SOURCE: Airspan Networks Inc.

November 25, 2008 10:15 ET

Airspan Succeeds in First-Ever Multi-Band Mobile WiMAX Handover

Creating One-of-a-Kind Opportunities for Mobile WiMAX Operators

BOCA RATON, FL--(Marketwire - November 25, 2008) - Airspan Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: AIRN), a leading provider of WiMAX-based broadband wireless access networks, announced today that it has successfully demonstrated a unique, seamless, uninterrupted handover from one frequency band on a mobile WiMAX network to another frequency band.

A handover is the terminology used to define the seamless transfer of a wireless device from one base station to another without loss or interruption of service. A handover would be conducted when a user device is moving away from the area covered by one base station and entering the area covered by another.

This groundbreaking achievement is extraordinarily beneficial to both end-users as well as network operators. As mobile WiMAX deployments become more common, users will benefit from the ability to transfer from one operating network to another. For instance, in the United States, a user with an Airspan MiMAX USB device connected to their laptop may be able to roam from a license-exempt 3.65 GHz network into a national, license-owned 2.5 GHz WiMAX network.

Carriers and operators will benefit from the option to deploy a single, large mobile WiMAX network using two or more frequency bands. In many regions, the availably of 2.5 GHz is limited. Now operators can aggregate spectrum to allow significant expansion of coverage and roaming capabilities. A carrier, for example, could begin with a small allocation at 2.3 or 2.5 GHz and add a larger, often more affordable, allocation at 3.X GHz or even 5 GHz.

Users of wireless networks are typically confined to handovers within a single operating frequency band. Switching between bands with a cellular phone today, for example, requires changing networks and forces the user to drop their connection before they are able to restart on a new network for the new band. By enabling seamless handover between two frequencies, the showcased solution has demonstrated just how revolutionary WiMAX is proving to be. The demonstration network is using the Airspan HiperMAX base station in 3.6 GHz frequency band and the MacroMAXe base station in the 2.5 GHz band communicating with a MiMAX Q-Series quad-band USB device connected to a laptop roaming between the two base stations.

Staged in the UK, this achievement was performed with the collaboration of long-term customer and partner FREEDOM4 and strategic partners Starent Networks, using their Access Service Network (ASN) gateway for connection management, and Bridgewater Systems, using their subscriber management solution that delivers carrier-grade authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) services.

Graham Currier, Chief Operating Officer at FREEDOM4, stated, "Airspan's Quad-Band MiMAX device creates a new paradigm for European WiMAX operators. Airspan's technology allows us to combine the reach of the 2.6 GHz frequency band with our large block of 3.6 GHz to create a spectrum position that can deliver a true broadband experience for mobile users. We can deliver speeds and capacities many times greater than operators using evolved 3G HSPA technologies."

Paul Senior, Chief Technology Officer of Airspan, commented, "We are very pleased to have succeeded in this world's first demonstration with FREEDOM4. Confirming Airspan's WiMAX innovation and technology leadership position, this achievement permanently changes the landscape of mobile WiMAX and its possibilities."

This milestone is timely and relevant for European operators, as 2.5 GHz/2.6 GHz spectrum will be auctioned/allocated in almost all European countries over the next 24-26 months, and typically up to 50 MHz of 2.5 GHz TDD spectrum (suitable for WiMAX) is available. The 2.6 GHz auction in the UK will likely happen in the first half of 2009.

Although this particular handover demonstration operated between the 2.5 and 3.6 GHz bands, Airspan equipment can support this type of handover between all the major WiMAX bands -- 2.3, 2.5, 3.3, 3.4-3.6, 3.6-3.8, and 5 GHz bands.

About Airspan Networks Inc.

Airspan is the industry's leading WiMAX pure player, ranked #1 for IEEE802.16-2004 WiMAX revenue in 2007 and has now been selected for some of the world's largest mobile WiMAX deployments. With direct sales offices throughout Asia, EMEA and the Americas, a worldwide network of resellers and agents, and partnership alliances with major OEMs, Airspan boasts over 100 commercial WiMAX deployments worldwide. www.airspan.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. The words "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," "projects," "will," "would" and similar expressions or negative variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. Investors and others are therefore cautioned that a variety of factors, including certain risks, may affect our business and cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The Company is subject to the risks and uncertainties described in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and in the Company's 2008 Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. You should read those factors as being applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this press release. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

About FREEDOM4

FREEDOM4, a joint venture between Pipex Communications and Intel Capital, is a provider of personal wireless broadband services without boundaries. With a national license to deploy WiMAX services in the 3.6 GHz band, FREEDOM4 is working closely with businesses and local authorities to build the necessary infrastructure to provide broadband wireless internet access across the UK.

FREEDOM4 has partnerships with some of the leading names in wireless technologies and telecommunications, including Intel Corporation, Airspan Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks, and National Grid Wireless to provide WiMAX services to nomadic workers, businesses and SOHOs via a scalable and resilient network. For further information, visit www.freedom4.com.

Contact Information

  • For Investor Relations inquiries, contact:
    David Brant
    Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
    Airspan Networks Inc.
    Tel: +1 561 893-8650
    Fax: +1 561 893-8681
    Email: dbrant@airspan.com

    For media inquiries, contact:
    Dori Erann
    Director of Marketing Communications
    Airspan Networks Inc.
    Tel. +1.561.893.8687
    Fax: +1.561.893.8671
    Email: derann@airspan.com