SOURCE: Airspan Networks Inc.

Airspan Networks Inc.

February 29, 2012 03:23 ET

Airspan Supplies Wireless Communications System for Heathrow Airport Unmanned Passenger Pods

Working With Ultra to Implement Wireless, Broadband, Two Way Communications Into Their State-of-the-Art Passenger Pod Vehicles

BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - Feb 29, 2012) - MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS - Airspan Networks Inc., a leading provider of 4G broadband wireless access networks, announced today the use of its wireless broadband solution in the Heathrow pod; the unmanned, on-demand passenger transport system designed, implemented and operated by Ultra Global Ltd, a developer of Passenger Rapid Transport (PRT) systems.

Airspan's equipment is used to facilitate the wireless two-way data communication, CCTV video feed and command exchange between the pods and the system control center. The PRT system was launched in 2011 to transport passengers to and from Terminal 5 and the Business Car Park at London's Heathrow Airport in a quick and timely manner. The driverless pods are controlled by a central computer which distributes pods on demand. On average vehicles reach passengers in less than 10 seconds, with 80% of passengers experiencing a zero wait time. The entire system is controlled and managed over the wireless network.

The Ultra led project was commissioned by Heathrow Airport operator BAA and the wireless network system was implemented in conjunction with FWA Solutions, a Value Added Distributors of wireless products.

The pod transport system currently consists of 21 driverless electric vehicles which travel up to 25 mph. Each vehicle is equipped with an Airspan ViaNET Mobile Terminal Unit which communicates with a series of Airspan ViaNET base stations deployed along the one-way track.

"We have been working for several years to develop and perfect our PRT systems," commented Nas Rasool of Ultra Global PRT. "Our Ultra PRT systems provide quick, personal, 21st century transportation solutions that are environmentally friendly and operationally efficient. Airspan's broadband wireless system was a key component of this project, ensuring that the two-way communication between the pods and the control center was reliable and consistent. This type of system is wholly dependent on the computerized communication which requests and deploys the pods as needed and which offers added security with a CCTV camera, all of which are transmitted on Airspan's ViaNET network."

The ViaNET network operates in the 5.8 GHz unlicensed band and incorporates inherent security with high-level authentication and encryption. With transportation applications specifically in mind, ViaNET was designed to provide extremely efficient 'make-before-break' handover between base stations, which ensures that as a vehicle is getting further away from one base station and closer to another, the connection is handed off to the next base station with zero interruption to the communication. A network server, called CrossNET, provides network management and gateway capabilities.

"Airspan is delighted to supply the wireless solution for this extremely modern and forward-thinking project," commented Paul Senior, Chief Technical Officer of Airspan. "Airspan has many specially designed and customized solutions for the transportation industry and works with many customers on out-of-the-box unique projects. This is just one example of how our investment into next-generation technologies drives innovation and modernization in the wireless industry."

Airspan's ViaNET family is specifically designed to deliver advanced wireless connectivity to the transportation industry and complements a comprehensive 4G portfolio which includes Pico, Micro and Macro base stations, a wide variety of user devices, and advanced core network products, operating in the 700 MHz up to 5.9 GHz bands.

About Ultra
Ultra uses research and development to engineer PRT (personal rapid transit) systems that provide environmentally sustainable 21st Century transport solutions. Ultra pods are a new type of transportation technology, which consists of small, lightweight, driverless electric vehicles running on special-purpose guideways. Ultra pods provide on-demand, non-stop transportation in your own personal vehicle. The Ultra system offers security and convenience by providing a non-stop journey that gives passengers exclusive use of their vehicle. Each pod is monitored by CCTV and a dedicated team of controllers are on hand to help at the push of a button.

About Airspan Networks Inc.
Airspan (PINKSHEETS: AIRO) is a leading 4G wireless solution provider. With over 500 customers in over 100 countries and as a top vendor for carrier-class broadband wireless solutions, Airspan is recognized as a leader and pioneer in 4G and broadband wireless technologies. Providing an expansive product portfolio, Airspan offers customers the widest selection of 4G products in the industry with an unsurpassed level of technology to benefit their business case. Airspan has solutions spanning the 700 MHz to 6 GHz frequency bands.

Oak Investment Partners XI, Limited Partnership holds a controlling interest in Airspan. Airspan is not subject to the informational reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and, accordingly, does not file reports, financial statements, proxy statements, information statements or other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release contains forward-looking statements. 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. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • For Media Inquiries, contact:
    Dori Erann
    Vice President of Marketing
    Airspan Networks Inc.
    Tel. +1 561.893.8687