national level for business and municipal wireless service

Grand Haven, MI – September 25, 2008 – The Grand Haven-based company that made the City of Grand Haven the first WI-FI municipality in the nation today announced the launch of its advanced service that provides faster wireless broadband service for some West Michigan and New Mexico communities.

AzulStar, Inc, today unveiled MetraMAX, a wireless broadband service that uses WiMAX, a new version of Wi-Fi that can travel greater distances and provide faster speeds.

The service is being formally launched within the communities of Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Ferrysburg and Spring Lake as well as other parts of Ottawa and Kent County. AzulStar is also launching service today in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque, New Mexico. AzulStar had been testing the WiMAX service in the West Michigan area since February of this year.

With the introduction of MetraMAX, AzulStar delivers attractively priced broadband Internet access and voice services targeted at business, home and governmental customers. The high performance service delivers exceptional value with Full T1s for business starting under $275 per month and Phone + Internet bundles starting under $40 per month for the home. Service speeds are available up to 6Mbps for the home and 100Mbps symmetric for business connections.

“The arrival of mobile WiMAX represents the dawn of a new era for municipal wireless broadband,” said Tyler van Houwelingen, AzulStar founder and CEO. “WiMAX is the natural evolution of Wi-Fi and a very special technology, delivering superior performance, coverage and reliability while dramatically reducing the investment and time for deployment.”

HOW IT WORKS

The licensed-spectrum ‘4G’ network uses high performance WiMAX equipment from Alvarion and Redline Communications. IEEE 802.16e technology is used to deliver Mobile WiMAX access within urban areas such as Grand Rapids while IEEE 802.16d equipment provides high bandwidth fixed services regionally.

The launch of MetraMAX represents a full transition for AzulStar from Wi-Fi to WiMAX for providing regional broadband coverage. AzulStar will continue to use Wi-Fi for Hot Spots and Wireless LAN access, but will leverage WiMAX everywhere else.

AzulStar’s WiMAX networks are being rolled out as partnerships using private funding and private tower assets. In the Grand Rapids market, AzulStar has aligned with local partners that include US Signal, SourcIT Technologies and BB Telsys with funding coming from local private investors led by Jack P. Smith. AzulStar is replicating this formula in geographies across the Midwest and Southwestern United States and it expects to be operational within 30 markets by the end of 2009.

About AzulStar

AzulStar Inc., based in Grand Haven, Michigan, is the recognized leader in municipal wireless networking and intelligent transportation. AzulStar leverages a combination of licensed WiMAX and unlicensed Wi-Fi technologies to deliver very high bandwidth wireless broadband services for an entire community. AzulStar teams with leading companies, governmental agencies and private investors to offer mobile broadband voice, data and video services.

www.azulstar.com
www.metramax.com

WiMAX is a registered trademark of the WiMAX Forum. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact:

West Michigan Contact
Craig Clark
Clark Communications
(616) 550-2736
craig@clarkcommunication.com

National Contact Ken Gaebler
Walker Sands Communications
(312) 543-0654
ken@walkersands.com