Azulstar launches faster Web access service

The Grand Haven-based company that made Grand Haven the first city in the country to have complete wireless Internet access has launched a faster wireless broadband service for some communities in West Michigan and New Mexico.

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

The service was formally launched Monday in Grand Haven, Ferrysburg, Spring Lake and Grand Rapids, as well as other parts of Ottawa and Kent counties. AzulStar also launched MetraMAX service this week in Rio Rancho, N.M., and Albuquerque, N.M.

AzulStar had been testing the service in West Michigan since February.

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

The cost of the high-performance service for businesses starts under $275 per month, AzulStar officials said. Residential home and Internet bundles start at under $40 per month.

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