North Rock Communications Delivers WiMAX to Bermuda

WSI has been a wireless internet customer of Northrock’s since 2003 and have always been happy with both the quality of service and reliability. Now with a 3 mb connection running over WiMax we have never been MORE happy! Here is some news we stumbled accross this morning.

Premier Telecommunication’s provider for Bermuda provides a full range of internet and voice services over a WiMAX network.

Unique situations often require unique and innovative solutions.  Perhaps, no one know that better then North Rock Communications who for the past 11 years has been providing a host of services including wireless broadband, ADSL, dialup internet service, local calling and long distance to the island of Bermuda.

City of Hamilton, Courtesy North Rock Communications

Bermuda, located in the North Atlantic 650 nautical miles from the next closest land mass (Cape Hatteras, North Carolina), is the oldest and most populous of the remaining British overseas territories.  Although commonly referred to as one island, the territory actually consists of 138 separate Islands with a total area of 21 square miles.  Bermuda’s capital, the City of Hamilton” lies on the largest of the islands which is often referred to as “Bermuda.”

Operating in the North Atlantic is not without its challenges.  In early September 2003, Hurricane Fabian made a direct hit on the island with winds of over 120mph, causing damages in excess of $300M USD.  Although the island suffered extensive damage, Northrock’s wireless network weathered the storm exceptionally well and demonstrated the advantages of a wireless network.  While many of the island’s land-line based carriers were down for 3-4 months, Northrock’s network suffered minimal damage and many of its customers were back on-line within a few days.  In 2004 Alvarion recognized North Rock Communications for their outstanding performance through Hurricane Fabian.

As unique as its geography, Bermuda is well known for its highly affluent economy and its prominence as an off-shore tax haven and global financial center.  Bermuda boasts the 2nd highest GDP in the world (behind Luxemburg) and is one of the largest insurance and re-insurance centers in the world with over 400 registered companies.

Bermuda’s prominence as a global center for finance and commerce has resulted in a highly evolved technology infrastructure.  The country is one of the most wired in the world with a 91% land-line penetration and greater than 85% internet penetration (80% of which is broadband).  The country although relatively small in subscribers, has a robust telecommunications industry with 5 internet service providers, 3 cellular carriers, 1 cable and 1 DSL provider.

The country’s business enviorment has driven Bermuda’s telecommunication’s companies to offer new and innovative services to its customer base.  North Rock was an early adopter of WiMAX and in 2006 was one of the first operators to launch a fixed WiMAX network.  Prior to its WiMAX network, North Rock launched its original fixed wireless network in 2000 using proprietary equipment.  North Rock Communications began offering their original fixed wireless to the corporate marketplace in January 2000, with residential wireless service coming on line in June 2002.

WiMAX Tower, Courtesy North Rock Communications

View from WiMAX Tower, Courtesy North Rock Communications

North Rock currently operates a fixed WiMAX network using Alvarion BreezeMAX equipment on licensed 3.5 GHz spectrum and plans to upgrade the existing equipment to a full mobile WiMAX network when 3.5 GHz wave 2 WiMAX equipment is certified next year.  The base stations will require upgrades to the radios while the CPEs in the filed are already “e” ready.

Offering full mobility, North Rock will be able to take advantage of some of the new 3.5GHz WiMAX devices such as USB dongles and other products such as laptops and handsets as they become available next year.

Vicki Coelho, General Manager of North Rock Communications added,”We are thrilled to be leading the roll out of WiMAX in Bermuda.  Our customers appreciate the one stop shopping.  The quality of service and high bandwidth addresses the needs of our sophisticated market.  We look forward to our mobile 4G network.”

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