Wireless broadband operator iBurst has switched on a commercial WiMax network following extensive trials.

About 120 WiMax base stations are already live in the major metropolitan areas (Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town) with plans to expand the network to 250 base stations by the end of 2009.
iBurst WiMax is a next-generation technology offering a wireless alternative to fixed line services such as leased line offerings. iBurst WiMAX provides high quality connectivity to small, medium and large businesses.
The high-gain directional antennas used in the rollout of the WiMax network covers the major urban centres near potential corporate customers.
The iBurst WiMax offerings include broadband solutions and guaranteed speed and quality connectivity products.
Thami Mtshali, CEO of iBurst, comments: "The arrival of the commercial WiMax service will help to spur competition in the South African telecoms environment by giving customers a viable alternative to leased-line and ADSL services.
"Whether customers deploy it as a replacement or as a back-up for a fixed-line service, they will be pleased by the speeds, cost and reliability that our WiMax service will give them."
The iBurst WiMax Assured rate service offers performance and quality of service comparable to leased lines and is an ideal substitute or redundant back-up option for Telkom's Diginet leased line services. Users in areas that are plagued by frequent fixed-line cable theft are sure to welcome the availability of iBurst WiMax as an alternative.
Included in the cost for the services is the internet access, line rental, WiMax Modem, antenna and for assured product offerings a Cisco router and static IP address is also included to manage services and ensure quality.
Following the trial period, iBurst has made a number of upgrades and enhancements to the WiMax solution. Included in these was a software upgrade for the WiMax device, reduction in size of the antenna's and network enhancements to ensure quality of service.
iBurst was originally issued with WiMax spectrum by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in July 2006. WiMax (World Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a family of technologies based on the IEEE 802.16 wireless standards.
The iBurst WiMax offerings are as follows:
* Broadband – Broadband service with low contention ratios'
* Assured Standard – an uncapped, guaranteed service with minimal contention ratios; and
* Assured Premium – an uncapped, guaranteed, uncontended service.