SOURCE: Airspan Networks Inc.

Airspan Networks Inc.

December 03, 2009 10:34 ET

Sacred Wind Communications Selects Stutler and Airspan WiMAX for Navajo Nation Deployment

Largest Deployment in the United States on Native Lands Delivering Broadband Data and Voice to Rural Tribe Members

BOCA RATON, FL--(Marketwire - December 3, 2009) - Airspan Networks Inc. (PINKSHEETS: AIRO), a leading provider of broadband wireless access networks, and Stutler Technologies, one of the largest U.S. system integrators, announced today Sacred Wind Communications selected Airspan WiMAX equipment and Stutler Technologies' system integration services for a rural broadband network offering connectivity throughout the Navajo nation's territory in New Mexico.

Sacred Wind Communications purchased a dilapidated telephone system on a portion of Navajo lands in New Mexico in 2006 and is now building a state-of-the-art network for current customers as well as to reach over 6000 homes without access to telephone service of any kind, not to mention broadband connectivity. Over 50% of the customers are below federal poverty levels and few have ever touched a computer.

Airspan WiMAX equipment, already well deployed by Stutler throughout rural America, will serve thousands of Navajo families with high-speed data and IP telephony. The advanced WiMAX technology will serve to change the lives of these families as, for the first time, these residents will have access to the World Wide Web, bridging the digital divide and expanding their educational and economic opportunities.

WiMAX technology perfectly suits rural regions, where digging and placing traditional wired lines is unfeasible and not cost-effective due to rough terrain and low population density. Airspan's WiMAX solutions circumvent the high cost and topographical challenges normally associated with other broadband options. Stutler Technologies, with the help of Sacred Wind Communications, is responsible for the planning, deployment and maintenance of the Navajo project.

Stutler is implementing Airspan's dual-purpose Fixed and Mobile HiperMAX Base Station infrastructure for this large area deployment. Sacred Wind and Stutler have planned on connecting thousands of individual households and tribal centers using the Airspan technology.

John Badal, CEO of Sacred Wind, stated, "As a longtime member of the New Mexico Telecommunications industry, I am strongly committed to the betterment of the Navajo people. We have a clear vision for widely available connectivity throughout the territory. Sacred Wind has already received a low-interest $70 million loan from the USDA/RUS for this project and we have submitted an additional large stimulus application. We are convinced that we are in an ideal position to receive broadband stimulus funding to help us further expand our network. It is a real pleasure to work with Stutler and Airspan who we feel share in our vision and who are best qualified to serve our needs."

"We are happy to have deployed Airspan equipment for this project," said J.J. Stutler, CEO of Stutler Technologies. "We are committed to offering the Navajo, as well as our other customers, a turnkey networking solution that is cost-effective, robust and flexible. We hope and expect that with the delivery of broadband and telephony into this Navajo New Mexico region, economic conditions, education opportunities and the overall quality of life will be greatly improved."

With $7.2 Billion recently allocated for rural broadband propagation in the United States by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Indian nations are in an ideal position to acquire federal funding for broadband networks in their regions and can use the Sacred Wind deployment as a blueprint for their own projects.

"We are delighted with Sacred Wind's decision to choose Airspan's technology and solution. Airspan is putting a strong focus on the U.S. rural broadband market segment," commented Eric Stonestrom, Chief Executive Officer for Airspan. "We are working closely with several organizations, such as NEBSA, OPASTCO, WCAI and the WiMAX Forum to reach out to telecommunication companies in rural areas and educate them on WiMAX and its many benefits for their communities. We have already experienced extraordinary response from the market for our solutions and look forward to continuing to serve operators with best-of-breed WiMAX solutions."

Sacred Wind Communications was recently voted "The Most Inspiring Small Business in America" in the "Shine a Light" American Express contest. American Express, in partnership with NBC Universal, accepted thousands of nominations of small businesses that are inspiring and give back to their community. After an extensive voting period, Sacred Wind had the distinct honor of winning the award and in addition to the title, received $100,000 in grants and marketing support.

About Sacred Wind Communications

Sacred Wind Communications is a privately owned, New Mexico-based company, dedicated to improve telecommunications services to rural areas within New Mexico. We have purchased from Qwest Corporation its local telephone facilities serving portions of Navajo lands and nearby Navajo lands in the northwestern, Four Corners, and Canoncito areas of the state. Focused mainly on introducing basic telephone services to the many thousands of un-served homes on Navajo lands, Sacred Wind also has the intent and mission of providing the most advanced services, including high speed Internet services, to Navajo, non-Navajo residents, governmental entities, and businesses in our territory.

About Stutler Technologies Corp.

Stutler Technologies is one of the largest U.S. system integrators for major wireless equipment manufacturers and specializes in complete RF, telephony, networking and tower services as well as continued customer network education and support. Stutler Technologies caters to the needs and issues of the rural telephone community and actively works with both licensed and unlicensed fixed applications. With specific expertise in the 700 MHz and 3.65 GHz frequency bands, Stutler has nationwide deployments in 39 states and with over 60 700 MHz license holders.

About Airspan Networks Inc.

Airspan is a leading WiMAX pure player and the solution-provider of choice for some of the world's largest WiMAX deployments. Developing leading-edge technology for broadband access and IP-telephony, Airspan continues to supply operators around the world with best-of-breed solutions. 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.

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, 2008. 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.

Contact Information

  • For Investor Relations contact:
    Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane
    Investor Relations
    Tel. +1 561.395.4581

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    Senior Director Marketing Communications
    Airspan Networks Inc.
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